What is a Kidney Stone?
Kidney stones (renal calculi) are hard mineral deposits like calcium, oxalate and phosphorus that form inside the kidneys. They vary in size. A minute stone may pass on its own, causing little or no pain, while stones more than 3mm of size gets stuck in ureters and block the flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding.
Where are Kidney Stones Located?
Stones may be located in:
- Kidney - Nephrolithiasis (Stone formation in the kidney).
- Ureters - Ureterolithiasis (Stones in the ureters. Ureters are the tubes that propel urine from the kidney to the bladder).
- Bladder - Cystolithiasis (Stone formation in the urinary bladder).
What are the Types of Kidney Stones?
There are different types of kidney stones based on their chemical composition:
- Calcium stones are seen in kapha dominant body type. Initially they are painless, they become painful when they start leaving the pelvis of the kidney and enter the ureters. An individual suffering with hypothyroidism or parathyroidism can develop calcium stones.
- Phosphate stones are seen in vata dominant body type. They irritate the bladder and cause pain because of their rough quality. People who consume more potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes are at the risk to develop phosphate stones.
- Oxalate stonesare seen in pitta dominant body type. They cause irritation, burning sensation and radiating pain from loin to groin. Individuals who eat more spinach, potatoes and tomatoes have a tendency to form oxalate stones.
Who are Prone to Kidney Stones?
You are more likely to get kidney stones if:
- You inherit from a family having kidney stones (genetic inheritance).
- You are a victim of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) recurrently.
- You do not drink enough fluids or if you drink more carbonated beverages, grape juice or apple juice.
- You are eating more animal protein such as meat, eggs and fish.
- You are having the habit of eating canned, frozen and fast foods that contain high levels of sodium.
- You consume foods rich in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, nuts and wheat barn in large quantity.
- You have underlying medical conditions like hyperparathyroidism, chronic diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, gout.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
- Sharp pain radiating from lower back to the groin or genitals, lasting 20 to 60 minutes.
- Blood or pus in the urine.
How are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?
X- ray or ultrasound examination or CT scan confirms the presence of kidney stones.
How are Kidney Stones Treated?
Small stones usually do not need treatment. If you have a large kidney stone it is removed by lithotripsy.
- Ayurveda suggests chandraprabha vati, punarnava guggulu and gokshuradi guggulu for kidney stones.
- Another effective formula: punarnava- 5parts, gokshura- 3 parts, mutral- 2 parts, shilajit- 1/8th part. Taking half a teaspoon of this mixture twice a day with a glass of barley soup helps in flushing out the crystals.
- Drinking a glass of watermelon juice with quarter teaspoon of coriander two to three times a day helps to remove small stones and crystals.
- Kashayam prepared with bhadra, yashtimadhu, gokshura, punarnava, pashanabheda help in flushing out minute stones.
- Kalyanaka kshara is effective in calcium phosphate stones.
- To ease the pain of passing kidney stones you can apply hot and cold compress alternatively for every 30 seconds to 1 minute.
How can Kidney Stones be Prevented?
- You should drink 2 to 3 litres of fluids per day.
- Avoid the foods that contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives and additives.
- If you have a history of kidney stones, avoid the foods accordingly, depending upon the type of your kidney stones. For instance if you suffered with calcium stones, minimize the intake of calcium rich foods.
- Foods rich in calcium- milk and milk products, almonds, beans, banana, cabbage, soya milk, chickpeas, greens, eggs, sesame.
- Foods rich in potassium- banana, chocolate, milk, dates, nuts, mango, carrot, orange, papaya, lentils.
- Foods rich in phosphorous- cheese, milk, soft drinks, nuts, whole grains, beans, soya beans.
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Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018