One of the best and easiest ways to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of water.
One of the best and easiest ways to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of water. Generally, health experts recommend drinking about 12 glasses per day to help flush stones out of the urinary system. Sipping water throughout the day will help people stay hydrated and reduce their risk of kidney stone formation.
A few home remedies may help dissolve kidney stones fast. However, these remedies may not work for everyone.
Lemon juice, olive oil, and water:
- Few patients claim success in mixing a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil to help dissolve kidney stones as a home remedy.
- Proponents of this method claim that at the first notice of symptoms, mix one-fourth cup of olive oil with an equal amount of lemon juice.
- Drink this combination straight and then drink a glass of water. Repeat the process late in the afternoon.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, as well as extra lemon juice if possible.
- Lemon juice (vitamin C and acid) could help break down kidney stones, and olive oil helps with the flushing process.
Apple cider vinegar and water:
- Some patients use apple cider vinegar to treat kidney stones.
- The theory behind it is that apple cider vinegar is made of citric acid, which dissolves kidney stones and helps the body pass the stones more easily.
- In addition, apple cider vinegar helps prevent the formation of kidney stones by alkalizing the blood and urine and promoting the production of hydrochloric acid in the body.
- Proponents of this home remedy recommend mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with six to eight ounces of water and drinking the mixture frequently throughout the day, especially before mealtime.
Basil juice and water:
- The acetic acid in basil can help dissolve kidney stones and reduce pain. Consuming one teaspoon of basil extract or pure juice per day may help prevent and treat kidney stones.
Steamed asparagus may help flush out kidney stones through a mild diuretic effect. Some patients may also benefit from celery, cucumber, and watermelon consumption.
- Vazhaithandu (banana stem) juice is a diuretic.
- It helps increase urine production, thereby pushing the stone out.
- Research shows that Vazhaithandu juice can help dissolve urinary and kidney stones. However, there is not enough proof of its efficacy if patients have large stones in their kidneys.
- Most kidney stones cannot be dissolved.
- Some 5 percent of kidney stones are made up of uric acid. These may be dissolved by making the urine alkaline.
- Patients need to take a medicine such as the Ural that will make their urine less acidic because this aids the stone to dissolve.
- Alkalizers can neutralize the acid in the urine, so uric acid crystals become soluble and start to dissolve.
- Struvite stones will require antibiotics and drugs that reduce ammonia in the urine.
- No medicine that can dissolve large stones in humans.
- According to a new study, a class of drugs approved to treat leukemia and epilepsy may also be effective against kidney stones. The drugs are histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Researchers found that these drugs (Vorinostat and trichostatin A) may lower the levels of calcium and magnesium in the urine by dissolving the kidney stone. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy.
When the stone is large and causes enough symptoms, patients should visit a urologist for the best possible treatments. Surgery such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is one of the best treatments to remove stones from the kidneys.
How quickly does Flomax work for kidney stones?
Flomax is the brand name for tamsulosin, which was originally used for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Flomax can also be prescribed to aid in the passage of large kidney stones. It promotes relaxation of the smooth muscles of the ureter, which improves urinary flow and reduces mechanical obstruction created by kidney stones.
Flomax works rapidly and significantly reduces the time it takes to pass stones from the urinary tract within 48 hours of taking the medication. For some people, however, symptoms may take 2-4 weeks to improve.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are the buildup of minerals and salts in the urinary tract and can vary in size and type. They form irregular, solid crystals made of various compounds such as calcium, oxalate, cysteine, and uric acid.
Studies estimate that about 1 in 10 people will get kidney stones during their lifetime.
How to speed up passage of a kidney stone
A kidney stone smaller than 4 millimeters may pass within 1-2 weeks, whereas a stone larger than 4 millimeters may take about 2-3 to pass completely.
The best way to speed up this process is to drink plenty of water. You can also follow these steps to avoid the new stone formation and reduce the size of the existing ones:
- Limit calcium intake
- Decrease protein consumption
- Reduce salt intake
- Eat citrus fruits
- Stay adequately hydrated
Who is most at risk of kidney stones?
Risk factors for kidney stones include:
- Age (people ages 30-40 years are more prone to developing stones)
- Family history of kidney stones
- Not drinking enough water
- Diet rich in sodium
- Diet high in meat, fish, and beans
- Block in the urinary tract (constriction or scar)
- Hypercalciuria (high calcium level in urine)
- Medications such as:
- Medical conditions such as:
What are the signs and symptoms of kidney stones?
You may have kidney stones without even knowing it. They cause symptoms only when they become large or get stuck in the ureter.
Symptoms may include:
How are kidney stones diagnosed?
Based on your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may recommend a few tests to confirm a diagnosis of kidney stones:
- Urine test: Checks for signs of infection
- Blood test: Checks kidney function and biochemical profile
- Imaging tests (X-rays and CT scans): Visualize the shape, size, location, and number of kidney stones
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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2022
Treatment options for kidney stones: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK348939/
How to Pass Kidney Stones Naturally: https://urologyspecialistsnc.com/3-ways-to-pass-kidney-stones
Kidney Stones. Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15604-kidney-stones
Kidney Stone Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & Prevention. American Kidney Fund: https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-problems/kidney-stones/
Kidney Stones. Urology Care Foundation: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/k/kidney-stones