If you have kidney stones then do these things
If you have kidney stones then do these things

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The formation of kidney stones occurs when certain substances in urine, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated and crystallize. These stones can cause severe pain and complications if they obstruct the urinary tract. Understanding what kidney stones are is the first step in managing and preventing them effectively.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Intense Pain

One of the hallmark symptoms of kidney stones is intense pain. This pain typically starts suddenly and is often described as one of the worst pains imaginable. It usually begins in the back or side, just below the ribs, and can radiate to the lower abdomen and groin. The pain can come in waves, fluctuating in intensity, and is often accompanied by restlessness as the body attempts to pass the stone.

Nausea and Vomiting

The severe pain caused by kidney stones can also lead to nausea and vomiting. This is the body’s reaction to the intense discomfort and stress of passing a stone. Managing these symptoms is crucial, as they can exacerbate dehydration and further complicate the condition.

Urinary Issues

Kidney stones can cause a variety of urinary issues. You may experience a frequent need to urinate, a persistent urge to urinate even after emptying your bladder, or pain during urination. Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is also common. This can make the urine appear pink, red, or brown. These symptoms are indicators that a stone is moving through the urinary tract, potentially causing damage and irritation.

Immediate Actions to Take

Stay Hydrated

One of the most effective immediate actions you can take is to increase your water intake. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out the kidneys, diluting substances in the urine that can form stones. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, but more may be necessary if you are in a hot climate or physically active. Hydration can help small stones pass more quickly and reduce the risk of new stones forming.

Pain Management

Managing the pain associated with kidney stones is essential for maintaining comfort and quality of life. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen can be effective. These medications help reduce inflammation and provide relief from the intense pain. Always follow the dosage instructions and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about medication interactions or side effects.

Seek Medical Help

If you experience unbearable pain, have a fever, or notice blood in your urine, seek medical help immediately. These symptoms could indicate complications that require prompt medical intervention. Your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger pain medications, perform diagnostic tests such as a CT scan or ultrasound, and recommend treatments to facilitate the passing of the stone or to remove it.

Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

A popular home remedy for kidney stones is a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Lemons contain citric acid, which can help break down calcium-based stones and prevent new ones from forming. Olive oil acts as a lubricant, easing the passage of the stone through the urinary tract. Mix four tablespoons of lemon juice with four tablespoons of olive oil and drink this mixture, followed by a large glass of water. Repeat this remedy a few times a day until the stone passes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another natural remedy that can help dissolve kidney stones. It contains acetic acid, which can break down the stones and alleviate pain. Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and drink this solution several times a day. This remedy not only helps in managing kidney stones but also promotes overall kidney health.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is beneficial for kidney health and can help prevent the formation of stones. It contains antioxidants that support kidney function and reduce the risk of stone formation. Drink a glass of pomegranate juice daily to maintain healthy kidneys and potentially dissolve small stones.

Dietary Changes to Prevent Future Stones

Reduce Sodium Intake

High sodium intake can increase the amount of calcium in your urine, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Reducing your sodium intake can help lower this risk. Aim to limit your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams. This means avoiding processed foods, salty snacks, and restaurant meals that are often high in sodium.

Eat More Calcium-Rich Foods

While it might seem counterintuitive, consuming an adequate amount of calcium can actually help prevent kidney stones. A low-calcium diet can lead to higher levels of oxalate, which can form stones. Include calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods in your diet. Aim to get your calcium from food rather than supplements, as supplements can increase the risk of stones.

Limit Oxalate-Rich Foods

Oxalates can bind with calcium in the urine to form kidney stones. Reducing your intake of oxalate-rich foods can help prevent this. Foods high in oxalates include spinach, beets, nuts, chocolate, and sweet potatoes. Instead, focus on a balanced diet with moderate amounts of these foods and plenty of water to help flush oxalates out of your system.

Lifestyle Changes to Consider

Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity is beneficial for overall health and can help reduce the risk of kidney stones. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, which is important as obesity can increase the risk of kidney stones. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, most days of the week.

Manage Your Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for preventing kidney stones. Excess weight can lead to changes in the urinary tract that promote stone formation. Combine a balanced diet with regular exercise to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This not only reduces the risk of kidney stones but also improves overall health.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for kidney health. Always carry a water bottle with you and make a habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day. Drinking enough water helps dilute the substances in urine that can form stones and ensures your kidneys function properly.

Medical Treatments for Kidney Stones

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

ESWL is a non-invasive procedure used to treat kidney stones. It uses shock waves to break the stones into smaller pieces that can be passed through the urine. This procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and can be effective for stones located in the kidney or upper ureter. ESWL is usually recommended for stones that are too large to pass on their own or causing significant pain.


Ureteroscopy is a procedure where a small scope is passed through the urethra and bladder into the ureter to remove the stone. It is usually performed under general anesthesia. The scope allows the doctor to see the stone and remove it with a small basket or break it into smaller pieces using a laser. Ureteroscopy is effective for stones located in the lower urinary tract and is a minimally invasive option with a high success rate.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a surgical procedure used to remove larger kidney stones. A small incision is made in your back to access the kidney, and the stone is removed directly. This procedure is typically used for stones that are too large to be treated with ESWL or ureteroscopy. It requires a hospital stay and has a longer recovery time but is very effective for large or complex stones.


Certain medications can help prevent the formation of kidney stones or assist in their dissolution. These include diuretics, which help remove excess water and salts from the body, phosphate solutions, which reduce calcium levels in urine, and allopurinol, which lowers uric acid levels. Your doctor will prescribe these medications based on the type of kidney stones you have and your overall health.

Natural Supplements for Kidney Health

Chanca Piedra

Chanca piedra, also known as the "stone breaker," is a popular herbal remedy for kidney stones. It is believed to help break down stones and prevent their formation. Chanca piedra can be taken as a tea, tincture, or supplement. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new herbal remedy to ensure it is safe for you.


Magnesium supplements can help prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Magnesium helps regulate the amount of calcium in the body and reduces the risk of stone formation. Foods rich in magnesium, such as leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains, can also be included in your diet. Consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement to determine the appropriate dosage for you.

Citrate Supplements

Citrate can help prevent the formation of kidney stones by binding with calcium in the urine and preventing it from forming crystals. Citrate supplements, such as potassium citrate, can be effective in reducing the risk of stones. Drinking lemon or lime juice, which is high in citrate, can also be beneficial. Consult with your doctor to determine the best way to incorporate citrate into your diet.

Understanding the Different Types of Kidney Stones

Calcium Stones

Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones and are usually made of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. Factors such as high oxalate levels, low fluid intake, and high calcium excretion can contribute to the formation of these stones. Managing your diet and staying hydrated are key strategies for preventing calcium stones.

Struvite Stones

Struvite stones are less common and usually form in response to a urinary tract infection. They can grow quickly and become quite large. Treating the underlying infection and maintaining good urinary health are essential for preventing struvite stones. Antibiotics and sometimes surgery are required to manage these stones.

Uric Acid Stones

Uric acid stones form when urine is consistently acidic. This can happen in people who don’t drink enough fluids, lose too much fluid, consume a high-protein diet, or have gout. To prevent uric acid stones, it is important to stay hydrated, reduce protein intake, and sometimes take medications to alkalize the urine.

Cystine Stones

Cystine stones form in people with a hereditary disorder called cystinuria, which causes the kidneys to excrete too much of the amino acid cystine. These stones are less common but can be challenging to treat. Maintaining a high fluid intake and taking medications to reduce cystine levels in the urine are crucial strategies for managing cystine stones.

Prevention is Key

Regular Check-Ups

Regular medical check-ups can help detect kidney stones early, making treatment easier and more effective. Your doctor can monitor your kidney health, perform urine tests, and provide guidance on preventing stones. Early detection and intervention can prevent complications and improve outcomes.

Healthy Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet with appropriate amounts of calcium, low sodium, and low oxalates can prevent stone formation. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support overall kidney health. Avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks is also beneficial.


Keeping a water bottle with you at all times and making a habit of drinking water regularly can prevent kidney stones. Adequate hydration dilutes the substances in urine that can form stones, reducing the risk of stone formation. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, more if you are active or live in a hot climate.

When to See a Doctor

Severe Pain

If you experience severe pain that doesn’t go away, it’s time to see a doctor. Persistent or intense pain can indicate complications that require medical attention. Your doctor can perform diagnostic tests and recommend appropriate treatments to manage the pain and address the underlying issue.

Fever and Chills

Fever and chills could be signs of an infection, which requires immediate medical attention. Infections can complicate kidney stones and lead to serious health issues. Seek medical help if you have a fever, chills, or other signs of infection.

Blood in Urine

If you notice blood in your urine, seek medical help immediately. Hematuria can be a sign of kidney stones or other urinary tract issues that need to be addressed. Your doctor can perform tests to determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatments. Kidney stones can be incredibly painful and disruptive, but with the right actions and lifestyle changes, you can manage the symptoms and prevent future stones from forming. Always stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet, and seek medical advice when needed. By taking proactive steps, you can protect your kidney health and reduce the risk of kidney stones.

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