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Kidney stones, also known as renal stones, bladder stones, or ureter stones, are accumulated solid masses of crystals. These stones form in the kidney, but they can also develop or pass in the ureters, bladder, and urethra. It is a painful medical issue caused when toxicants are not disposed of properly. Thus they form stones made of salt and minerals, such as calcium, uric acid, struvite, cystine, etc. The size of kidney stones can vary from as small as a grain of sand to as big as a golf ball. The major symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • 1. Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • 2. Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
  • 3. Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • 4. Fever and chills, if an infection is present
  • 5. Urinating more often than usual
  • 6. Persistent urge to urinate
  • 7. Pink, red, or brown urine
  • 8. Nausea & vomiting
  • 9. Pain during urination

Fastest Way to Dissolve Kidney Stones

The fastest way to dissolve kidney stones is a surgical approach. In case of a minute to small kidney stone, you would not require any surgical treatment. You will have to pass the stone via urine. The same can be done by the following methods:

  • Consuming liquids: Drinking as much as 2-3 quarts (1.8 to 3.6 litres) of water in a day will keep your urine diluted. Therefore, water will prevent stones from forming. Unless your doctor prescribes otherwise, keep drinking enough water or other liquids to produce clear or nearly clear urine.
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  • Pain relievers: Passing a small stone via urine might cause discomfort and pain. Also, the presence of stones might cause pain in the kidneys. Therefore, doctors may recommend pain killers, including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) or naproxen sodium
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  • Medical therapy: ln many cases, when the condition of kidney stones is not worse, the doctor might give you medication to pass your kidney stone. This medical therapy is known as an “alpha-blocker” that relaxes the muscles in the ureter, helping you pass the kidney stone more quickly and with less pain. Examples of alpha-blockers include tamsulosin (Flomax) and the drug combination dutasteride and tamsulosin (Jalyn).
Kidney Stones

Three Treatments for Kidney Stones

In case the stone is big lying in the range between 10 mm and 15 mm, you need to visit a urologist to get it quickly removed else it can cause an escalation of the disease leading to its other complicated kidney diseases. The top three surgical and effective treatments for the removal of kidney stones are enlisted below:

  • Sound waves: As per the location and size of the stone, your doctor might recommend a procedure called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL). In this process, sound waves create strong vibrations that break the stones into tiny stones that can be easily passed through urine. This ESWL procedure lasts up to 60 minutes and involves minimal pain therefore the process is conducted under light sedation.
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  • Ureteroscopy: During this procedure, the urologist inserts a long tube-like tool into the ureter to take out the stone directly (if the stone is small) or to break the stone using a laser (if the stone is big) to pass through the urinary tract and out through the urine.
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  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy: In this process, the urologist makes a small incision and removes a stone using a nephroscope. Further, a stent is inserted so that the swelling inside the ureter does not block urine drainage.

Can Kidney Stones Heal Itself?

Small kidney stones do not typically cause problems and might not cause major symptoms or pain. Such small kidney stones can be removed by consuming plenty of liquids as mentioned below:

  1. Cranberry juice: It can help pass small-sized kidney stones easily and also prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
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  3. Apple cider vinegar: Since vinegar is acidic, it can create changes in your urine which help in passing the kidney stone. However, it is recommended that you should talk to the doctor before consuming the same to understand the proportion size.
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  5. Lemon juice: Lemon juice is rich in citrate which can prevent kidney stone formation. You can also consume citrates from other fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges, and melons.
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  7. Coffee: As per studies, coffee decreases the risk of kidney stone formation and also helps it to pass down quickly.

You must avoid soda and other soft drinks that consist of added sugar or fructose corn syrup. These can increase the risk of escalation.

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