Five Effective Treatments for Kidney Stones
Shooting pains in your side, abdomen, or groin? Bloody or cloudy urine? Kidney stones are some of the most painful kidney complications a person can suffer from. For those of you who aren’t sure what kidney stones are, well…let me break it down for you. Kidney stones form when substances inside the kidneys crystallize to form hard masses that may cause pain and block urine flow. It is believed that kidney stones affect about 2% of the population in their lifetime, making them a common phenomenon. A lot of people believe this ailment is typically the result of bad eating habits or not drinking enough water. But these are not the only causes of kidney stones. Let’s take a look at a few common causes and treatments.
Treating kidney stones can be tricky business, especially if it’s not actually in the kidneys. Kidney stone symptoms can mimic many other common conditions and diseases. To try and make sure you don’t spend unnecessary time and money until you know for sure what’s wrong, we’ve reviewed five common kidney stone treatments.
Kidney stones are hard calcium masses formed in the kidneys, and sometimes they stay in the kidney and cause no issues. But if they try to pass out of the urine and get stuck, they can cause extreme pain.
There are four types of kidney stones:
- Calcium Stones – Most kidney stones are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance found in food and is also made daily by your liver. Some fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and chocolate, have high oxalate content.
- Uric acid stones – Uric acid stones can form in people who don’t drink enough fluids or who lose too much fluid, those who eat a high-protein diet, and those who have gout (which causes uric acid buildup).
- Struvite stones – Women are more prone to struvite stones, which are caused by certain urinary tract infections that create an alkaline urine environment.
- Cystine stones – This rare type of stone occurs due to a genetic disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids (cystinuria).
Kidney stones are a common problem and are more prevalent in some parts of the world. Most kidney stones do not require surgery and can be treated by drinking fluids, taking medications or having procedures to break up the stones or remove them from the body.
Surprisingly enough, water is the most effective way to combat kidney stones. This is because water dilutes uric acid, which helps prevent it from crystallising in the kidneys and forming stones.
The amount of water you should drink varies depending on who you ask; some doctors say 6-8 glasses per day is sufficient, while others recommend up to 12 glasses a day. One thing everyone agrees on, however, is that you shouldn’t drink less than five glasses a day and no more than three cups of tea or coffee.
2. Avoiding Foods and Drinks That Contribute to Kidney Stones
You can reduce your chances of developing kidney stones by avoiding foods and drinks that are high in oxalates such as chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, nuts, black tea and sweet potatoes. You should also avoid calcium supplements as these can contribute to kidney stone formation.
3. Dietary Changes
Making dietary changes can also prevent kidney stones from forming in the future. For example, if you have calcium oxalate stones you’ll want to consume fewer oxalate-rich foods such as rhubarb and chocolate and eat more low-oxalate foods such as apples and pears;
In many cases, medication is used to treat kidney stones. Medicines may be given to relieve pain or prevent infection. If the stone does not pass on its own, medications can help break it up into smaller pieces which can be passed more easily.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy or ESWL is a non-surgical way to break up stones in the bladder or ureter using ultrasound imaging and shockwaves. You’ll lie on a water-filled cushion while your doctor uses X-rays or ultrasounds to locate the stone. Once it’s been found, we’ll use the shockwaves to destroy it. It may take several weeks for all of the fragments to leave your body, and you may need more than one session.
You should remember that prevention is always better than cure. Besides the above remedies, medical experts also recommend some lifestyle changes to prevent kidney stones. You should avoid dehydration and overhydration, obesity, and of course, drinking plenty of water every day can be helpful in preventing kidney stones.
Takeaway – Life with kidney stones can be difficult, but there are a number of ways to manage the pain.
If your kidney stone symptoms are severe or have not subsided in a few days, it would be wise to consult with a doctor. If you still have questions about kidney stones try asking the best kidney doctor in Noida, Dr Manoj Aggarwal.