Renal Calculi (Kidney Stones)
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Introduction

 

Renal calculi, more commonly known as kidney stones or urinary stones, is one of the most prevalent types of urinary disorders found in people all over the world. Renal calculi affect 1 in 20 people at some time or other in their lives, to a negligible or a noticeable extent. Hence, it is very important to know all the aspects of this urinary problem so that it can be nipped in the bud.

 

Definition of Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

 

Renal calculi are solid accretions of mineral substances that are found in the urine. These can vary in size and number and are generally found in the ureters, bladder or the kidneys. The smallest kidney stones could be as much as a pinhead, while the largest could be the size of a grapefruit. Accumulation of minerals in the urine is a very normal phenomenon, and in most cases, they are passed out with the urine without any sensation to the person. However, if the mineral accretions accumulate into big sizes over time, then they are not eliminated the normal way. This is when sharp pains are felt in the flanks, abdomen and groin. This is what is commonly referred to as the medical problem of renal calculi or kidney stones.

In medical language, renal calculi are also termed as nephrolithiases or urolithiases, where the root word ‘lith’ means a stone. Ayurveda terms this problem as vrukka ashmari.

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What Causes Kidney Stones

What causes kidney stones

Our kidneys do the all-important work of filtering the impurities out of the bloodstream. This process is called as excretion. Excretion is not a single step process. In order to understand why renal calculi are formed, it is necessary to have at least a layman’s knowledge of the human excretory process.

Excretion takes place in the Malphigian bodies located in the renal cortex of the kidney. The Malphigian body is a system of highly coiled glomerulus which is in contact with a cup-shaped region called as the Bowman’s capsule. When impure blood flows through the glomerulus under pressure, the ultra-filtration takes place, when the impurities are voided from the blood into the Bowman’s capsule. However, in this process several of the important minerals and water content is also voided out.

In the next process, called as selective re-absorption, the filtered content passes through the U-shaped tube of Henle. This is when most of the essential minerals and water are reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. These minerals pass out into the circulatory system of the body via the blood. But in some instances, some mineral residues are left behind in the kidneys, causing what is commonly known as kidney stones. Over time, these kidney stones could grow in size and cause pains.

In normal conditions, the human urine contains some factors that inhibit (thwart) the buildup of mineral deposits in it. Such substances are magnesium, citrates, pyrophosphate, etc. If there is a deficiency of these substances, then there is a chance that the minerals will crystallize in the urine leading to kidney stones.

People who take antacids and thus alter the pH of the urine are also at higher risk of getting kidney stones since altering the pH of the urine causes precipitation of the minerals.

Ayurveda treats nephrolithiases as a kapha dosha disorder. Kapha dosha is responsible for the proper balance between the earth and the water components, i.e. it pertains to the symbiosis between the surroundings and the human body. Vitiation in the kapha dosha can bring about accumulation of mineral deposits in the excretory tract, giving rise to kidney stones.

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People who are at Risk of Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

Kidney stones are not indiscriminate, i.e. they affect only particular types of people. The following are the groups of people who are more susceptible of developing kidney stones than others:-

People who live on a diet rich in animal protein and low in fibers and fluids can get kidney stones due to mineral retention in their urinary tract.

People who have a family history of kidney stones may get it themselves, indicating a hereditary aspect of the problem.

People with complaints of high blood pressure (hypertension) are more at risk of getting kidney stones.

People who are bedridden due to long illnesses can get stones in their kidneys.

People who have heartburn repeatedly and take antacids have greater chances of developing kidney stones.

People who work in stressful conditions are also probable targets of kidney stones.

At the same time, men are much more vulnerable to vrukka ashmari than women. A survey indicated that one-fourteenth of all men and one-thirtieth of all women are susceptible to kidney stones. This means that men have double the chances of getting kidney stones than women. Also, the onset of kidney stones is generally observed between the ages of 20 and 40 years.

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Symptoms of Kidney Stones or Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

Renal calculi develop quite stealthily, as there are no observable symptoms of kidney stones in the early stages. As time advances, the person begins to feel the following symptoms of kidney stones:-

  • Severe pain in the flanks, lower abdomen and groin area
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Feelings of nausea and vomiting
  • Fear psychosis in traveling and consuming food.

Apart from these kidney stones symptoms, if there is fever accompanied with chills, then it is most probably a urinary tract infection. The complication must be diagnosed through a doctor and proper medication must be done.

Some people think that sharper pains and more blood in the urine means a bigger sized kidney stone. However, this is just a misconception. It is not the size of the stone, but the placement of it in the urinary tract and the mineral content of it that is responsible for severer kidney stones symptoms.

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Complications due to Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

Stones that are allowed to remain in the kidneys for prolonged periods of time will grow in size. This will lead to the necessity of surgical removal. Hence, medical help must be sought as soon as the symptoms of renal calculi begin to make their appearance. Also, kidney stones can lead to urinary tract infections.

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Transmission of Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

Renal calculi are non-communicable; they cannot be transmitted from one person to another. This is a metabolic disorder and arises due to problems in the physiology of excretion. However, the disorder can be genetically transmitted.

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Prevention of Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

It is not very difficult to prevent the onset of renal calculi. Some changes in the lifestyle and diet are required. The following are some guidelines.

  • Lead an active lifestyle. Perform plenty of exercise through your work.
  • At the same time, do not overexert yourself by adhering to stringent exercise routines.
  • Be cheerful as far as possible. Mental tensions and worries can prove to be triggering factors for kidney stones.
  • There are several dietary steps to be followed. For those guidelines, refer to the next topic.

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Diet for Preventing Renal Calculi (Vrukka Ashmari)

A substantial diet can be your best protection against renal calculi. The following guidelines must be obeyed:-

Several foods can increase the chances of getting renal calculi. The following is a list of such foods, which must be avoided:-

    Vitamin C can help minerals crystallize in the urine. Hence, all sources of vitamin C such as oranges, lemons, tomatoes, etc. must be avoided by people who have a history of renal calculi.

    Foods with vitamin D supplements in them must be avoided.

    Fruits such as apples, figs, pineapples and berries must also be avoided as they are rich in mineral iron content.

    Spices must be reduced in the diet. Special avoidance of black pepper and red chili must be followed.

    Milk and milk products such as chocolates, cheese and butter are harmful to people with a propensity towards vrukka ashmari.

    Vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus and spinach can bring about faster crystallization of minerals in the urine.

    Beverages such as tea and coffee must be reduced.

    Alcohol must be strictly avoided, especially beer as it is brewed with Brewer’s Yeast.

    If the urine of the person is acidic, then most probably there is mineralization due to excessive flesh foods. Such people must avoid all the three kinds of flesh foods, viz. meat, fish and poultry.

At the same time, the person must take a large amount of fluids, especially water. Plain water helps to increase the liquid bulk of urine. In most cases, people can get the stones broken down by drinking a lot of water and then allowing a strong flow of urine to pass out through their urethra.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones Treatment

Since centuries, Ayurveda has been quite efficient in curing problems with kidney stones. Both individual herbs and Ayurvedic preparations are efficacious in solving vrukka ashmari problems.

The following is a list of the most prominent Ayurvedic herbs used in the kidney stones treatment, with their actions on the human body.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Ajmoda

Apium graveolens

Celery

Celery is a very viable treatment for people who wish to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Just including celery in the regular diet can help to prevent the crystallization of minerals in the urine.

Heena or Mehndi

Lawsonia alba

Henna

In order to expel kidney stones, the bark of the mehndi tree is mixed with twenty parts of water till it boils down to one-fourth its previous volume. This decoction is taken in volumes of 20 to 30 ml, twice or thrice a day, depending on the nature of severity of the pain.

Mooli

Raphanus sativus

Radish

A decoction of mooli seeds and leaves can be taken in order to eject the kidney stones through the urinary system.

Pashanabheda

Saxifraga ligulata

Silver Saxifrage

In Sanskrit, pashana means ‘stone’ and bheda means ‘to break’. This herb, which literally breaks the rock it grows in, has been accorded capability of breaking the stones within the kidney and helping them to pass out with the urine.

Tulsi

Ocimum sanctum

Holy Basil

Holy basil has a capability to strengthen the kidneys and thus improve their excretory function. The juice of the tulsi leaves taken on a daily basis with honey for six months will cause the expulsion of the kidney stones through the urinary tract.

Varuna

Crataeva nurvala

Three-leaved Caper

Varuna is an herb with diuretic properties. It is useful in the treatment of renal calculi and also urinary tract infections if they arise.

Apart from the herbs mentioned above, the following Ayurvedic preparations are also known to have efficiency in treating renal calculi:-

  • Kshara parpati
  • Shilajit
  • Ashmari hara kashaya
  • Chandraprabha

Gokshura kadha is a decoction that is used to promote easy flow of urine. It also helps in relieving the burning sensation while passing out the urine.

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Post Your Comments

Comment Script

Comments

i am suffering from 2 kidney stones in right kidney one in right renal and other near upper ureter the size 8 mm and 11 mm respectively. whether this can be removed naturally without any operation then which ayurvedic medinces or homeopathy medicines i should take
#1 - chander mohan - 03/04/2008 - 05:31
im suffering from a renal calculi with 4.4mm n right kidney and 5.6 mm on te left.i just would like to know if laser treatment to desolve the stones in both of my kidneys has something to do to affect my capability of giving birth or having a baby soon
#2 - netlavitag - 09/19/2009 - 04:11
The doctor took blood test and they say my potasia is s.k 5.6 normally 5.3 so what does this mean?
#3 - awil - 03/11/2010 - 13:32
i m been suffring 4m rinal calculli with 5.9 mm stone on lt kidney n 5 mm on rt i also hv a problem of hydronefrosis n abdominal muscle pain n gets afected by gastric acid disorders i hv taken many aurvedic med since last 1 year i hv nt gt relief to much extend wt sud i do???
#4 - sinister bains - 05/17/2010 - 08:19
i get kidney stones repeatedly once in every 4 years about 9 mm size luckly after some medication it is flushed out strangely it is always in the right kidney first time it was in 1990 which was removed by key hole surgery why
#5 - edwin pereira - 05/24/2010 - 00:58
Sir,i have 6mm stone in my right kidney please suggest me some useful treatments.
#6 - Kumarmiddha26@gmail.com - 09/27/2010 - 03:03
you have given valuable information for treatment of Renal calculi.
#7 - bhanumurthy - 01/22/2011 - 05:57
I am suffering with 4 mm kidney stone in the left side of kidney with pain in the abdomen. Is this stone will be gone out with urine if I consumed large quantity of water?
#8 - Sreekumar G Nair - 02/21/2011 - 05:20
i have found this information is very useful as i have also kidney stone of 5mm in my left kidney. i will try these herbs. Thanks
#9 - Lubna Hamid - 03/01/2011 - 00:21
Dear Sir, I am facing this renal calculi since 7 years...and again i m facing it..I have 4.5mm 4 calculi 2 in right and 2 in left...so pls suggest..how to remove it..??? saysam007@yahoo.com
#10 - samir khan - 04/10/2011 - 08:44
dear sir, i have a 4.5 mm kidney stone in my left as radiologist told me after i undergo ultrasound, and its been 3 months that i've been treating this such as drinking plenty of water, following my diet, but it never comes out. what should i do as next step to know the status of my kidney stone?
#11 - Rogelou - 05/01/2011 - 21:42
Dear sir, i m suffering with 11mm and 8 mm kidney stone in right renal and 5 mm in left renal........i hope U suggest me best treatment for this.

ubarewar@gmail.com
#12 - umesh barewar - 08/23/2011 - 02:24
PL. SUGGEST HOME REMEDY FOR CALCUI 5MM& 6MM IN MY LEFT AND 5MM AND 7MM IN MY RIGHT KIDNEY
#13 - VIJAY SHAH - 10/23/2011 - 07:25
Pl. suggest home remedy for my calculi 5and 6 mm in left and 5 and 7mm in right kidney.

my e-mail is: vijay2164@yahoo.com
#14 - VIJAY SHAH - 10/23/2011 - 07:29
Dear doctor,i am suffering with 12.5mm in left and 6mm calculi in right kidney Radiologist findings...left ureteric stasis due to 12.5 mm lower ureter calculus pl suggest me ...Thank Q
Email Id: ashokgajrehyd@gmail.com
#15 - ashok gajre - 10/26/2011 - 22:46
Dear doctor, I am suffering with 4.4 mm calculi in left kidney in the upper calyx. I dont have any type of pain and not taking any medication inspite taking alot of water. I avoid to take calculi forming food elements. Please suggest me to expell this calculi through urine.
my email id is : dubeyanu13@gmail.com
#16 - anu dubey - 12/05/2011 - 03:29
Sir i have 5mm stone in left upper ureter.is this stone will go out if i take plenty of water,please suggest some treatment.sir i know this earliar
#17 - Sushitra mutum - 06/16/2012 - 23:56
I AM HAVING 17 MM STONE IN URETHRA.PL. ADVISE SIMPLE TREATMENT TO DISSOLVE INSIDE AND THEN FLUSH IT THR. URINE. I AM AFRAID OF SURGERY.
#18 - SUBASH KAPOOR - 06/24/2012 - 10:05
I have 4-5 stone in left kidney of average size of 5.2 mm. Tell me how I flush all them through urion. my email address is vaneja65@gmail.com
#19 - Vikas Kumar - 02/26/2013 - 04:02
Dear sir, im sivasankar, 25 old, having kidney stone of size 4.5mm at left side...give ur valuable suggestions and diet control sir...currently im having a fracture at my leg and undergone treatmnt for d past 2 months...so im taking calcium rich food and tablets...is there any relation btween these two???waitng for ur valuablee reply
#20 - Sivasankar - 04/23/2013 - 01:22
sir i have -0.52cm size calculas in terminal end of right ureter.is this stone wil go out if i take plenty of water.and sir is the need to surgery.pleas advise me.
biru83debbarma@gmail.com
#21 - biru debbarma - 05/22/2013 - 04:23
dear dr. iam suffering from renal calculi 2-3mm in both kidney total 10 calculi plz suggest me
chanmohsin@gmail.com
#22 - khadar - 10/07/2013 - 03:11
m suffering fron stones with 8mm and 4mm plz tell me any medicine to remove stones without surgery.. 8mm sotne is in left side in uritire n 4mm in right side.. plz give me suggestion n medicine... thnxxx
sandhu.satwinder@yahoo.in
#23 - satwinder singh - 10/19/2013 - 11:24
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#24 - collen sithole - 02/25/2014 - 03:17
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