Home remedies for kidney stones
May 9, 2013 10:27 AM   Subscribe

In addition to medical treatment, what else can be done to help kidney stones go away?

My maid/nanny just got diagnosed with kidney stones. She was given medication to try to break them down and an appointment to go back to the doctor in a week. I'm doing a little research on kidney stones, in case there's something that can be done additionally to the medication, specially in terms of foods or drinks to take and which ones to avoid, to help her body break them down and throw them out.
posted by CrazyLemonade to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here's an article, and isn't there a question further down the queue that addresses this as well?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:33 AM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

I get kidney stones. And I happen to go to a top urologist at a top urology center at a top university (for what that's worth). In my understanding, the medicine and diet stuff can help keep the stones from forming in the first place, but once they're formed it's too late. They may pass on their own, they may get broken up by lithotripsy, you may need a ureteroscopy to get them out, they may sit there for years without causing trouble, etc., but there's no way to break them down by diet or medicine.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:42 AM on May 9, 2013

I had a professor in grad school who apparently had a genetic marker for kidney stones - he got them approximately monthly poor guy. When I had mine I was told that if I could catch one (no luck) they could analyze it and that some kinds were responsive to dietary changes and some not. I haven't had more so haven't researched it further.

Your nanny should drink a LOT of water to help pass it.
posted by leslies at 10:57 AM on May 9, 2013

Yeah, water + pain relief is basically the way to go. There are drugs (Flomax comes to mind) that can help dilate your GU tract and make it slightly easier, but only slightly.

I've had five stones total, and based upon analysis of the stones I've been able to prevent another occurrence by largely cutting out soy products, nuts, and leafy green vegetables from my diet.
posted by Oktober at 10:59 AM on May 9, 2013

Oh shoot, I missed that other question! I'm sorry! Big AskMefi faux pas I know.

Still grateful for any answers!

posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:00 AM on May 9, 2013

Italians swear by Fiuggi water. I suspect it's the volume rather than the "oligomineral" content of the water that counts, but if you read Italian you could check this study out.
posted by mr vino at 11:05 AM on May 9, 2013

posted by goethean at 11:19 AM on May 9, 2013

I get Oxylate (sp) stones (the hardest kind) frequently and have had two lithotrypsy surgeries in the past 4 years due to stones too large to pass (plus I'm a guy, not sure that matters). I was told that acidic juices help, I drink 64 ounces of water a day with lemon juice - approximately 3 ounces lemon juice in 32 ounces of water. During my ordeal I was able to capture one it was about half the size of my pinky nail - all mineral and jagged.
posted by revan at 11:21 AM on May 9, 2013

Apple Cider Vinegar. (google it as a kidney stone remedy)

2 Indian Herbs:



The nurse who works for my urologist turned me onto these.
posted by bobdow at 11:28 AM on May 9, 2013

There is NO one size fits all remedy for kidney stones. There are four different types of kidney stone compositions and things which may indeed help one kind of stone may make another kind of stone actually grow worse.

The very first thing you must do is to capture one of the passed stones and have it analyzed by your doctor. Only after that can you know which foods to avoid and/or which products may be of benefit. Until you have a stone analyzed the only reasonable preventative is drinking copious amounts of water.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 11:50 AM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I actually think that acidic foods are counter-indicated for calcium oxalate stones.
posted by goethean at 11:53 AM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

From the article linked above:

(suggests vitamin A, a fatty vitamin, then goes on to say)

"Vitamin B6. Scientists have found that vitamin B6 may actually lower the amount of oxalate in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of stone formation. Magnesium, too, seems to be helpful in preventing stones. Your doctor may suggest a daily supplement of B6 and/or magnesium or a drug that combines the two. If you take a supplement of vitamin B6, don't take more than 25 milligrams a day."

This fits well with other stuff I have read. Some sources suggest you get kidney stones when calcium is out of whack. You need magnesium to properly process calcium. Salt is also a factor. Misprocessing salt is one of the major cornerstones of my genetic disorder. I have found that how my body deals with salt depends in part on whether I am getting enough of certain other things, mostly minerals and fats (Vitamin A is routinely supplemented for people with CF, along with a few other fatty vitamins, because we misprocess fats). So I would first try supplementing B6, magnesium and vitamin A, then keep digging for info if that did not resolve it.
posted by Michele in California at 12:09 PM on May 9, 2013

I believe Ca Oxalate is the most common stone, but there are others. And as others have said upthread, if you don't know the stone type trying to fix it with diet might make it worse. For the Ca-Oxalate stones (mine), the list of foods on the "don't eat" brochure in the urologist's office was extensive. I told my MD, if I follow this advice then I am basically down to Debbie snack cakes and twinkies. All the nutrient dense foods that I like are on the list. He laughed and said just avoid tea, drink lots of water, and eat anything you want in moderation.

In my own research on-line when I got my stones I found a site that said you should create a warm bath, get in it, and then drink LOTS of watermelon juice. And then here is the good part....pee into the bath. It was at that point in my on-line journey that I closed the laptop and just followed my MD's advice and so far I have not had a recurrence.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:08 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

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