Urinary stones mean presence of calculi or stone in urinary tract. Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of urinary tract. People, whose diet is rich in animal protein and low in fiber and fluids, are at higher risk of developing kidney stones. People working under high stress levels with a family history of kidney stones, patients who are confined to bed and people with high blood pressure also prone to develop kidney stones. The incidence of kidney stones has been increasing over the past twenty years. On an average, men have an incidence of one in 14 and women of one in 30. People between the ages of 20 and 40 are more likely to develop the condition, as are those with persistent heartburn and those who take antacids for long periods.
Crystals that form in urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney can form stones in the kidney, the ureter or the bladder. These stones contain various combinations of minerals and other chemicals, some of which are derived from your diet.
Normally, urine contains factors that inhibit stone-building substances from forming crystals, like magnesium, citrate, pyrophosphate etc. A deficiency in these protective substances can result in the formation of crystals. Changes in the pH of the urine, that causes acid or alkaline imbalances, can also affect stone precipitation. Other causes of kidney stones are a disorder of uric acid metabolism, gout, excess intake of vitamin D, the blockage of the urinary tract. Certain diuretics of calcium-based antacids may increase the risk of forming kidney stones by increasing the amount of calcium in the urine. About 70-80% of all kidney stones are composed of calcium generally combine with oxalate. Oxalate or oxalic acid is found in a number of common vegetables, fruits and grains. About 2% of stones are composed of calcium phosphate. About 10% of stones are made up of uric acid, which is the end product of purine metabolism- a nitrogen compound found in protein. Another 9 to 17% of stones are struvite: they are made of magnesium ammonium phosphate. Struvite stones are usually associated with certain tract infections.
SYMPTOMS OF URINARY STONES
In many condition, kidney stones develop silently. You may not experience symptoms in the beginning. However, when symptoms occur, they frequently include severe pain and blood in your urine. Remember, the size of the stone does not necessarily predict the severity of the pain. You may notice blood in the urine if the stone becomes large. There may be nausea and vomiting. If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, you should suspect a urinary tract infection.
SELF HELP APPROACH
- A good step to prevent any type of stone is to drink plenty of liquids- water is best.
- Minimize the intake of foods like apples, tomatoes, asparagus, beer, berries, black pepper, cabbage and cauliflower, cheese, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, cola drinks, figs, grapes, ice-cream, milk oranges, butter, pineapples, spinach, tea, vitamin C and curd. Avoid food with added vitamin D and certain types of antacids that have a calcium base.
- If you pass acidic urine, you may need to eat less meat, fish and poultry.
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle. At the same time, do not expose yourself to extreme temperatures and dehydrating conditions.
- The bark of henna plant (Mehendi) is an effective remedy for removing urinary stones. Make a decoction by boiling one part of the bark in 20 parts of water until it boils down to a quarter of its original quantity. Take this decoction in doses of 20 to 30ml, twice or thrice a day.
- Alternately, take the decoction made from leaves and seeds of radish (mula) to expel the stones.
- Horse-gram (Dolichus biflorus, gahat) soup is an excellent food supplement.
- Paashanabheda and varuna are the two important herbs, which have proved to be effective in the treatment of urinary calculus. Either the rhizome of paashanabheda in the form of powder or the bark of varuna in the form of decoction can be taken internally.
- Kshaara parpati, shilajit, ashmari hara kashaaya, chaadraprabhaa vati are some of the effective medicines used to treat the condition. Gokshura kada is an oral liquid, promoting easy urination and relieves burning sensation. It should be taken 3-4 times per day in doses of 15ml with equal quantity of water. Ber patthar bhasma is another effective remedy. You can use them consulting your Ayurvedic physician.