Tips for Relieving Kidney Stone Pain
Kidney stones are the mineral deposits in the kidney, mostly of Calcium, that causes pain and discomfort. Usually, kidney stones do not become a reason for permanent damage, until diagnosed late. Drinking lots of water and appropriate medications dissolve the stones of kidney and other urinary tract stones.
Some of the symptoms of kidney stones include – pain in the side and back below ribs, the intensity of pain fluctuates and comes in waves, dark or red coloured urine, persistent need to urinate or fever and nausea in some cases.
There is no definite cause of kidney stones, but some risk factors include –
- Family history or genetics,
- High protein or high salt in the diet,
- Digestive tract diseases like inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhoea, and surgeries like gastric bypass surgery that changes the absorption of calcium and water in the human body.
- Medical conditions like cystinuria, hyperthyroidism or renal tubular acidosis.
- Certain medications used to treat migraine and depression, & supplements like vitamin C.
Tips to relieve the pain from kidney stones are –
- Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks
On drinking enough fluids, there is a possibility that the stones can pass via urine. Avoiding sugary drinks and caffeine is a must, as these can lead to dehydration. It also increases the chances of developing the stone. Try to drink at least 4.5 litres of liquid in a day to produce enough urine.
Juices like pomegranate are very soothing and let the stones pass easily.
- Increase citric acid intake
Citric acid is a key enzyme that dissolves the stones. Citric acid dissolves stones by two metabolic pathways. In the first pathway, it binds with the extra calcium in urine, not allowing the stone formation. In the second pathway, citric acid binds with calcium oxalate crystals which do not let the stone to grow larger.
- Get enough calcium
Most stones that occur in the kidney have a basic nature of calcium oxalate. However, calcium-deficient diets pose a risk of stone development. The daily requirement of calcium for a 2000 calorie diet is 1 gram should be fulfilled to maintain healthy bone and muscle function.
- Cut back salt
A high sodium diet removes calcium from urine, causing stones to form in the kidney or urinary bladder. It is necessary to keep a watch on your sodium intake. The sodium salt is part of many canned foods, fast foods, and packaged foods. Check the sodium intake in your diet and use black salt instead. Black salt has antioxidant properties, low sodium content, and a rich source of iron calcium and magnesium that are essential for healthy tissues.
- Increase Vitamin B6 and Magnesium Intake
50 mg of Vitamin B6 and 200 to 400 mg of Magnesium with it can preferably help in dissolving the oxalate stones. Vitamin B6 and magnesium has a key function that dissolves the oxalate into smaller substances, helping the urinary system to remove oxalate completely. Muscle health and metabolism are also regulated by the concentrations of magnesium in the diet. Many factors are regulated by these two and hence very helpful in maintaining a healthy body.
- Reduce Animal Protein
Animal proteins are acidic and rich in uric acid, which tends to increase the chances of uric acid as well as oxalate stones. Avoid the animal content in your diet instead include plant-based proteins like legumes.
- Limit foods with oxalate
Oxalate rich diet includes foods like okra, spinach, tea, soy products, chocolates and many more. Such foods from the diet should be avoided. As oxalates bind with calcium and produce a risk for stone development. Check the oxalate intake in your diet and alter its intake accordingly.