Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
A kidney stone is a small, grainy deposit that develops in the kidney due to a buildup of calcium crystals and other minerals in urine. These stones can range from about the size of a grain of sand up to the size of a pencil eraser. Eventually, this stone has to pass through the ureter, which is a small passage that is primarily meant to carry liquid. This results in the most common symptom of kidney stones: sudden and intense pain. Other symptoms may include:
- Wave-like pain, usually in the side of the mid-back, which radiates to the groin area and cannot be prevented by adjusting your position or sitting still.
- Small amounts of blood in the urine.
- Sweating, nausea, or vomiting.
Most kidney stones will usually eventually pass through the body by drinking lots of fluids. However, some may require surgery to be removed. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor if you suspect that you have kidney stones.
Causes of Kidney Stones
Calcium and other minerals in the body are normally flushed away during urination. Kidney stones develop when the concentration of these minerals in your urine is too high, resulting in a buildup of these crystals that form into a hard deposit. Diet plays a significant role in determining what kinds of minerals accumulate in your urine. Oxalate is one of the main components of kidney stones, so you can help prevent stones from developing by reducing your intake of oxalate-rich foods such as chocolate, nuts, beans, spinach, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and black tea.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Kidney Stones
Drinking Water to Prevent Kidney Stones
Drinking more water helps to increase the volume of urine. This in turn helps to decrease the amount of stone-forming elements that build-up. Therefore, a common recommendation to help a kidney stone pass through the body more quickly is to consume close to a gallon (almost 4 liters) of water throughout the day. If you've previously had a kidney stone, drinking more water is also a good way to prevent the recurrence of them.
Foods that are rich in magnesium have been found to help prevent the development of kidney stones, since magnesium helps lower the amount of oxalate minerals in urine. Good sources of magnesium are fish, rice, avocado, and broccoli.
Reducing Salt Intake
Eating foods that are high in salt and sodium have been found to increase the amount of calcium in urine, which increases the chances of developing a kidney stone. Therefore, a good guideline is to reduce daily salt intake to 2-3 grams. It is best to avoid high salt foods such as ketchup, mustard, luncheon meats, and snack foods such as chips and pretzels.
Asparagus for Kidney Stones
Asparagus is commonly used as a natural diuretic. It can help rid the body of excess salt and fluid, making it good for people suffering from edema, kidney stones and high blood pressure. It helps flush out toxins in kidneys and prevent kidney stones.
A 2012 study1 published on the National Library of Medicine website suggests that the anti-urolithiatic activity of Asparagus Racemosus may be attributed to its diuretic effect, which increases urine volume, and its ability to inhibit the deposition of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys. The researchers concluded that Asparagus Racemosus extract exhibited significant anti-urolithiatic activity in the rat model of ethylene glycol-induced kidney stones. These findings support its potential use as a natural remedy for preventing kidney stone formation.
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