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How to Get Rid of Kidney Stones Effectively

Story at-a-glance

  • 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
  • If you find it difficult to pass kidney stones, consider these natural home remedies to help the stones travel through your system

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.

Diuretics:8 These could cause dizziness, muscle cramps, headaches, dehydration, impotence and joint disorders like gout.9

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.

Lemon juice, olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar: Combine 2 ounces of organic olive oil and 2 ounces of organic lemon juice.

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.

Organic celery: Mixing celery seed into tea or using it to spice your dishes could help inhibit kidney stone formation.

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.

MORE ABOUT KIDNEY STONES

Kidney Stones: Introduction

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney Stones Types

Kidney Stones Causes

Kidney Stones Symptoms

Kidney Stones Prevention

Kidney Stones Duration

Kidney Stones Treatment

Kidney Stones Surgery

Kidney Stones Diet

Kidney Stones FAQ

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Sources and References

  • 1 The Healthline Editorial Team and Marcin, “Passing a Kidney Stone at Home,” Healthline, June 24, 2016
  • 2 “Kidney Stones,” Harvard Health Publication, February 2013
  • 3 Mayo Clinic Staff, “Kidney Stones Treatments and Drugs,” Mayo Clinic, February 26, 2015
  • 4, 16 The Healthline Editorial Team and Kim, “How Kidney Stones Are Treated,” Healthline, September 26, 2015
  • 5 Stöppler and Shiel, “What is the Treatment for Kidney Stones? How Long Does It Take to Pass a Kidney Stone?” MedicineNet, November 4, 2015
  • 6, 19 “Treating Kidney Stones,” NHS Choices, June 15, 2016
  • 7 “Kidney Stones & Symptoms,” HealthEast
  • 8 Simon and Zieve, “Kidney Stones,” University of Maryland Medical Center, August 27, 2012
  • 9 Mayo Clinic Staff, “High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Uses for Diuretics,” Mayo Clinic, June 15, 2016
  • 10 “Kidney Stones In-Depth Report,” The New York Times
  • 11 “What Is Citric Acid Sodium Citrate?” Everyday Health, November 5, 2014
  • 12 Marks, “What Is Allopurinol (Zyloprim)?” Everyday Health, October 17, 2014
  • 13 Mayo Clinic Staff, “High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Uses for Alpha Blockers,” Mayo Clinic, June 15, 2016
  • 14 Mayo Clinic Staff, “High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Uses for Calcium Channel Blockers, Mayo Clinic, June 24, 2016
  • 15 Group, “10 Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones,” Global Healing Center, October 1, 2014
  • 17 Sruthika, “How to Get Rid of Kidney Stones Using Baking Soda,” DIY Remedies, August 3, 2016
  • 18 Ehrlich, “Red Clover,” University of Maryland Medical Center, March 24, 2015
  • 20 “Surgery for Kidney Stones,” Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Urologic Surgery
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