Because cutting the kidney to extract a stone can reduce the kidney's effectiveness by 20%, less invasive methods to eliminate kidney stones are being developed. The ones which work the fastest, without unwelcome side effects, are the home remedies to get rid of kidney stones.
As an alternative to surgery, shock treatment (extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy – ESWL) to literally shatter the stone into small pieces can be used. However, although this is carried out under local anesthetic, the feeling of having been run over by a truck persists for some days after.
Another form of treatment involves inserting a probe up the urethra and up into the urinary tract. This does give direct contact with the stone, which then requires a less powerful shockwave to shatter it, so meaning less residual pain. Alternatively a laser may be used on the end of the probe to fragment the stone.
All these surgical procedures are painful to a degree, require a hospital visit and are thus, undesirable, so medication is increasingly being used to avoid this.
This involves the use of alpha-blockers and calcium channel blockers, normally used to treat hypertension. However, when used for kidney stone treatment they appear to work by relaxing the ureter and increasing liquid pressure. This allows the kidney stone to be flushed by simply drinking large amounts of pure water.
However, this method is only reliable, when the stone has nearly completed its painful passage down the ureter and is close to the bladder – in the section called the distal ureter. At that stage, the untreated stone could well have already caused damage to the ureter by tearing the delicate surface of the tube. A better solution is to use home remedies to get rid of kidney stones, because – if taken as soon as the first symptoms are experienced – these get to work immediately, dissolving the stone, so it can pass easily down the ureter and flushed from the body without causing damage.
Nor is taking alpha-blockers and calcium channel blockers a swift remedy and patients can be on the course of medication for up to a month, before more drastic measures, such as shock wave or surgery are considered. Fortunately – when compared with many pharmaceuticals – the side effects of this treatment are fairly mild, with just a few patients reporting a feeling of light-headedness, when using alpha-blockers. Users of the calcium channel blockers do report more disturbing symptoms, such as giddiness, when rising quickly from a sitting position. This is because calcium channel blockers were originally designed to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension, so the thinned blood tends to drain from the brain by gravity, causing the temporary giddiness. Both sets of side effects disappear when the medication is stopped.
The good news is about 85% of stones have a high calcium content and these respond very well to home remedies to get rid of kidney stones. In the majority of cases the stones can be dissolved and passed harmlessly out of your system in as little as 12 hours. And, because the treatment consists entirely of regular grocery items, costing only about ten dollars, there are no side effects and no big doctor bills.