Home remedies for Kidney Stone

Overview

Our kidney is a very crucial part of our body. It is main excretory organ of our body. It is the main regulatory organ of our body.

Every year around 22.1 million peole diagnosed with kidney stones, while around 16,100 people lost their kidneys or they got kidney failure. Between 1% and 15% of people globally are affected by kidney stones at some point in their lives.

They have become more common in the Western world since the 1970s. Generally, more men are affected than women. Kidney stones have affected humans throughout history with descriptions of surgery to remove them dating from as early as 600 BC.

Kidney stones affect all geographical, cultural, and racial groups. The lifetime risk is about 10-15% in the developed world, but can be as high as 20-25% in the Middle East. The increased risk of dehydration in hot climates, coupled with a diet 50% lower in calcium and 250% higher in oxalates compared to Western diets, accounts for the higher net risk in the Middle East. In the Middle East, uric acid stones are more common than calcium-containing stones. The number of deaths due to kidney stones is estimated at 19,000 per year being fairly consistent between 1990 and 2010.

History

The first kidney case was recorded in thousands of years ago. The “lithotomy” for the removal of kidney stones is one of the earliest known surgical procedure.

In 1901, a stone discovered in the pelvis of an ancient Egyptian mummy was dated to 4,800 BC.

There are a lot of ancient cultures in the world like;- Mesopotamia, india, china, percia, Greece and Rome etc.

During researches, archaeologists found different types of medical texts from these ancient sites. Medical texts from Mesopotamia, india, china, percia, Greece and Rome all have mentioned the “Calculous disease”.

Part of the Hippocratic Oath suggests there were practicing surgeons in ancient Greece to whom physicians were to defer for lithotomies. The Roman medical treatise De Medicina by Aulus Cornelius Celsus contained a description of lithotomy. The Roman medical treatise De Medicina by Aulus Cornelius Celsus contained a description of lithotomy, and this work served as the basis for this procedure until the 18th century.

Here is examples of some great historical people that had kidney stones;-

 Napoleon I, Epicurus, Napoleon III, Peter the Great, Louis XIV, George IV, Oliver Cromwell, Lyndon B. Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, Michel de Montaigne, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Samuel Pepys, William Harvey, Herman Boerhaave, and Antonio Scarpthe.

Mortality rate dropped from about 24% to 2.4%. However, other treatment techniques continued to produce a high level of mortality, especially among inexperienced urologists. In 1980, Dornier MedTech introduced extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for breaking up stones via acoustical pulses, and this technique has since come into widespread In 1980. Dornier MedTech introduced extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for breaking up stones via acoustical pulses, and this technique has since come into widespread use.

Epidemiology

Since, Kidney stones are present among us  for a very ancient times, so its epidemiology is very important to know.

So let’s know it’s epidemiology;-

In North America and Europe, the annual number of new cases per year of kidney stones is roughly 0.5%. In the United States, the frequency in the population of urolithiasis has increased from 3.2% to 5.2% from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s.

The United States, about 9% of the population has had a kidney stone. The total cost for treating urolithiasis was US $2 billion in 2003. About 65–80% of those with kidney stones are men; most stones in women are due to either metabolic defects (such as cystinuria) or infections in the case of struvite stones.Urinary tract calculi disorders are more common in men than in women. Men most commonly experience their first episode between 30 and 40 years of age, whereas for women, the age at first presentation is somewhat later. The age of onset shows a bimodal distribution in women, with episodes peaking at 35 and 55 years. Recurrence rates are estimated at 50% over a 10-year and 75% over 20-year period, with some people experiencing ten or more episodes over the course of a lifetime. A 2010 review concluded that rates of disease are increasing.

Know your kidney

The kidney is a bean shaped organ found in vertebrates. There are two kidneys found in human and all the animals.

The kidneys are most important part of the body. The Ancient Egyptians left only the brain and kidneys in position before embalming a body, inferring that the held a higher value.

In this article, we will look at the structure and function of the kidneys and how to keep the kidneys healthy.

Structure of kidney

Kidney Stone
Source: CDC

Kidney present at the back of the abdominal cavity. Which sitting on each side of the spine. The right kidney is generally slightly smaller and lower than the left, to make space for the liver.

Each kidney weighs 125–170 grams (g) in males and 115–155 g in females.

A tough, fibrous renal capsule surrounds each kidney. Beyond that, two layers of fat serve as protection. The adrenal glands lay on top of the kidneys.

Inside the kidneys are a number of pyramid-shaped lobes. Each consists of an outer renal cortex and an inner renal medulla. Nephrons flow between these sections. These are the urine-producing structures of the kidneys.

Blood enters the kidneys through the renal arteries and leaves through the renal veins. The kidneys are relatively small organs but receive 20–25 % of the heart’s output. Each kidney excretes urine through a tube called the ureter that leads to the bladder.

Function of the kidney

The main role of the kidney is to excrete out waste material of body and maintain homeostasis.

This means they manage fluid levels, electrolyte balance, and other factors that keep the internal environment of the body consistent and comfortable.

They serve a wide range of functions. So let’s know the importance functions of the kidney;-

Excretion of waste material

The kidneys remove a number of waste products and get rid of them in the urine. The following major compounds that the kidneys remove are:-

  • Urea, which results from the breakdown of proteins.
  • Uric acid from the breakdown of nucleic acids.
  • Harmful ammonia and ammonia material.

Reabsorption of  nutrients and useful elements

The kidneys reabsorb nutrients from the blood and transport them to where they would best support health.

They also reabsorb other products to help maintain homeostasis.

Reabsorbed products include:

• Glucose

• Amino acids

• Bicarbonate

• Sodium

• Water

• Phosphate

• Chloride, sodium, magnesium, and potassium ions

Maintains the pH of our body

The pH of human body should be between 7.38-7.42. As we know that the pH level below than 7 is acid medium, and pH level above than 7 is base medium.

In medical, high acid condition is called acidemia and high alkali condition is called alkalemia.

Outside this range, proteins and enzymes break down and can no longer function. In extreme cases, this can be fatal.

The kidneys and lungs help keep a stable pH within the human body. The lungs achieve this by moderating the concentration of carbon dioxide.

The kidneys manage the pH through two processes:-

Reabsorbing and regenerating the bi- carbonate ion from urine:-  Bi-carbonate is a base so it nutralizes acid. If pH is tolerable, the kidney retains it and if pH level rises, acid condition occurs and then kidney releases it.

Excretion of hydrogen ion:- Fixed or nonvolatile acids are any acids that do not occur as a result of carbon dioxide. They result from the incomplete metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They include lactic acid, sulfuric acid, and phosphoric acid. Excess of acids can cause “hyperacidity”. Which can cause severe ulcers in stomach and other parts of the stomach. So the excretion of these materials is essential. By any reasons, if these materials can not excrete out then kidney stones, gastric cancer and other severe condition can occur.

Our kidney excrete out these acids and materials. Also our kidneys keeps the maintenance of our pH level so that the conditions like hyperacidity or hyperalkalemia can not produce.

Maintains body electrolyte balance

“Electrolytes are the elements that is necessary to keep our body fluids in level.”

So to maintain our body electrolyte balance is necessary.  If body electrolyte ratio increases in the blood plasma then the hypothalamus in the brain responds by passing a message to the pituitary gland. This, in turn, releases antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

In response to ADH, the kidney makes a number of changes, including;-

• Increasing urine concentration.

• Increasing water reabsorption.

• Reopening portions of the collecting duct that water cannot normally enter, allowing water back into the body.

• Retaining urea in the medulla of the kidney rather than excreting it, as it draws in water.

Regulation of blood pressure

The kidney regulates the blood pressure by excreting out the excess sodium, potassium or calcium materials.The kidneys regulate blood pressure when necessary, but they are responsible for slower adjustments.

They adjust long-term pressure in the arteries by causing changes in the fluid outside of cells. The medical term for this fluid is extracellular fluid.

These fluid changes occur after the release of a vasoconstrictor called angiotensin II. Vasoconstrictors are hormones that cause blood vessels to narrow.

They work with other functions to increase the kidneys’ absorption of sodium chloride, or salt. This effectively increases the size of the extracellular fluid compartment and raises blood pressure.

Anything that alters blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time, including excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity.

Secretion of active compounds

The kidneys release a number of important compounds, including:

Erythropoietin:- This controls erythropoiesis, or the production of red blood cells. The liver also produces erythropoietin, but the kidneys are its main producers in adults.

Renin:-This helps manage the expansion of arteries and the volume of blood plasma, lymph, and interstitial fluid. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells, which support immune activity, and interstitial fluid is the main component of extracellular fluid.

Calcitriol:- This is the hormonally active metabolite of vitamin D. It increases both the amount of calcium that the intestines can absorb and the reabsorption of phosphate in the kidney.

How to maintain our kidney health?

To maintaining the health of the kidney you just need to follow the following tips;-

Eat a balanced diet:- Many kidney problems result from high blood pressure and diabetes. As a result, maintaining a healthy diet can prevent several common causes of kidney disease.

Balanced diet includes a plate which is full of vitamins,fiber, proteins, good cholesterol, energy, enough carbohydrates, minerals and elements”.

Do exercise and yoga daily:- According to WHO, Spend 30 minutes daily  on gym or home exercises, there will be less chances to spend the half time of life on hospital bed.

  • Exercising for 30 minutes every day can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and obesity, both of which put pressure on kidney health.

• Drink plenty of water:- Water keeps kidney healthy and for the properly working of the kidney, drinking water is most important. Our body is made up 70% of water. Deficiency of water can be lead to imbalance in the electrolytes and results the failure of kidney. The biggest risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough fluids. Kidney stones are more likely to occur if you make less than 1 liter (32 ounces) of urine a day.

  • Fluid intake is important, especially water. Around 6 to 8 cups per day can help improve and maintain kidney health.

Protien supplements and steriods:- Many people use protien and steriod supplements for boosting up the stamina and health. That is like the poison for kidney. Be careful when taking supplements, as not all dietary supplements and vitamins are beneficial. Some can harm the kidneys if a person takes too many.

Cut off the alcohol:- Consuming more than one drink per day can harm the kidneys and impair renal function.

Smoking:- Every smoking material has “Tobacco”. Tobacco is the reason of many deaths in india due to smoking. Tobacco smoke restricts blood vessels. Without adequate blood supply, the kidneys will not be able to complete their normal work.

“Do you know, that if someone is using cigarettes then the smoke of cigarette will affect 82% in the sorrounding people , no matter they use cigarettes or not.”

Over the counter drugs:- You need to know about over the counter drugs for better understanding of their harmful effects.

“Over the counter drugs are the drugs that can use without any doctor or physician prescription”.

  • Over the counter drugs are included many commonly used drugs such as;- Pain reliever drugs, fever reliever drugs, cough suppressants like codeine, dextromethorphan and anti- histaminic drugs.
  • Overusing OTC drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can damage the kidneys.

Kidney stones

Kidney stone is very common disease. According to reports, every 5th person is suffering from kidney stones. It is also known as “Nephrolithiasis” or “renal calculi” .

So let’s know about kidney stones;-

“A kidney stone is a solid mass made up of tiny crystals. One or more stones can be in the kidney or ureter at the same time.”

If you ever have severe pain in your belly or one side of your back that comes and goes suddenly, you may be passing a kidney stone. Let’s talk about the painful condition of kidney stones. A kidney stone is a mass of tiny crystals in your kidney or urinary tract. Stones are quite common, and tend to run in families. They can form in weeks or months when your urine contains too much of certain substances. There are several kinds of kidney stones. Calcium stones are by far the most common kind. They often form in men between the ages of 20 to 30. Calcium can combine with other substances found in your food, like oxalate, phosphate, or carbonate, to form stones. Cystine stones can form in people who have cystinuria, a condition passed down through families in which stones are made from an amino acid called cystine. Struvite stones are found mostly in women who have urinary tract infections. These stones can grow very large and can block the kidney, ureter, or bladder. Uric acid stones are more common in men than in women. They can occur in people who have a history of gout or are going through chemotherapy. So, how do you know if you have kidney stones? Well, you may not have symptoms until the stone move down the ureter tubes through which urine empties into your bladder. When this happens, the stones can block the flow of urine out of your kidneys. The main symptom is severe sharp pain that starts suddenly, usually in your belly or one side of your back, and it may go away just as quickly. Other symptoms can include abnormal urine color, blood in your urine, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. So, what do you do about kidney stones? Well, your health care provider will perform a physical exam. You may need blood tests, kidney function tests, and tests that look for crystals in your urine. Several imaging tests, like a CT scan, can see stones or a blockage in your urinary tract. Treatment will depend on the type of stone you have, and how bad your symptoms are. Small kidney stones that are less than 5 mm in diameter will usually pass on their own. You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to produce a large enough amount of urine to help bring the stone out. Pain can be pretty bad when you pass a kidney stone, so your doctor may prescribe pain medicines to help as well as medications that will help the stone pass. Other medicines can decrease stone formation or help break down and remove the material that is causing you to make stones. You may need surgery if the stone is too large to pass, the stone is growing, or the stone is blocking your urine flow. Kidney stones are painful, but you can usually pass them without causing permanent harm. However, kidney stones often come back, so you and your doctor will need to work on finding the cause of your stone. Lastly, delaying treatment can lead to serious complications, so if you think that you have kidney stones see your doctor right away.

Kidney stones symptoms

You may not have symptoms until the stones move down the tubes (ureters) through which urine empties into your bladder. When this happens, the stones can block the flow of urine out of the kidneys. There are a lot of symptoms, if you have any of following please see your doctor right away:-

• The main symptom is severe pain that starts and stops suddenly.

• Pain may move to the groin area (groin pain), testicles (testicle pain) in men, and labia (vaginal pain) in women.

Other symptoms includes;-

• Abnormal urine color

• Blood in the urine

• Chills

• Fever

• Nausea and vomiting

Kidney stones causes

Kidney stones are common. Some types run in families. They often occur in premature infants.

There are different types of kidney stones. The cause of the problem depends on the type of stone.

Stones can form when urine contains too much of certain substances that form crystals. These crystals can develop into stones over weeks or months.

There are following possible and known causes of kidney stones which we are going to discuss below;-

Calcium stones:- Calcium stones are most common. They are most likely to occur in men between ages 20 to 30. Calcium can combine with other substances to form the stone.

Calcium Oxalates crystals:-  Oxalate is the most common of these. Oxalate is present in certain foods such as spinach. It is also found in vitamin C supplements. Diseases of the small intestine increase your risk for these stones.

Note:- Calcium stones can also form from combining with phosphate or carbonate.

Other types of stones include:

Cysteine stones:- They can be form in people who have cystinuria. This disorder runs in families. It affects both men and women.

Struvite stones:- They are mostly found in men or women who have repeated urinary tract infections. These stones can grow very large and can block the kidney, ureter, or bladder.

Uric acid stones:- They are more common in men than in women. They can occur with gout or chemotherapy.

Other substances, such as certain medicines, also can form stones.

Home remedies for kidney stones

The following are some simple natural remedies that may help soothe the discomfort of kidney stones and speed up the body’s natural healing process.

Lemon water:-

According to some reports and researches, lemons tend to have a high concentration of citrate; consuming dilute lemon juice or unsweetened lemonade daily may decrease the rate of stone formation. Ms Jyoti Bhat, Senior Dietician, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai agrees, ” lemon juice is slightly acidic in nature and is high in citrate.  Citrate works to avoid the formation of calcium crystals which could lead to kidney stone formation. Also drinking lots of fluid in form of lime juice or any home-made fruit juice is helpful remove small stones from the body in many cases.”

A fresh glass of lemon juice is also good for digestion, detoxing the liver, weight loss, faster metabolism and diabetes management. Lemon juice is indeed a healing potion if consumed in moderation.

Lemon has a chemical called citrate, that prevents calcium stones formation.”

It also helps to break stones in small particles, so that they pass quickly.

A great deal of lemon can prevent the initiation of formation kidney stones and if kidney stones has formed then lemon juice have power to break them down in many small particles so they can assist to pass them easily from bladder and urethra.

Ways to use lemon juice as home remedies for kidney stones:- Add 2 tablespoons of organic olive oil with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Dose:- Drink it straight and follow with a 12 ounce glass of purified water. Wait 30 minutes. Then, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into 12 ounces of purified water, add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and drink. Repeat the lemon juice, water and apple cider vinegar recipe every hour until symptoms improve.

Basil juice

A kidney tonifier, basil tea can be taken throughout the day for overall kidney health.

The holy basil, which is known for its various medicinal properties is one of the best kidney stone treatment at home. Medical experts suggest that some of the compounds found in basil leaves can stabilize the uric acid levels in the body, which hinders the formation of stones. Also, the acetic acid content of the basil leaves is known to dissolve the stones.

Acetic acid  also breaks down the stones into many small particles. It also helps to reduce pain. Basil juice have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help to maintain kidney health.

Ways to use basil juice for kidney stones:- Use basil leaves to make a tea and drink many cups of this tea.

Caution ️:-  Basil juice should not be use for more than 6 weeks at a time. Extended use may lead to;-

  1.  Low blood sugar level.
  2. Low blood pressure.
  3. Excess bleeding.

Kidney beans

The shape of this bean may be indicative of its healing potential. An effective urinary home remedy for kidney stones, traditionally the pods were used as a medicinal tonic.

The kidney beans are known to be a rich source of magnesium, which is an important element that reduces the symptoms of kidney stones. It also improves the overall functioning of the kidney and the urinary system

Ways to use kidney beans:-  Try removing the beans from inside the pods, and then boil the pods in purified hot water for six hours. This liquid can be strained through cheese cloth, cooled and taken throughout the day for one day to ease kidney stone pain.

• You can use the kidney beans to either make a soup or broth and drink it throughout the day to ease the pain.

Pomegranate juice

We’ve all heard that pomegranates have many health benefits. But, more specifically, the seeds and juice of pomegranates can be considered another natural remedy for kidney stones. This may be related to their sourness and astringent properties.

It has been used for centuries for a good kidney health. It flushes stones and other toxins from body. It is also a good anti-oxidant which prevents kidney stones from developing and helps to keep our kidney healthy.

It also lowers urine’s acidity level. Low urine’s acidity level reduces the chances of risk of kidney stones in future.

Ways to use pomegranate juice :-

• Eat whole pomegranate.

• Also take pomegranate as pomegranate juice.

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