Formation of urinary stones at any level of the urinary tract is a common condition. It is estimated that approximately 2% of the population experiences renal stone disease at sometimes in their life with male female ratio of 2:1. The peak incident is observed in 2nd to 3rd decades of life. Kidney stones are characterized clinically by colicky pain (renal colic) as they pass down along the ureter and manifest by haematuria.
Types of urinary stones:-
There are 4 main types of urinary stones- Calcium containing, mixed (struvite), uric acid, and cystine stones and a small number of rare types.
1). Calcium stones– Calcium stones are the most common comprising about 75% of all urinary stones. They may be pure stones of calcium oxalate (50%) or calcium phosphate (5%) or mixture of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate (45%). In about 25% of patient with calcium stones, the cause is unknown as there is no abnormality in urinary excretion of calcium, uric acid, or oxalate and is referred to as idiopathic calcium stone disease. A number of predisposing factors contributing to formation of calcium stones are alkaline PH, decreased urinary volume, increased excretion of oxalate and uric acid etc. Calcium stones are usually small (less than a centimeter), ovoid, hard with granular rough surface. They are dark brown due to old blood pigment deposited in them as a result of repeated trauma caused to the urinary tract by these sharp edged stones.
2). Mixed (struvite) stones– About 15% of urinary calculi (stones) are made of magnesium-ammonium calcium phosphate, often called as struvite. That is why mixed stones are also called as “struvite stones” or triple phosphate stones. Struvite stones are formed as a result of infection of the urinary tract with urea-splitting organisms. These are therefore, also known as infection induced stones. Struvite stones are yellow white or grey. They tend to be soft and friable and irregular in shape. This type of stone often takes the shape of the pelvis for example `staghorn stone’.
3). Uric acid stones– Approximately 6% urinary calculi are made of uric acid. Uric acid calculi are made of uric acid. Uric acid calculi are radiolucent unlike radio opaque calcium stones. Factors contributing to their formation are acidic urinary PH (below 6) and low urinary volume. Uric acid stones are smoothing, yellowish-brown, hard and often multiple.
4). Cystine stones- Cystine stones comprise less than 2% of urinary calculi. The excessive excretion of crystine which is least soluble of the naturally occurring amino acids leads to the formation of crystals and eventually cystine calculi. Cystine stones are small, rounded, smooth and often multiple. They are yellowish and waxy.
5).Other calculi– Less than 2% of urinary calculi consist of other rare types such as xanthine stones. It occurs due to inherited abnormalities of amino acid metabolism.
As it is said “Prevention is better than cure”. Here are some preventive measures by which you can avoid future stones. Prevention of renal stone depends on the type of stone and underlying urinary chemical risk factors. The patient should modify their lifestyles to discourage stone formation.
1). Drink plenty of water and take fibrous food, vegetables, whole grains and vegetable proteins.
2). Avoid sugar, alcohol, antacids, excessive proteins, dairy products (especially milk), salt, carbonated beverages, caffeine, and refined white flour products.
3). Avoid food containing oxalate such as spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, chocolate, black tea, wheat bran, strawberries and beans.
4). Take food which are rich in magnesium and low in calcium, such as bran, corn, soy, brown rice, banana, potato, barley, etc.
5). Decrease the animal protein in your diet and increase vegetarian proteins and high fibrous food.
1). Magnesium citrate- Take 500 mg of Magnesium citrate daily. It helps to decrease the size of an existing stone and prevents further stone formation.
2). Vitamin B-6- 10 to 100 mg per day is sufficient for the metabolism of oxalic acid. A B-6 deficiency increases urinary oxalate, which may leads to kidney stones.
3). Folic acid- Folic acid in a dose of 5 mg per day helps to break down uric acid stones.
In homeopathy there are medicines which not only help to remove the stone, but it also prevents the formation of future stones by improving body’s natural mechanism and biochemical dysfunction. With homeopathic treatment a stone gradually dissolves into sand particles and get eliminated from the urinary system. But before starting homeopathic treatment always remember that the size of the stone must be small enough to pass without surgical intervention. Even problems associated with renal stones like colic, hemorrhage and soreness of urinary tract can be easily relieved by homeopathy. And the added advantage is that homeopathic treatment also improves the general health and also prevents from the complications of surgery.
1). Berberis vulgaris- Berberis is used in left sided kidney stones and renal colic. Pain radiates from the left ureter to the left thighs. Bubbling sensation in the left kidney. Pains are burning in type and come suddenly which makes the patient restless. Other urinary symptoms which are present in the patient are burning in urethra with or without urination. Pain aggravates before and after urination and ameliorated while urination, nausea and vertigo with fainting feeling, severe backache mainly of left side. Sweat from least exertion. Colic is aggravated by sudden movements & jerks and better by warmth and after urination.
2). Cantharis- Indicated in scanty urination with burning micturition. Urine is pased in drops. This medicine is used to increase the volume of urine and to relieve the burning sensation in urethra.
3). Colocynth- This medicine is used for renal colic. Pain over the whole abdomen occurs while urinating. Pain is relieved by bending forward.
4). Ocimum canum- It is used in right sided renal colic. Pain started from right kidney radiating to the ureter and bladder. Patient becomes restless due to agonizing pain and even not feels comfortable in any position. Constant vomiting which is bitter in taste. Ureter becomes sore, reddish color urine. Urine smells like musk, oedema on the legs and feet.
5). Nux vom- Mostly used in right sided renal colic, but when indicated on the totality of the symptoms it is equally effective in left sided renal colic. Cramping renal pain extends to the thigh. There is an ineffectual urge for passing stool and for urination. Patient cannot tolerate tight clothing. Pains are too violent for him. Over sensitiveness to pain which makes him irritable.
6). Pareira brava- It is very useful medicine for renal stone. Left sided renal colic. Pain starts from left lumber spine, radiates to the left groin. Pain aggravates while urination. Lack of constant flow of urine, urine passes in drops, with sensation of fullness of bladder. Itching in urethra. Urine is bloody and smells like ammonia. Pain aggravates during early morning. Other symptoms are renal colic in gouty patients, in alcoholics, patients who had gonorrhoea, enlarged prostate, acute cystitis and urethritis.
7). Lycopodium- Lycopodium are suited to the patient having uric acid constitutions. This medicine is used for the treatment of renal stones and for renal colic. It is a right sided medicine. Pain started from right kidney, passes down the ureter to the bladder. Urination requires great straining. Urine passes in drops with violent pain during urination. Red sand like sediments in urine. Renal colic is relieved by taking something warm. Pain aggravates usually between 4 PM to 8 PM. Pain is ameliorated after urination.
8). Calc carb- It is mainly used to prevent future stones in persons having the tendency of recurring stones.
9). Other medicines which are used in kidney stones are- Arnica, lith carb, oxalic acid, coccus cacti, sarsaparilla, dioscorea, eryngium aquaticum, urtica urens, belladonna, arg nit, pennyroyal, etc.