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Kidney Stone Diagnosis: Does it Hurt?
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
- Kidney stones are bound to be a pain on your back - literally!
- Physicians go as far as to claim that it’s one of the most disturbing ailments that can affect your health.
- So, with kidney stones where is the pain? Well, the answer to that question is quite tricky.
- In the initial stage, you may experience pangs of gripping pain on the sides, abdomen or lower back.
- It may get worse as the stone grows in size or diameter.
- In later stages, the stone may slide down into the urethra and give you burning pain while urinating.
Masked Culprits of Kidney Stone
- Fever and chills: Kidney stones make you susceptible to develop infections. This may give you a recurrent fever of 100℉, followed by body chills.
- Nausea and vomiting: As the stones wreck your metabolic system, you may feel bloated at all times. Occasional episodes of vomit are also possible.
- Extreme pain: Kidney stone pain is the most common symptom. Initially, it is felt as a cramp in the abdomen region. Later, it may grow into a full fledged sting.
- As a stone gets thicker or sharper with time, you may experience more intense kidney stone symptoms.
- Urination issues: Inability to release urine, burning sensation during urination and recurrent urges are common indications.
- Urine coloration: Rarest symptom. Large sized stones may lead to release of pus or blood in urine.
Range of Trouble: Stone Types and Nature
- Unhealthy dietary practices and lifestyle habits are two well known kidney stone reasons.
- However, extreme dehydration, excess consumption of chemicals/addictive substances, overindulgence in animal proteins and long-term diseases are equal culprits.
- Inadequate diet: An unbalanced diet doesn’t contain all the required nutrients for efficient absorption of food. This in turn leads to release of toxins like oxalates, uric acid etc. that form stones.
- Lack of fluids: Water helps to remove unwanted toxins from soft tissues and blood. In its absence, these free radicals club together.
- Reactive medicines: Prolonged use of high blood pressure, HIV and infection medicines can weaken your kidney tissues and put you at risk of developing calculi.
- High intake of meats: The high protein content of animal meats and seafood makes them a risky meal. It may easily convert into uric acid, making your stone grow worse.
- Other lifestyle diseases: Kidney stones are commonly found in people suffering with Diabetes, gout and IBS. These chronic conditions can easily turn into kidney stones causes due to negligence.
How Kidney Stone is Formed?
- Calcium oxalate: Most common kidney stone types. Formed due to presence of excess Calcium and oxalate in the blood. Vegetarian diet, overdose of Vitamin D and digestive disorders increase risks.
- Calcium phosphate: Developed through long-term use of migraine medicines. Can also be found in renal tubular acidosis patients.
- Struvite stone: In certain cases, UTI-causing bacteria can increase the concentration of ammonia in the kidneys, thereby forming fast-growing stones.
- Uric acid stone: Made from the by-product of proteins. Can be triggered by extreme dehydration and stomach issues. They can be hard to dissolve.
- Cystine stone: Formed due to a rare condition called cystinuria. It affects less than 1% of people every year.
- Since the types are so varied, kidney stone medicine also comes in different forms.
- Make sure to choose your treatment strategy as per your physical symptoms, stone size and calculi composition.
Kidney Stone Treatment: Best Options Available
- When the concentration of free radicals exceeds a certain limit, the body is not able to filter them properly from the blood.
- This leads them to accumulate in the kidney tissues.
- Over time, these reactive molecules stick together and become harder in texture, thereby becoming a kidney stone.
- Due to the strong adhesive strength of these molecules, kidney stone causes severe blockage in the kidney tubes.
- It is then, that you may start noticing physical ailments like pain, nausea etc.
5 Natural Remedies for Dissolving Kidney Stones
- Kidney stone treatments can proceed in gradual stages as per your symptoms.
- Oftentimes, your physician may use multiple strategies from the ones given below to ease the expulsion of the kidney stone.
- Focussed diet: you may be asked to consume a high fibre, vitamin-rich diet for the first 2-4 weeks. Intake of excess water is highly suggested.
- OTC painkillers and alpha-blockers: Stone dissolving tablets like Calcium channel blockers, Potassium citrate or Sodium citrate are prescribed. They may be followed with ibuprofen etc. to ease pain.
- Minimal incision operation: A small cut is made on the back to extract small-medium stones, using medical equipment. Recovery takes a few days.
- Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL): Incision-free strategy. Sound waves are passed through the stone to break it into passable pieces.
- Ureteroscopy: A thin and sanitized scope is used to locate, break and draw out stones from the kidneys.
- Open surgery: A large sized incision is made to clear blockages of kidney tubes and remove stone(s). It requires 1-2 months of bed rest.
- Chemical-free alternative: Kidney stone Ayurvedic medicine uses herbal formulations to break, dissolve and release calculi.
- It is followed by a thorough lifestyle and diet regime to prevent reoccurence.
- This is why Ayurvedic kidney stone treatment is preferred by patients of all ages.
Ways to Reduce Kidney Stone Pain
- Water: Aim to drink at least 12 glasses of water if you’re aiming for a kidney stone treatment without surgery. Add a dash of lemon juice to each glass to enhance its benefits.
- Celery juice: Grind 1-2 celery stalks with water. Drink one glass of their extract every day. It can effectively purify the blood and unclog kidney networks.
- Amla water: Boil 1-2 tablespoon of Amla powder in a glass of water. Drink this decoction at least once a day. It clears the toxins and soothes the inflamed urinary muscles.
- Sugarcane juice: Enjoy two glasses of sugarcane juice with green cardamom on an empty stomach every morning. They can relieve your palette and kidney stone woes.
- Tulsi water: Holy Basil leaves, powder or extracts are a must-have for every kidney stones diet. It contains acetic acid and eugenol that assist in releasing kidney stones.
Foods to Avoid in Kidney Stones
- Hot Compress: Fill up a heat bag with lukewarm water. Put it on the kidney stone pain area for 20 minutes, everytime you experience pain.
- Green/Herbal Tea: Drink as many cups throughout the day. It fulfills the fluid requirements, while preventing cramps.
- Epsom salt shower: This is the best way to relieve the pain within minutes. Make sure to use warm water for your bath.
- Shun soft and hard beverages: High sugar and alcohol content of beverages can irritate the kidney tissues, making your cramps worse than before.
- Cranberry juice: This Vitamin C rich glass can be a great tool where kidney stone pain is concerned. It can reduce the intensity.
It’s Time: When Surgery is the ONLY Way
- Sugary and Salty Foods: All of your favourite cold drinks, processed snacks, street foods and ready-to-cook meals come in the list of kidney stone foods to avoid.
- Animal meats: Poorly digested animal proteins can turn into uric acid, thereby increasing your stone size drastically.
- High oxalate foods: Make sure to pair dark green veggies, beans, beets, berries etc. with Calcium foods. If not, they are best avoided.
- Fizzy drinks: Alcohol and soft drinks can severely damage the kidney tissues. They’re also a repository of harmful toxins.
- As the calculi grows in size, options for how kidney stone is removed get lemmatized.
- In general practice, a stone with diameter of 0.5cm or more is suggested to be removed by surgery.
- But your doctor may recommend a minor operation if you’re experiencing severe symptoms due to a 3 - 5 mm calculi.
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