Doctors recommend passing kidney stones at home,1 especially if they are small enough to move through the kidneys, ureters and bladder.2 Most of the time, physicians would recommend taking medications to help dissolve and eliminate the stones from the body.
But beware that these prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may have potential negative drawbacks on kidney stone patients.
Conventional Treatments Don’t Get the Job Done
These medicines are usually recommended to treat slight discomfort when kidney stones move, or to help the stones pass. But side effects linked with these treatments could derail your recovery:3,4,5,6
✓ Pain relievers: Numerous studies uncovered a laundry list of complications: cardiovascular and kidney problems, gastrointestinal bleeding, hypertension, impaired cognitive function and adverse skin reactions.
✓ Opioids, particularly morphine:7 Opioids like morphine are linked to increased drug abuse and addiction, slower breathing and even death.
Low doses of diuretics called thiazides may lower the amount of calcium the kidneys release into the urine and prompt potassium loss, leading to lower citrate levels and a higher kidney stone risk.10
✓ Citric acid and sodium citrate:11 Side effects include numbness in the hands and feet, leg pain or cramps, unusual weakness, dizziness, confusion, severe diarrhea and rapid and shallow breathing.
✓ Allopurinol: This treatment may induce vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, headaches, muscle pain, skin rashes, joint pain, flu symptoms, pain or bleeding while urinating and loss of appetite.12
✓ Alpha blockers: A “first-dose effect” is common among those who take alpha blockers. People experience low blood pressure levels and dizziness, and may faint when rising from a sitting or lying position.13
Other side effects include headaches, weight gain, pounding heartbeat, weakness and dizziness.
✓ Calcium channel blockers: These may trigger constipation, headaches, dizziness, palpitations, rashes, drowsiness and swelling in the feet and lower legs.14
Natural Ways to Dissolve Kidney Stones
If you find it difficult to pass kidney stones, consider these natural home remedies to help the stones travel through your system:15
✓ Water: This flushes out small kidney stones from your system. Strive to drink at least 2 to 3 quarts of water daily, or until your urine turns a light yellow color.16
✓ Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda: Add baking soda to a 10-ounce glass of lukewarm water, stir well and drink two to three times a day to treat kidney stones.17
You can also mix baking soda and 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. Wait for the fizz to disappear before drinking the concoction. You should take this two to three times daily to dissolve the stones.
✓ Red clover: This wild plant18 is a known diuretic that helps with kidney waste removal.
✓ Phyllanthus niruri or Chanca Piedra: This herb disrupts kidney stone formation by preventing crystals from sticking together and changing their structure and composition.
It’s also used to break kidney stones. In fact, this herb’s name means “stone breaker.”
✓ Hydrangea root: Native Americans used this as a kidney stone remedy.
✓ Marshmallow root: It’s a natural diuretic that assists with treating urinary tract infections, kidney stones and bladder infections.
✓ Juniper berries: Apart from treating kidney and/or bladder stones, juniper boosts kidney function.
However, pregnant women and people with kidney infections must avoid juniper berries. Also, juniper berries shouldn’t be consumed continuously for more than four weeks.
Drink this mixture straight, follow by a 12-ounce glass of purified water and wait for 30 minutes.
Then, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into 12 ounces of purified water, add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and drink. Drink this once every hour until symptoms improve.
✓ Dandelion root: A 500 milligram dose of dandelion root taken twice a day could help dissolve kidney stones.
✓ Uva Ursi: A common folk remedy for kidney stones, Uva Ursi combats infection in the kidneys, cleanses the urinary tract and helps alleviate pain.
✓ Pomegranate juice: The sourness and astringent properties in organic pomegranates and/or freshly squeezed juice make these a good kidney stone remedy.
✓ Kidney beans: Remove beans from the pods and boil these in purified hot water for six hours.
Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth and let cool. Drink this throughout the day to relieve kidney stone pain.
✓ Horsetail: Drink three to four cups of horsetail tea or 2 grams of horsetail capsules daily to help treat kidney stones.
✓ Basil: Combine a teaspoon of basil juice with raw honey and drink every day for six months to dissolve the stones.
Your Last Resort for Kidney Stone Treatment
If kidney stones still haven’t been released from the body because they are too big (around 6 to 7 millimeters in diameter or larger)19, your last resort is a kidney stone removal surgery. Your doctor will determine the procedure that is appropriate for your condition by checking for these conditions:20
• Size and type of stone
• Patient’s medication/s
• Patient’s medical problem/s
• Patient preference
Any of these four kidney stone removal surgeries can be performed: shockwave lithotripsy (SWL), ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) and open surgery. However, make sure you exhaust all natural options before opting for surgery, and make sure that you’re familiar with the potential effects of these procedures.