Kidney stone treatment
Kidney stones treatment approach depends on the type of stone, how bad it is, and the length of time you have had symptoms. There are different treatments for kidney stones to choose from. Talking to your healthcare provider about what is best for you is important.
Below are different approaches to treatment for kidney stones:
Medications for kidney stones
Medications for kidney stones represent one of the treatments for kidney stones that have been shown to improve the chance that a stone will pass. The most common medication for kidney stones is tamsulosin. Tamsulosin (Flomax) relaxes the ureter, making it easier for the stone to pass. You may also need pain and anti-nausea medicine as you wait to pass the stone.
Surgery for kidney stones
Surgery for kidney stones is another kidney stone treatment that may be needed to remove a stone from the ureter or kidney if:
- The stone fails to pass.
- The pain is too severe for the stone to pass.
The stone is affecting kidney function. Small stones in the kidney may be left alone if they are not causing pain or infection. Some people choose to have their small stones removed. They do this because they are afraid the stone will unexpectedly start to pass and cause pain.
If kidney stones repeatedly infect the urine or obstruct urine flow from the kidney, surgery should remove them. Today, surgery usually involves small or no incisions (cuts), minor pain, and minimal time off work.
Surgeries to remove stones in the kidneys or ureters are:
Laser surgery for kidney stones
Laser surgery for kidney stones, or laser lithotripsy, is another known treatment for kidney stones. It uses a laser to break the stones into very small pieces. These pieces can be removed during the procedure. Or they may pass out of the body in the urine.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
Percutaneous lithotripsy (PCNL) is the best treatment for large stones in the kidney. General anesthesia is needed to do a PCNL. PCNL involves making a half-inch incision (cut) in the back or side, just large enough to allow a rigid telescope (nephroscope) to be passed into the hollow center part of the kidney where the stone is located.
Other surgery for kidney stones
Kidney surgery is rarely used to remove stones. Open, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery may be used only if all other less invasive procedures fail.
Note: Another treatment for kidney stones that has shown its effectiveness is the natural remedies for kidney stones
What is a kidney stone?
Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives.
The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3.8% in the late 1970s to 8.8% in the late 2000s. The prevalence of kidney stones was 10% during 2013–2014. The risk of kidney stones is about 11% in men and 9% in women. Other diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, may increase the risk of kidney stones.
A kidney stone is a hard object made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in the lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When too much waste is in too little liquid, crystals form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless passed out of the body with the urine. The kidney, which is the body’s chief chemist, typically eliminates these chemicals in the urine. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out, or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing much pain. But stones that don’t move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. This is what causes the pain.
Types of kidney stones
There are four main types of kidney stones:
The most common type of kidney stone occurs when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine. Inadequate calcium, fluid intake, and other conditions may contribute to their formation.
This is another common type of kidney stone. Foods such as organ meats and shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound called purines. High purine intake leads to a higher production of monosodium urate, which, under the right conditions, may form stones in the kidneys. The formation of these types of stones tends to run in families.
These stones are less common and result from upper urinary tract infections.
These stones are rare and tend to run in families.
Causes of kidney stones
Possible causes of kidney stones include drinking too little water, excessive or insufficient exercising (too much or too little), obesity, and weight loss surgery. Eating too much fructose increases the risk of developing a kidney stone. Fructose can be found in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Below are other causes of kidney stones:
Low Urine Volume
A major risk factor for kidney stones is constant low urine volume. Low urine volume may come from dehydration (loss of body fluids) from hard exercise, working or living in a hot place, or not drinking enough fluids. When urine volume is low, urine is concentrated and dark in color. Concentrated urine means there is less fluid to keep salts dissolved. Increasing fluid intake will dilute the salts in your urine. By doing this, you may reduce your risk of stones forming.
Adults who form stones should drink enough fluid to make at least 2.5 liters (⅔ gallon) of urine daily. This will take about 3 liters (100 ounces) of daily fluid intake. While water is likely the best fluid to drink, what matters most is getting enough fluid.
Certain bowel conditions that cause diarrhea (such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) or surgeries (such as gastric bypass surgery) can raise the risk of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. Diarrhea may result in the loss of large amounts of fluid from the body, lowering urine volume. Your body may also absorb excessive oxalate from the intestine, producing more oxalate in your urine. Both low urine volume and high urine oxalate levels can help cause calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
Some medical conditions have an increased risk of kidney stones. Abnormal growth of one or more parathyroid glands, which control calcium metabolism, can cause high calcium levels in the blood and urine. This can lead to kidney stones. Another condition is distal renal tubular acidosis, in which acid buildup in the body can raise the risk of calcium-phosphate kidney stones.
Some rare, inherited disorders can also make certain stones more likely. Examples include cystinuria, which is too much of the amino acid cystine in the urine, and primary hyperoxaluria, in which the liver makes too much oxalate.
A side effect of some medications
Some medications and calcium and vitamin C supplements may increase your risk of forming stones. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider all your medications and supplements, as these could affect your risk of stone formation. Do not stop taking these unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
The chance of having kidney stones is much higher if you have a family history of stones, such as a parent or sibling.
Symptoms of kidney stones
Common symptoms of kidney stones include sharp, cramping pain in the back and sides. This feeling often moves to the lower abdomen or groin. The pain often starts suddenly and comes in waves. It can come and go as the body tries to remove the stone.
Other symptoms of kidney stones include:
- A feeling of intense need to urinate.
- Urinating more often or a burning feeling during urination.
- Urine that is dark or red due to blood. Sometimes urine has only small amounts of red blood cells that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- For men, you may feel pain at the tip of the penis.
The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This leads rapidly to extreme pain. Kidney stones often pass without causing damage, usually not without causing much pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.
Natural remedies for kidney stones
Natural remedies for kidney stones are a natural treatment proven effective with little or no side effects. Below are natural remedies for kidney stones:
Home remedies for kidney stones—the most popular kidney stone treatment
Home remedies for kidney stones are natural and can be easily achieved at home without side effects. Below are some home remedies for kidney stones:
Water is one of the home remedies for kidney stones. When passing a stone, upping your water intake can help speed up the process. Strive for 12 glasses of water per day instead of the usual 8.
You can add freshly squeezed lemons to your water as often. Lemons contain citrate, a chemical that prevents calcium stones from forming. Citrate can also break up small stones, allowing them to easily pass.
Basil contains acetic acid, which helps break down kidney stones and reduce pain. It’s also full of nutrients. This remedy has been used traditionally for digestive and inflammatory disorders.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid helps dissolve kidney stones. Apple cider vinegar can aid in reducing kidney stone pain and flushing out the kidneys. Apple cider vinegar has numerous other health benefits.
A diet for kidney stones is essential to any kidney stone treatment that reduces the risk of recurrence. If they have already had stones, they should follow these main steps:
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit their intake of salt and animal protein
- Restrict foods that contain high levels of oxalates
- Get enough calcium
There is no single diet plan for all types of kidney stones, as they can form due to a buildup of several different minerals in the body. However, many dietitians and doctors specializing in kidney diseases, or nephrologists, recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) for people with kidney stones.
This diet for kidney stones has demonstrated the ability to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation and improve other elements of overall health, such as lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Herbs for kidney stones: an effective and safe kidney stone treatment
The use of herbs for kidney stones is another method of natural treatment that is effective. Listed below are the two most common herbal remedies for kidney stones:
Dandelion root juice
Dandelion root is an herb for kidney stones that helps eliminate waste, increase urine output, and improve digestion. Dandelions have vitamins (A, B, C, D) and potassium, iron, and zinc minerals.
Horsetail is another herbal remedy for kidney stones used to increase urine flow to help flush out kidney stones and soothe swelling and inflammation. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that aid in overall urinary health.
Acupuncture for kidney stones: an ancient Chinese natural kidney stones treatment
Acupuncture for kidney stones is another natural way to treat them. It helps to move energy along the affected acupuncture meridians, which makes you pee, eases strangulation (straining to make even small amounts of urine in spasmodic “dribbles”), and the stones get smaller until they can pass.
Acupuncture for kidney stones mainly increases the flow of Qi energy along the affected acupuncture meridians. This causes the person to urinate, which relieves strangulation (trying to make even small amounts of spasmodic “dribbling” urine), and the kidneys get smaller, which eventually lets stones form.
Applying electric currents to the acupuncture needles can increase the stimulation along the meridian, letting the kidney stones flow down the ureter.
Ear acupuncture, a.k .a. auricular therapy, is more effective for some kidney stones.
Dr. Peter Sheng – a specialist in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology, found in his practice that “acupuncture is a good alternative to the wonderful equipment and technology of modern medicine. Especially for those who don’t respond well at the beginning, those who cannot afford these procedures, and especially those who have constitutional problems, for example, seniors with significant fatigue who may not be good candidates for Western procedures.”
Homeopathy for kidney stones – #1 natural treatment for kidney stones.
Homeopathy for kidney stones is a natural treatment for kidney stones that helps in the passage of stones and in relieving the agonizing pain caused by the same. Below are the most common and effective homeopathic remedies for kidney stones:
Berberis is widely used to treat kidney stones. Additionally, it helps to relieve kidney stone-related abdominal pain. It also helps improve the kidneys’ function and thus helps with treatment.
This homeopathic remedy for kidney stones is ideal when there are sharp, shooting pains. Pain comes suddenly, crampy straining along the ureter, during the passage of calculus. Feverish and excitable.
This homeopathic remedy is used in cases where the patient is suffering from nephritic colic with offensive urine. The urine is dark red in color and has a strong odor. It can smell putrid, urine is thick and clear like water in an alternate way. This homeopathic remedy for kidney stones is used when urine is alternately thick, like pea soup.
This homeopathic remedy for kidney stones is ideal for very large stones. It helps to break them.
Holistic treatment in Philadelphia
Kidney stones require oppressive medical care. Do not treat kidney stones with alternative therapies by yourself. Holistic treatment for kidney stones would be effective and safe only if prescribed and performed under the supervision of a specialist. Alternative therapies can help reduce the risk of recurring episodes and increase the overall vitality of the genitourinary system. Start with the nutritional guidelines for relapse prevention. Herbs and homeopathic remedies can be used for acute pain relief and long-term firming of the urinary tract if used under the guidance of an experienced healthcare professional. Always discuss the herbs and supplements you are taking with your medical provider.
For professional help and natural kidney stone treatment, contact the Philadelphia Homeopathy Clinic and schedule an appointment with Dr. Tsan. Ask which natural treatments are best for you and receive a prescription.
Contact our clinic at (267) 403-3085 or scan the QR code below for an appointment.