Kidney Stones

What are the Treatment Options for Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are essentially salts in the urine that have formed into solid crystals, and it’s safe to say they are usually not a pleasant thing to experience.

There are several types of kidney stones. Calcium stones – formed when calcium combines with either oxalate or phosphate – are the most common. Symptoms can range from none at all, to illness, fever and severe pain that requires hospitalisation. Complications can include urinary tract and kidney infection, and permanent kidney damage.

Kidney stones are more than three times more common in men than women, and once a person has had one, they have a relatively high chance of experiencing another. An accurate diagnosis of kidney stones is therefore important for determining the right treatment and for avoiding recurrence.

So what can be done?

Kidney stone treatment:

The majority of stones will pass naturally and the best treatment in most cases is likely to be analgesics where pain is present. For larger stones or those that do not pass, there are several treatment options available, including:

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Kidney Stone Symptoms Explained

When a person has kidney stones, they could have some pretty nasty unpleasant symptoms, or none at all. Kidney stone symptoms are very individual, and depend on a number of factors, such as the size and location of the stone and whether infection is present.

What causes Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones have many causes, although several factors may increase your risk of developing kidney stone complications. Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in your urine can dilute. Often, stones can form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.

Depending on your situation, you may need nothing more than taking pain medication and drinking lots of water to pass a kidney stone.  At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.

What are Kidney Stone symptoms?

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Lemon kidney stone treatment

Could the Humble Lemon be a Kidney Stone Treatment?

Citric acid is a component of ordinary lemons and limes, and may be beneficial for reducing the risk of kidney stones. It appears to do this by preventing calcium from binding to other substances that form stones, and by coating existing stones and preventing them from binding to each other and becoming larger. Citric acid may also help to break up existing stones.

Citrate – a derivative of citric acid found in some medications and supplements – may have a similar effect. However, it’s probably a lot more pleasant for most of us (and a lot cheaper) to drink some home-made lemonade than to swallow pills several times a day!

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