If you have been unfortunate to have experienced severe pain from kidney stones, chances of it recurring are high; more so, when there are hereditary factors contributing to its development. Steps can be taken to keep it from occurring again from within the comforts of your own home, rather than permit it to recur.
Water : First, never wait until you are thirsty to consume water. Feeling the thirst is the first sign of your body reaching the dehydrated state. Dehydration encourages concentration of urine giving a suitable environment for stone formation within the kidneys. Drink enough water and double its consumption during hot climatic conditions or after rigorous exercises.
Oxalic acid or oxalates are present in various fruits and vegetables and though they also supply your body with sufficient vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, eating them in large quantities can result in nephrolithiasis (kidney stones). So the first step would be to check the reasons behind this stone formation, and if stones are found to be of calcium-oxalate in nature, cut back on consumption of wheat bran, nuts especially peanuts, chocolates, parsley, spinach, beets, strawberries, and coffee/tea.
Follow a low-salt, low-protein diet. Diet rich in proteins and meat result in high levels of uric acid during urine production which in turn promotes kidney stone formation. A high salt diet increases the levels of calcium and oxalate in urine, again leading to stones that are composed of calcium oxalate. Likewise, avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, etc, for these are also popular kidney stone forming foods. Pickled items should also be refrained from consumption to avoid kidney stones.
Exercises : If you are used to a sedentary lifestyle, it is time to get moving. Inactive lifestyle encourages loss of calcium from your bones which enters into the urinary system leading to stone formation if its concentration levels are high. Brisk walking, light exercises on a daily basis will restore normal flow of body fluids and prevent decrease in bone mineral density.
There are also herbal preparations known to assist in prevention of kidney stone formation. Popular ones are as follows:
- To strengthen the kidneys and prevent stone formation, chew on a few clean, washed leaves of holy basil or extract juice from a handful of leaves and consume regularly. One could also combine 1 tsp of this juice with honey for consumption.
- A powerful herbal diuretic used for healing purposes is birch leaves that assist in flushing out waste products from the body and prevent kidney stone formation. In a cup of boiling water add 1 tsp of dried birch leaves. Remove from flame, steep for 30 min, and strain. Add honey for flavor and consume this preparation 4 times a day, preferably on an empty stomach, to prevent kidney stones.
- Dandelion herb has natural properties that assist in dissolving and eliminating kidney stones. To 1 cup of boiling water add 1 tsp of dried dandelion herb. Steep for 15 min and strain. Add honey to enhance its taste and drink at least 4 cups a day for best results.
- Foods rich in magnesium like apples, apricots, avocado, certain bean varieties, walnuts, etc., also seem to assist in prevention of kidney stone formation. So increase the regular intake of these food products.
Natural remedies are most sought after to treat any disease condition to avoid side effects normally noticed with prescription medications. However, do consult your family physician before commencing on any self treating process.