Kidney Stones Causes and Remedies

There is no single cause for kidney stones. Most of the time, it takes a group of things combined for stone formation. They occur most often in men, but women can have the same problem. The following story is true, but the name of the patient will not be given.

It started in the middle of the night. The pain started in his back, and then moved around the right side of his body. It would ease up, then begin again, usually worse from the last round.

He got up and walked around, hoping that would relieve the problem. As it was Sunday, he got ready for church. By the time he and his family were sitting in the pews, he knew he had to get help.

His wife drove him to the emergency room, and then waited. He was immediately taken for a dye test, and it revealed at least one kidney stone. It was small enough to pass through his system, so hospitalization wasn’t required. He was given a strainer and some pain medication and sent home.

Once the stone passed (a process that was *not* comfortable), he took it in to be analyzed. It was made from calcium oxalate. His post stone instructions were to drink more fluids and avoid foods high in that component.

Causes: All kidney stones are from things found in urine. The calcium based stone mentioned above can be caused by both what is eaten and what is produced naturally in the liver. Dehydration can be another factor for most types of stone.

The other two main types of stone include uric acid and stuvite. Uric acid is a waste product from purine, a component of protein. If the kidneys can’t filter it out, stones can form in the kidneys or be dropped off in joints as gout. Stuvite stones are related to infections, especially those found in the urinary tract.

Remedies: There are things you can do at home once you’ve been diagnosed with this problem. The most obvious is hydration. Drinking enough fluids can help move the stones through the body faster…and help prevent repeat stones.

Watching the protein content of your food is also important. Less uric acid in your blood stream means that there is less for the kidneys to try and get rid of. It can also help you avoid problems with gout.

Overdoing vitamin C and eating a lot of foods high in calcium oxalate could cause stone formation. Even though cutting them from your diet or supplement routine won’t help you pass this stone, it could prevent future problems.

Another thing to be careful of are antacid tablets. Many of them have calcium in them…in fact some are actually used as calcium supplements. If yours contain it, you need to find another brand.

Ultimately, your doctor should be your guide in both treating the stone and helping you prevent further stones. It’s very important to find out what kind of stone it is, because treatment, including home remedies, will differ for the different types of stone. It’s never a good idea to self diagnose or self prescribe.