WHAT ARE RENAL CALCULI? HOW DOES IT DEVELOP?
Renal calculi are single or multiple solid crystal deposits that form in the kidneys and are often painful when passed.
Usually, your kidneys remove waste from your blood to make urine. When there is too much waste in your blood and your body is not producing enough urine, the solids’ wastes stick together and build up solid mass/ crystals in your kidneys. These solid mass/ crystals attract other wastes and chemicals to form larger crystals until it is removed/ passed out of your body.
VARIOUS TYPES OF RENAL CALCULI:
- CALCIUM STONES: Calcium stones are the most commonly occurring kidney stones covering a large population. The most commonly occurring Calcium stone is in form of Calcium Oxalate. Oxalate is absorbed from certain eatables like fruits (cranberry, oranges), vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes), chocolate, nuts, etc. apart from this, high doses of vitamin D, intestinal bypass surgery, and several metabolic disorders can increase the concentration of calcium or oxalate in urine. Calcium stones may also occur in the form of calcium phosphate. This type of stone is more common in metabolic conditions, such as renal tubular acidosis. It may also be associated with certain medications used to treat migraines or seizures, such as topiramate.
- STRUVITE STONES: These stones are found in patients having Chronic or Recurrent Urinary Tract infections. Infection-causing bacteria make ammonia that builds up in the urine. Struvite stones are mainly made of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. These stones grow very quickly and become very large in size in small time and may cause urinary obstruction.
- URIC ACID STONES: Uric acid stones form in people who lose too much fluid from the body in form of chronic diarrhea or malabsorption/ those who eat a high-protein diet/ those having diabetes or some metabolic syndrome. Certain genetic factors also contribute to the risk of uric acid stones.
- CYSTINE STONES: The occurrence of this stone is very rare. This occurs in the patient with a genetic disorder- cystinuria (which causes the kidneys to excrete too much specific amino acid), where the kidneys leak cystine (an acid that occurs naturally in the body) into the urine.
RISK FACTORS OF DEVELOPING RENAL CALCULI:
- Family or personal history: If someone in your family has had kidney stones, you’re more likely to develop stones, too. If you’ve already had one or more kidney stones, you’re at increased risk of developing another.
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water each day can increase your risk of kidney stones. People who live in warm, dry climates and those who sweat a lot may be at higher risk than others.
- Certain diets: Eating a diet that’s high in protein, sodium (salt), and sugar may increase your risk of some types of kidney stones. This is especially true with a high-sodium diet. Too much salt in your diet increases the amount of calcium your kidneys must filter and significantly increases your risk of kidney stones.
- Obesity: High body mass index (BMI), large waist size, and weight gain have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
- Digestive diseases and surgery: Gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, or chronic diarrhea can cause changes in the digestive process that affect your absorption of calcium and water, increasing the amounts of stone-forming substances in your urine.
- Other medical conditions such as renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, and repeated urinary tract infections also can increase your risk of kidney stones.
- Certain supplements and medications such as vitamin C, dietary supplements, laxatives (when used excessively), calcium-based antacids, and certain medications used to treat migraines or depression, can increase your risk of kidney stones.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF RENAL CALCULI:
Patients having Renal Calculi usually do not develop symptoms until the calculus moves around within the kidney or passes into the ureter the tubes connecting the kidneys and the bladder. If it becomes lodged in the ureters, it may block the flow of urine and cause the kidney to swell and the ureter to spasm, which can be very painful. At that point, you may experience these signs and symptoms:
- Severe, sharp pain in the side and back, below the ribs that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin.
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity and shifts to different locations as the stone moves through the urinary tract.
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PATIENTS:
- STAY HYDRATED: Drinking more water is the best way to prevent kidney stones. When one doesn’t drink enough water, the urine output will be low. Low urine output means that urine is more concentrated and less likely to dissolve urine salts that ultimately cause stones.
Try to drink a minimum of eight glasses of fluids daily, or enough quantity of water to pass at least two liters of urine. If one exercises/ sweats a lot/has a history of cystine stones and needs additional fluids.
One can judge the state of hydration of the body by looking at the color of his/ her urine — it is always clear or pale yellow in a normally hydrated body, but, if it’s dark, one needs to consume more liquids.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR RENAL CALCULI: At our Cosmic Homeo Healing Centre, we have treated thousands of various cases of Renal Calculi under the able guidance of Dr. Mahavrat Patel. There are many medicines in Homeopathy if given after matching the Totality of Symptoms of medicine with the symptoms of a patient, helps in the removal of calculi as well as prevention of recurrence of calculi. The tendency of repeated renal stones in certain cases is found to run in the family. Homeopathy helps to come over such tendencies and changes an individual’s metabolism for the better.
- CONSUMPTION OF MORE AMOUNT OF CALCIUM RICH FOOD: The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, which leads misconception of avoiding eating calcium, but the opposite is true, Low-calcium diets may increase the risk of renal calculi and also the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium supplements, however, may increase your risk of stones, but a meal that is rich in calcium (low-fat milk/low-fat yogurt/ paneer/ chia seeds) may help reduce that risk.
- REDUCE CONSUMPTION OF SODIUM RICH FOOD: A high-salt diet increases the risk of calcium renal calculi. Too much salt in the urine prevents calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine to the blood. This causes high urine calcium, which may lead to kidney stones. Eating less salt helps keep urine calcium levels lower. The lower the urine calcium, the lower the risk of developing kidney stones. To reduce the sodium intake, avoid the consumption of
- processed foods, such as chips and crackers
- canned soups
- canned vegetables
- foods that contain sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- LIMIT CONSUMPTION OF OXALATE RICH FOODS: Some renal calculi are made of oxalate, a natural compound that is found in foods that bind with calcium in the urine to form renal calculi. Limiting oxalate-rich foods (spinach, chocolates, sweet potatoes, coffee, etc.) may help prevent the stones from forming. However, eating oxalate-rich and calcium-rich foods if eaten together, prevents stone formation because oxalate and calcium bind together in the digestive tract before reaching to kidneys.
- AVOID CONSUMPTION OF ANIMAL PROTEINS: Foods high in animal protein are acidic and may increase urine acid. High urine acid may cause both uric acid and calcium oxalate kidney stones.
- CONSUME VITAMIN-C RICH FOODS, BUT LIMIT CONSUMPTION OF VITAMIN-C SUPPLEMENTS: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplementation may cause kidney stones, especially in men. According to one study, men who took high doses of vitamin C supplements doubled their risk of forming a kidney stone. Researchers don’t believe vitamin C from food carries the same risk. Lemonade and orange juice are also good options. They both contain citrate, which may prevent stones from forming.
- When the patient has right-sided renal calculi, with blood passing in urine with sandy sediments, severe pain that awakens the patient from sleep, pain > after passing urine, flatulence, and bloated abdomen- LYCOPODIUM is the medicine that gives relief.
- When the patient has renal calculi in the left kidneys with urine loaded with red granules like sediments with severe stone pain that starts from the affected kidney, runs down to the pelvis, and moves up to the hip that’s <ed in sitting/ lying position- BERBERIS VULGARIS is indicated.
- CALCAREA CARB, LYCOPODIUM, BERBERIS VULG, URTICA URENS, and SEPIA are given to prevent further formation of renal calculi/ stone pain.
- CANTHARIS is given when a patient has developed sensitivity to the affected area with severe burning pains before and after urinating. Blood passed with dark-colored scanty urine. Urine passes in drops with frequent urging to urinate.
- BENZOIC ACID and URTICA URENS are the medicines for URIC ACID STONE.
- CALCAREA RENALIS is the homeopathic medicine for CALCIUM RENAL CALCULI.
- SARSAPARILLA is the remedy when a patient is able to pass urine freely only in a standing position with severe stone pain. A patient has to wake up several times at night to pass urine. There is a severe offensive smell of urine.
- When there is a stone in the bladder- obstructing the passage of urine- UVA URSI is the indicated medicine.
However, one shouldn’t start homeopathic medicine without consulting an expert. For maximum benefit of Homeopathic treatment and to get rid of renal calculi completely, proper consultation is required and exact similimum on the basis of Totality of Symptoms is to be administered.