What are Kidney Stones?
Despite its name, a kidney stone is not made of stone. Also known as nephrolithiasis, kidney stones are hard pebble-like mineral deposits that form in the urine in the kidney. Most cases of nephrolithiasis include kidney stones made of calcium and in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a molecule found naturally in plant-based foods and is also produced by our liver. Kidney stones are often the result of dehydration, high-oxalate foods, obesity, and bowel conditions.
Kidney stones often travel through the entire urinary tract before coming out in the urine. Kidney stones do not cause any permanent damage but can be extremely painful when passed.
How Do You Know if You Have Kidney Stones?
The most common symptom associated with kidney stones involves sharp pain below the ribs that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin. However, kidney stones may not cause any symptoms until they move around within the urinary tract. Hence, kidney stones often go undiagnosed before they reach the narrow tube connecting the kidney and bladder.
In addition to abdominal pain, urine can also help determine if kidney stones are present in your system. Pink or red urine and foul-smelling urine are clear signs that mineral stones may have formed in your kidney. A persistent need to urinate and pain when urinating are also symptoms of kidney stones.
Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones That Actually Work
Treatments for kidney stones vary per individual case depending on the size and type of the stone, severity of symptoms, and how long you have been suffering from symptoms. The most severe cases involving larger stones and unbearable pain often need medical intervention. However, in most cases, people just wait for the stone to pass while taking analgesic medications to minimize the pain. Those suffering from mild symptoms can also choose to use home remedies and treatments like natural herbs for kidney stones.
Herbal Remedies for Kidney Stones
Herbs for kidney stones are among the most common and effective home treatments since they provide an all-natural alternative that is cheap, healthy, and effective. The most popular herbs for kidney stones include plants that are used in everyday foods, such as:
- Wheatgrass:Thanks to the compounds and antioxidants in it, a daily glass of wheatgrass juice can increase urine production while reducing the number of minerals and salts in the urinary tract.
- Celery:Like wheatgrass, celery stalks and seeds can help regulate urine production. Add celery seeds to meals for a tasty way to help improve urinary functions.
- Basil:Basil is rich in acetic acid which is known to help dissolve kidney stones naturally. Basil also helps stabilize uric acid levels, making it one of the best herbs to prevent kidney stones.
CBD Oil and Kidney Stones
Though not as familiar as the herbs listed above, hemp is also used as a natural treatment for kidney stones thanks to CBD, the non-psychoactive medicinal compound found in cannabis. CBD has potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which help mitigate pain related to a number of conditions. When it comes to kidney stones, CBD oil and other CBD products can help reduce inflammation and pain in the urinary tract.
Does Drinking Water Prevent Kidney Stones?
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent kidney stones is staying hydrated. You can do this by drinking the equivalent of eight glasses of water per day. Water helps facilitate the passage of stones through the urinary tract and can slow the formation of deposits in the kidney.
Does Beer Prevent Kidney Stones?
Some search results online claim beer and Coke can help prevent the formation of deposits; however, there is not enough evidence to prove these actually work. Beer and soda can be detrimental to our health, so it is better to stay away from these.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones on Topamax
Medications containing topiramate (brand name Topamax®) are commonly used to treat and prevent seizures and headaches. Unfortunately, topiramate can accelerate the formation of stones in the kidneys which is why it is crucial that you drink plenty of water when taking the medication.