If you have ever passed a kidney stone, you know the pain can be excruciating. You wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy, well, maybe…. While some stones are so small, they pass without the person even knowing it, very large ones can be impossible to pass, and surgery may be required. If you are lucky, you can rely on self care for kidney stones.
What Are Kidney Stones and How Do We Get Them?
Before we learn about ways to pass them, let’s find out what they are and how they form.
Kidney stones are pieces of solid material that form in your kidneys. They can get stuck in your ureters, bladder, or the urethra. When they can block the flow of urine, it causes severe pain.
There are four types of kidney stones:
- Calcium oxalate stones are the most common.
- Uric acid stones occur when your urine has too much acid.
- Struvite stones form after an infection in your urinary system.
- Cystine stones are rare and run in families who have had the disease, Cystinuria.
If you do pass a stone, strain your urine so our urologists can determine what kind of stone it is and make dietary recommendations.
The board-certified urologists at the Texas Center for Urology have extensive experience treating kidney stones. Contact our urology clinic in Fort Worth, TX today by requesting an appointment online.
Self Care for Kidney Stones
Drink More Water
Drinking more water helps kidney stones to pass more easily. Dehydration is one of the main reasons these stones form, so increasing your daily water intake can help you avoid getting them and help you pass one without a lot of pain.
Check the color of your urine for signs of dehydration. Very light yellow means you are getting enough water, but a darker yellow means it is too concentrated and stones may form.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This might be a surprise to many, but drinking apple cider vinegar helps to dissolve or disintegrate kidney stones. Vinegar itself may help reduce the formation of kidney stones and studies are ongoing.
Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 6-8 oz of water. Don’t consume more than 8 oz a day of this mixture. Too much apple cider vinegar can damage your teeth enamel, give you acid reflux, and a sore throat.
Diabetics should consult with one of our urologists as apple cider vinegar can interact with insulin and diuretics.
No such worries with lemon juice. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into as much water as you want. Lemon contains citrate which prevents calcium stones from forming. It can also break up small stones and allow them to pass more easily.
If that weren’t enough, lemon juice inhibits the formation of bacteria and provides Vitamin C.
This has long been known to enhance health. It increases urine flow to help pass stones, and in addition, helps to cleanse the kidneys.
Some other possible aids include the following:
- Celery juice
- Pomegranate juice
Speak to one of our urologists in Fort Worth, TX before trying these as they may not mix well with your current medications or an existing disease.