Vijay, a marketing professional in a top firm aged 40, is used to working long hours in his office with prolonged sitting time. Moreover, his working hours are erratic as he has to team up with clients in the United States, leaving him with no choice but to eating and staying up until the wee hours of the morning. All of a sudden, he developed a sharp pain in his lower back extending till the groin for many days. Finding a comfortable position to sit and sleep was often difficult. One night he had to stay up inside the loo for the whole night because of the urge of frequent urination and pain. Finally, he saw blood in his urine and the next day doctors confirmed that he had a kidney stone.


Kidney Stones: Some Statistics 

Kidney stones are more common than we think. According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in five men will develop kidney stones in their lifetime. Among women, the figures are every one in ten.

Although characterized by excruciating pain, kidney stones can easily be eradicated and treated effectively with natural remedies. In this article, know all about the risk factors, types of kidney stones and how to prevent and treat kidney stones naturally.

The Common Risk Factor for Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are nothing but little deposits formed in the ureter and bladder. These deposits obstruct the flow of toxins that pass out of the body through the urine. According to Ayurveda, kidney stones are commonly caused due to an erratic lifestyle, leading to an imbalance of Vata and drying of Kapha.

Another risk factor for all kidney stones ailments is dehydration. According to a randomized trial, drinking 2 liters of fluid a day reduces the likelihood of kidney stone recurrence by half. With global temperatures rising around the world, humans are at an increased risk for dehydration.

Common Causes of Kidney Stones

  • Less Water Intake
  • Overeating/Irregular Eating Habits
  • Avoiding or Postponing Urinal Urges
  • Staying Up Late Night
  • Overconsumption of Aerated Drinks, Caffeine, Meat, and Excess Dairy Products
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Frequent Urinary Tract Infection
  • Acidity

Types of Kidney Stones

Calcium Stones are the most common type of kidney stones. With that being said, patients suffering from kidney stones need not cut back on their calcium intake. The danger arises only with the consumption of Calcium supplements since ideally, calcium should come from natural sources.
Here are some common types of Kidney Stones:

1. Calcium Oxalate

In this type, calcium binds with oxalate or oxalic acid. Eating excessive foods rich in oxalates like potato chips, peanuts, chocolate, beets and spinach can also cause the formation of these stones. 

2. Calcium Phosphate

These crystals form when Calcium atoms combine with phosphoric acid. When the urine is abnormally alkaline with a pH of above 6.3 to 6.5, Phosphate kidney stones are formed. For this reason, this type of stones tends to occur in people who produce more alkaline urine than those who produce calcium oxalate kidney stones.

3. Uric Acid Stones

These stones occur when the urine is very acidic and crystallize into stones. Obese and diabetic people, those with gout or kidney disease produce abnormally high acid urine. For this type of kidney stone, adjusting the pH of the urine with food, supplements like potassium citrate and sodium bicarbonate can be effective.

In addition, for people with high uric acid, eating food with less purine will also help to eradicate these kidney stones.

4. Struvite Stones

Another type of stone that is formed in alkaline urine, struvite stones are composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate. The most common cause of struvite stones is a bacterial infection and especially when soil bacteria find their way into the urine system.

5. Cystine Stones

The least common type of kidney stones, these are formed due to high levels of cystine, an amino acid. People who have an inherited kidney disorder called cystinuria get cystine stones.

Treat Kidney Stones Naturally

The removal or reduction of kidney stones should be based on the type of kidney stone, size, shape, and location. Small sized stones can be removed with proper hydration, right diet, and other preventive measures. In addition, Ayurvedic herbs are effective in the removal of kidney stones. In advanced cases, flush therapy like Ayurvedic basti or enema or other minimally invasive procedures is used.

Here are some common remedies to combat kidney stones:

1. Proper Hydration

Proper hydration is essential when it comes to preventing and fighting kidney stones. Consume more fluids in your diet. Apart from water, having coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water, ash gourd soup, barley water, herbal teas will help.

2. Ayurvedic Herbs

Herbs like Punarnava, Varuna, Gokshura, and Satavari feature prominently in the recommendations for managing kidney stones.  Punarnava, for example, was found to offer possible protection against kidney stone formation and kidney damage linked with oxidative stress, while another study shows that Varuna has both anti-lithogenic and anti-crystallization effects that can help in the elimination of kidney stones and also prevent a recurrence.

3. Diet

Mineral Imbalances and deficiency is another common cause of Kidney Stones. The absence of essential minerals in the body can cause the crystals to be developed in the kidney without flushing them out of the urine. Therefore, include foods rich in minerals.

In addition, the magnesium found in natural sources like Okra or Lady’s finger, kidney beans is well-known to alleviate kidney stones. Also include Foods like pomegranate seed, horse gram, parsley, basil, watermelon, radish. A formulation of lemon juice along with olive oil helps to break down small kidney stones and flush it out of the system.

Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have directly contributed in a big way to increase occurrences of kidney stones.  Adopting the right approach with proven natural remedies can be very effective to treat and prevent kidney stones.

Renal calculi/ Kidney Stone