4 Simple Steps to Naturally Passing Kidney Stones
Recent studies indicate that roughly 1 in 10 people will experience a kidney stone in their lifetime. This might not sound like much on the surface, but that’s 10% of the population. And, they’re going to be forced to deal with one of the most painful conditions in existence. So, logic would suggest that there will be a great number of people who are going to want to know how to pass their kidney stone as quickly and painlessly as possible.
For a vast majority of people who will be forced to deal with a kidney stone, the stones will be small (less than 5mm) to medium (5-10mm) in size, while less people will be faced with large (10mm+) kidney stones. For those of us looking to deal with small to medium kidney stones, we have options. Some are more natural and others are surgical-based. When it comes to large kidney stones, surgery is often the only option. So, for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the small to medium kidney stones and the more natural way of passing them.
When contemplating the passage of a small to medium sized kidney stone, there are 4 key factors that will need to be addressed in order to have the highest likelihood of passing the kidney stone without issue. They are as follows:
#1: Pain ReliefPassing a kidney stone can be a nightmare - even with small kidney stones of less than 5mm. Our bodies are just not meant to deal with solid matter in the urinary tract. So, finding something for pain relief is critical to making the process of passing a kidney stone bearable. Let’s consider some of the options currently in use:
- Prescription: Quite often, opioid-based narcotic pain medication is prescribed by the doctor/urologist. Typically it is oxycodone, which is pretty powerful when it comes to pain relief. But, it has negative impacts to the body with long-term use, and inevitably, you’re going to experience nasty withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking it. And, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty awful on their own.
- Abuse of opioid-based pain medication is also a huge problem in the U.S. So much so, that doctors and urologists have stopped prescribing this medication for kidney stone patients due to fear of abuse.
- Over the Counter: Since the fear of abuse is at an all-time high right now, most people suffering from a kidney stone are sent home with instructions to use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Advil (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen), or Aspirin to manage the pain. Unfortunately, most of these fall very short when it comes to dulling the pain of a kidney stone. Very short.
- Natural: Chanca Piedra is the most commonly used all-natural pain reliever on the market and has been used for centuries around the world for kidney stones. Studies have indicated that its analgesic properties (pain relieving) are equal to or greater than those of opioid-based pain medication. Plus, the use of this herb has not shown any negative side-effects (short-term or long-term) in any of the research conducted.
Now that pain has been managed, the next critical piece of passing a kidney stone is to open up the pathways to allow the stone freedom of movement. However, most of the urinary tract is inflamed and irritated due to the presence of the kidney stone. The kidney stone is literally ripping and tearing its way from the kidney, down the narrow ureter, to the bladder. This is often why people see blood in their urine or blood is indicated on test results during preliminary urinalysis by the doctor’s office.
This inflammation presents a problem, as inflammation has a tendency to make parts of our body swell-up. In the case of a kidney stone, this swelling will impede movement of the stone and often will cause the stone to become lodged in the ureter. This is incredibly painful and can cause complications such as blockage, which needs to be addressed immediately. To help reduce the chance of complications, here are a few options to consider when looking to add an anti-inflammatory:
- Prescription: Toradol (Ketorolac) and FloMax are often the go-to for doctors and urologists looking to reduce inflammation or to relax the muscles of the urinary tract to allow things to flow more freely. Unfortunately, many people have noted negative side effects that impact daily living to the point of needing to stop taking the medication.
- Over the Counter: While NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) such as Advil (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen), or Aspirin fall short when it comes to pain relief, they can be beneficial in the management and reduction of inflammation in the urinary tract.
- Natural: Ginger, Dandelion Root and Chanca Piedra are often used in herbal remedies for reducing inflammation. Many proponents of the pharmaceutical approach will note that research is lacking to support the anti-inflammatory claims. But, use-based data from real people is pointing to actual tangible results.
Now that we’ve dealt with the pain and reduced the inflammation to a point where things can flow a little more freely and easily, we will need to increase urine production. The pressure in the urinary tract generated by an increase in urine production will be necessary to get the kidney stone to move from the kidney to the ureter, from the ureter to the bladder, from the bladder through the urethra, and out of your body. Without additional urine production, we’ve only just gone part of the way. Here are a few options to get things going:
- Prescription: The prescription world of diuretics is a complicated one. There are numerous varieties and types of drugs on the market. And, unfortunately, there does not seem to be a clear leader in the category. We will outline the different types and a few of the drugs available below. But, if you’re interested in going the prescription route, please consult your doctor for the best option.
- Thiazide Diuretics: work by inhibiting reabsorption of 3-5% of luminal sodium in the kidney. By doing so, thiazide diuretics promote excretion of sodium (natriuresis) and increased urine production (diuresis).
- Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- Hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
- Loop Diuretics: work by inhibiting the sodium-potassium-chloride co-transporter in the thick ascending loop of Henle (hence the name loop diuretic), which is located in the kidneys.
- Bumetanide (Bumex)
- Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
- Furosemide (Lasix)
- Torsemide (Demadex)
- Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: work by interfering with the sodium-potassium exchange in the kidneys. Generally regarded as weak diuretic. But, does not encourage the loss of potassium in the process.
- Eplerenone (Inspra)
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Triamterene (Dyrenium)
- Over the Counter: Diurex (Pamabrom) is claimed to be the #1 selling over the counter diuretic and can be found in almost any pharmacy in the US. Many pharmacies also sell their own generic version of a diuretic. You will also see diuretics labeled as “water pills.”
- Natural: Chanca Piedra is the king of diuretics in the herbal segment. People who have taken even small amounts of this herb notice an immediate increase in urine volume/output. To a somewhat lesser extent, dandelion root has been highly successful along with Hydrangea root, Ginger, and even caffeine.
- Dandelion root is interesting (in a good way) when used as a diuretic; unlike many others, it will not reduce potassium in the body. Most diuretics have the tendency to flush out critical minerals as a result of increased urine volume.
When you take pain off the table (or at least dull it sufficiently), open up the pathways to give the kidney stone freedom of movement, and increase the body’s urine production, you have effectively set all the framework necessary to force the kidney stone out of your body naturally. However, you will need to create pressure sufficient to generate stone movement if your goal is to see this process through. This can be accomplished by simply drinking significantly more water throughout your day.
Advice on how much water to drink is all over the board. But, under usual life conditions, 3-4 liters of water a day (around a gallon) will provide roughly 2.5-3 liters of urine volume, and this should be enough. The average healthy adult bladder holds about 1/2 liter, so this means 7 – 9 bathroom trips in 24 hours.
If this seems excessive, it is! Remember, we’re trying to pass the kidney stone, this is not a water intake level that you are looking to sustain for any longer than necessary.
When you consider these 4 keys to passing a kidney stone, it is easy to see why we chose the ingredients that we did when formulating Stone Relief teas and capsules. Chanca Piedra is an all-star and addresses pain relief, inflammation and increasing urine production.
- Chanca Piedra has also been shown to break apart kidney stones and has the ability to stop them from forming again in the future. Check out our video/blog HERE on a recent study that demonstrates it’s prowess for kidney stone reduction and prevention.
We added dandelion root to our products for it’s anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. And, whole pieces of freeze-dried lemon were added to help boost stone prevention because of the naturally occurring citrates found in citrus fruits. A small amount of hydrangea root was added to our capsules as yet another diuretic, and Apple Cider Vinegar provides additional citrate, plus stone dissolving abilities.
When you put it all together, there is not a more powerful-natural tool on the market for dealing with the passing of a kidney stone and for preventing future kidney stones than Stone Relief!
Be well 🙏
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Joey Weichmann is the Founder of Stone Relief and has made it his mission to to help fellow health-conscious individuals take control of their kidney stone disease through naturopathic principles.