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How to get rid of kidney stones effectively

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  • Your doctor might recommend medicines to help remove kidney stones from your body. However, sometimes these drugs can have detrimental side effects
  • You may want to consider natural remedies as a first course of treatment against kidney stones. Good examples include high-quality filtered water, pomegranates and raspberries
  • While surgery can remove kidney stones, your doctor will need to take several factors into consideration first

While it’s possible to pass kidney stones on your own,1 some doctors may recommend that you take medications to help eliminate the stones or alleviate symptoms you may be experiencing.2 However, beware that these prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may have potential negative drawbacks.

Conventional treatments don’t always get the job done

Sometimes your doctor will recommend the following medications to address symptoms of kidney stones, or to help the stones pass.3 However, there are side effects linked to these drugs that could derail your recovery:

  • Pain relievers4 Complications linked to pain relievers include cardiovascular problems,5,6 gastrointestinal bleeding,7 high blood pressure8 and adverse skin reactions.9
  • Diuretics10 According to the Mayo Clinic, diuretics can increase your risk for dizziness, muscle cramps, headaches, dehydration, impotence and even joint disorders like gout.11 Diuretics called thiazides also lower the amount of calcium released into your urine.12 These drugs may also prompt potassium loss, leading to lower citrate levels and possibly, a higher kidney stone risk.13
  • Citric acid, potassium citrate and sodium citrate — The University of Michigan says these medications can trigger numbness in the hands and feet, leg pain or cramps, unusual weakness, dizziness, confusion, severe diarrhea and breathing problems.14
  • Allopurinol15 This treatment may induce vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, headaches,16 joint and muscle pain, rashes, pain while urinating and loss of appetite.17
  • Alpha blockers18 A “first-dose effect” can occur after taking these drugs. Adverse reactions linked to alpha blockers include a drop in blood pressure levels, dizziness and weakness.19
  • Calcium channel blockers20 These drugs can trigger constipation, headaches, dizziness, palpitations, rashes, drowsiness and feet and lower leg swelling.21

Natural ways to dissolve kidney stones

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

  • Water — This may help flush out small kidney stones from your system.22
  • Phyllanthus niruri or chanca piedra — A 2010 Brazilian study noted that this herb helped disrupt kidney stone formation by preventing crystals from sticking together and changing their structure and composition.23 It’s also used to release kidney stones from the body. In fact, this herb’s name means “stone breaker.”24
  • Hydrangea — In one case study, the homeopathic remedy Hydrangea arborescens 30 helped alleviate pain and dissolved an 8 millimeter-long (0.31-inch) kidney stone present in a 59-year-old woman’s body.25
  • Dandelion — Subjects given a dandelion extract reported increased urination frequency. This result highlights dandelion’s potential diuretic ability,26 which may aid in eliminating waste and stone-causing substances from the body.
  • Uva ursi — In this 2008 Pharmacognosy Reviews article, researchers highlighted that when uva ursi is combined with marshmallow root, it may facilitate removal of stones from the kidneys and bladder.27
  • Pomegranates and raspberries — This 2018 International Journal of Molecular Sciences study noted that pomegranates helped prevent kidney stone formation, and that raspberry extract helped expel kidney stones from your urinary tract and inhibited development of stones made from calcium oxalate.28 However, always consume these fruits in moderation to prevent side effects linked to their fructose content.
  • Horsetail29 Authors of an animal study conducted in Turkey discovered that extracts derived from horsetail helped remove kidney stones in guinea pigs.30
  • Holy basil31 According to this 2012 International Journal of Advances in Pharmacy, Biology and Chemistry article, consuming a drink made with holy basil leaves and honey for six months may promote kidney stone expulsion.32

Your last resort for kidney stone treatment

If you can’t pass kidney stones naturally from your body, a kidney stone removal surgery may be suggested. Your doctor will determine the procedure that is appropriate for your condition by checking for these conditions:33

  • Stone size and type
  • Medicines or drugs you’ve been prescribed
  • Other health issue you’re struggling with
  • Personal preference

Any of these four kidney stone removal surgeries can be performed: shockwave lithotripsy (SWL), ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) and open surgery.34 However, you may want to ask your doctor about exhausting all natural options before opting for surgery, and if you do opt for surgery, make sure that you’re familiar with both the risks and benefits 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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