Calcium oxalate stones, the most common form of kidney stones, are a widespread problem troubling millions of people. When you experience this problem, all you care about is how to get relief from kidney stones. The answer depends on several factors, such as the type of kidney stones you have, how large they are, and whether they pass on their own or not.
Causes and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
There is no single cause of kidney stones. Risk factors may include diet, a sedentary lifestyle, taking certain medications, or family history. Symptoms of kidney stones vary in severity, depending on the size. Smaller stones may pass through your system unnoticed. Larger stones may produce symptoms such as:
- Pain in the lower back, abdomen, or sides.
- Painful urination.
- Blood in the urine.
- Nausea or vomiting.
If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention to get a diagnosis. If you have kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe medication and recommend certain treatments. For larger stones, medical procedures such as Shock Wave or Laser Lithotripsy may be required. However, the majority of kidney stones eventually pass naturally.
How to Get Relief From Kidney Stones
People who have experienced kidney stones agree that it can be one of life’s most painful experiences. Women have compared it to giving birth. Smaller stones may pass with few if any symptoms, but larger ones can cause extreme discomfort. There are many ways to obtain kidney stone relief.
For instant pain relief from kidney stones, you may be advised to simply take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or the doctor may prescribe pain killers. If you have severe pain, you should stay in contact with your doctor.
Another important aspect of kidney stone care is to stay hydrated. Dehydration is often a contributing factor to kidney stones. Drinking around a minimum of eight 6oz glasses of water spread throughout the day is recommended daily and can help to pass smaller kidney stones as well as help prevent them from recurring. Keep in mind that some beverages, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks can cause dehydration.
Best Kidney Stone Relief Food Choices
Your diet is an important consideration when you have kidney stones. Depending on whether you have calcium oxalate stones, uric acid stones, or another variety, you should eat the appropriate diet and avoid foods that may irritate your condition.
- For calcium oxalate stones, it’s important to eliminate or at least reduce high oxalate foods. You should obtain a full list, which includes many common foods, but some popular items to watch out for include beets, spinach, chocolate, soybeans, and rhubarb.
- Limit your intake of animal proteins. If you have uric acid stones, you need to be especially careful about consuming meat, seafood, and eggs as these can contribute to the build-up of uric acid.
- Reduce salt. Too much sodium in your diet can contribute to a variety of health problems, including kidney stones. In addition to limiting how much salt you put on your food, be sure to read labels when you shop and remember that fast food and restaurant food are often heavily salted.
- Consume citric acid. Citric acid, which is found in many fruits, is a natural substance that helps inhibit the growth of calcium oxalate stones. You can easily incorporate this into your diet by drinking fruit juice. Lemons are an especially good source of citric acid. Squeeze lemon into water or make lemonade, preferably with a sugar alternative such as pure maple syrup, honey, or stevia.
Exercise and Kidney Stones
When it comes to exercise, you need to find the right balance between getting enough physical activity and not overdoing it. You should listen to your medical practitioner for advice on what amount of exercise is appropriate for your condition. As a general rule, moderate exercise can help kidney stones to pass. It also helps you maintain a healthy body weight, which can lower your risk of developing kidney stones in the future.
You can find certain yoga and qi gong exercises that are specially designed to heal the kidneys. Walking is also a gentle exercise that’s safe for most people, as you can adjust your speed and distance to your needs. On the other hand, strenuous exercises such as lifting weights or strenuous cardio could irritate your kidneys. You should always listen to your body and stop exercising if you feel pain.