A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney. A stone can get stuck as it leaves the kidney. It can lodge in one of your two ureters (the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder), the bladder, or the urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside your body).
Kidney stones may be the size of sand or gravel, as large as a pearl, or even larger. A stone can block the flow of your urine and cause great pain. A stone may also break loose and travel through your urinary tract all the way out of your body without causing too much pain.
There are four major types of kidney stones:
Kidney stones are small deposits of minerals that form inside your kidneys. Passage of a kidney stone is one of the most painful conditions. Depending on the location, size of your kidney stone and other symptoms, a very small stone may need nothing more than drinking plenty of water to flush it out. Medications can be given for the pain. In severe cases, surgery may be advised.
A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, you may experience these signs and symptoms:
Pain caused by a kidney stone may change, for instance, shifting to a different location or increasing in intensity — as the stone moves through your urinary tract.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs and symptoms that worry you.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
Kidney stones form when certain chemicals become concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. The crystals grow into larger masses (stones), which can make their way through the urinary tract. If the stone gets stuck somewhere and blocks the flow of urine, it causes pain.
Most stones occur when calcium combines with one of two substances oxalate or phosphorous. Stones can also form from uric acid, which forms as the body metabolizes protein.
Kidney stones have a number of unpleasant side effects.
Renal colic is an excruciating pain that develops when a kidney stone passes through the ureter. It is typically a sharp, cramp-like pain that develops on one side of the back and radiates around to the abdomen. It sometimes spreads into the groin area as well. This severe pain may be accompanied by a burning or urgency during urination, nausea and vomiting, or blood in the urine.
As the stone passes through the ureter, it may block the passage of urine from the kidney to the bladder. This back up of urine is called obstruction, and it may occur without any pain. Usually, the kidney blockage is only temporary and is relieved as the kidney stone passes through. If the blockage persists, it may lead to infection or kidney failure.
Kidney stones can cause infection, particularly if the stone is blocking the flow of urine. Fever, often with flank pain, is a sign of potential kidney infection. Kidney infections can be very dangerous and must be treated right away. Intravenous antibiotics and placement of a tube to drain the blocked kidney will help the kidney infection to resolve safely. Some stones, called struvite stones, are actually caused by kidney infections and require a different treatment strategy.
Kidney stones occasionally cause kidney failure. Stones that are larger, stones that cause blockages or infection, and stones that recur frequently are all more likely to cause develop this very serious complication. For this reason, it is important to follow doctor’s recommendations aimed at preventing future stone formation.
A common complication of kidney stone formation is recurrence of stones over time. As stones continue to form, the likelihood of more side effects increases. A proper diagnosis of the cause of the stone formation will lead to a more effective prevention of recurrent stones.
Homeopathy has very good scope in kidney stones which do not need surgical intervention. It not only helps to relieve the pain in a sudden episode but homoeopathic medicines for kidney stones also prevents the recurrence of renal stone. An experienced homeopathic doctor is best suited to study your case and select specific homoepathic medicine for your kidney stone. Here are some commonly used homeopathic medicines for the treatment of kidney stones that can give you relief from kidney stones and pain caused by them.
This remedy is indicated when the stone is in the left kidney or left ureter (the tube which carries urine from the kidney to our bladder). The patient is very sensitive to the slightest jarring motion and avoids making any movement. The pains radiate down into the bladder and even extending into the legs. The urine has thick mucus and red sediments.
This remedy is indicated when there is scalding pain as the urine is passed. There is a constant desire to urinate, sometimes even minutes after having emptied one’s bladder. The urine is passed drop by drop. Sometimes, there may be cutting pain in the entire kidney region. The urine is jelly like, shreddy and bloody.
Lycopodium is an excellent homeopathic remedy for kidney stones especially when the stone is on the right side. The pain is experienced more in the back region and is worse before passing urine and stops after the flow of urine. The urine is very slow and the patient has to strain to pass the urine. Patients suffering from kidney stones which are seen as red sand in the urine are greatly benefited by this homeopathic remedy.
This remedy relieves kidney stone pains when there is severe pain at the end of urination. The pain goes from the right kidney in a downward direction. The urine is passed in a weak narrow stream. This remedy is also indicated when stones are formed in the urinary bladder. White sand is deposited, which may be passed without sensation.
Benzoic Acid is a good remedy for kidney stones which are accompanied by urine that has an intense odour and heightened colour. This remedy is indicated for people who have a tendency to form uric acid stones.
It should be noted that there are many other homoeopathic remedies too which are known to be excellent for kidney stones. While homoeopathic medicines do not cause side effects, it is not advisable to self medicate without consulting your homoeopathic doctor.
Preventing kidney stones means preventing the conditions that support their formation.
Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass approx. 2 liters of urine a day. It may help to include some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice. The citrate in these beverages helps block stone formation.
Get the calcium you need: Getting too little calcium in your diet can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause kidney stones. To prevent this, make sure to take in an amount of calcium appropriate to your age. Ideally, obtain calcium from foods, since some studies have linked taking calcium supplements to kidney stones. Men 50 and older should get 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day, along with 800 to 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D to help the body absorb the calcium.
Reduce sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. So a low-sodium diet is recommended for the stone prone. Current guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg. If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily intake to 1,500 mg. This will also be good for your blood pressure and heart.
Limit animal protein: Eating too much animal protein, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, boosts the level of uric acid and could lead to kidney stones. A high-protein diet also reduces levels of citrate, the chemical in urine that helps prevent stones from forming. If you’re prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity that is no bigger than a pack of playing cards. This is also a heart-healthy portion.
Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate, and colas are rich in phosphate, both of which can contribute to kidney stones. If you suffer from stones, your doctor may advise you to avoid these foods or to consume them in smaller amounts.Start Treatment