Can lemon water help prevent kidney stones? Here’s what you need to know
If you have ever had kidney stones, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy because the excruciating pain is not something that everyone can go through. Experts claim that over 12% of the Indian population suffer from kidney stones once in their life. Luckily, there are ways to pass small kidney stones with simple home remedies such as lime juice.
Drinking lemon juice is one of the best options to prevent kidney stones and to break down small sized calcium-based kidney stones. The citrate in the juice binds with the calcium in kidney stone which reduces its size and makes it easier to excrete through urine.
In this article, we explore the following:
- What are kidney stones?
- Why use lemon juice for kidney stones?
- Other food items that dissolve kidney stones
- When to see a doctor?
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones or renal calculi are hard mineral deposits that are usually formed when the urine gets concentrated. It is painful to pass but it doesn’t result in any permanent damage.
Although there are several causes of kidney stones, definite causes can only be understood through health history, family history, environment, and diet of a person.
There are mainly four types of renal calculi – calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. Different types of kidney stones require different types of treatment and lifestyle changes.
One simple DIY hack that many people support is drinking lemon juice for kidney stones. The citrate in the lemon juice helps in the breakdown of calcium-based reducing its size which makes excretion much easier.
Why use lemon juice for kidney stones?
Lemon is enriched with vitamin C and it also has great hydrating potential. Perhaps, it is one of the many reasons that people often include it in various cuisines.
Consuming lemon juice has several other benefits as well. Some of them are as follows:
- Breaking down or reducing the growth of kidney stones
Citric acid has the ability to bind with calcium particles in the (calcium-based) kidney stones which reduces its size and aids in easier excretion. It also helps to dissolve small sized kidney stones.
- Increased levels citrate in urine
Several research articles suggest that high amounts of citrate in urine result in a lower risk of acquiring kidney stones. This is because citrate binds with calcium and makes it unavailable to form kidney stones.
- Improved urine output
Lemon juice is a diuretic that helps to increase urine output. It means that the more urine a patient passes, the more kidney stones pass through the kidney. If you feel that something is off with your kidney, try drinking lemon juice for kidney stones. It will remove stones quickly from your urinary system.
- Reduced pain from kidney stones
Apart from dissolving the kidney stones, lemon juice also helps to reduce intense pain due to kidney stones. Another healthy alternative that can help reduce pain is to prepare salad dressing with olive oil and lemon.
Other food items that dissolve kidney stones
If for some reason, you dislike lemon, there are several other alternatives too. Some other food items that can help you dissolve kidney stones include:
- Basil Juice
Basil Juice has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce kidney stone pain and flush out toxins from the body. Additionally, basil juice also contains acetic acid which prevents the formation of kidney stones.
- Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate has antioxidant properties that remove all the toxins from the body and improve the overall function of the kidneys. This fruit juice is also known to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- Barley water
People often recommend lemon juice kidney stones but you can also opt for Barley water if you run out of lemon. It consists of Vitamin B6 which helps in breakdown and prevent the formation of kidney stones. It also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body which improves kidney functioning.
- Apple cider vinegar
Like basil juice, (diluted) apple cider vinegar also consists of acetic acid which helps to dissolve kidney stones. Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar everyday can also help dissolve kidney stone.
When to see a doctor?
Although the above mentioned remedies have worked for many people, it cannot always replace the needed treatment. The best option is to visit the best nephrologist in Delhi and get the kidney stones removed. It is recommended to visit a doctor if you are experiencing following symptoms:
- Fever and chills
- Severe abdominal pain that makes it difficult to sit or stand
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in urine
- Pain while passing the urine
We understand that the pain caused by kidney stones is not easy to bear. However, there are several food options mentioned in the article that can help you relieve the pain. If nothing works, we highly recommend you to visit Dr. Rajesh Goel, the best nephrologist in Delhi.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What dissolves kidney stones fast?
Food options such as Apple cider vinegar, basil juice, barley water, and lemon juice can dissolve kidney stones fast. Lime juice for kidney stones is the best food alternative.
How can I pass kidney stones naturally in 24 hours?
You can pass minute kidney stones naturally in 24 hours by drinking plenty of water. It ensures that all the toxins are removed from the body which are the main culprit behind kidney stones.
Can 7mm kidney stones dissolve?
Yes, it is possible. As per researchers, kidney stones between the size of 5mm to 10mm dissolve on their own and pass naturally through urine in 50% cases. In such cases, doctors often recommend lemon juice for kidney stones.
How long do kidney stones last?
Kidney stones that are smaller than 4mm pass within one to two weeks. Whereas, stones that are above 4mm may take one to four weeks to pass.