Kidney stones can be quite painful and are a common problem, especially in those with a family history of developing them. The longer the stones stay in the body, the greater the chance of urine flow becoming blocked, leading to complications. There are a few tips available to those who are working on passing kidney stones. Drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding certain foods are among the most popular suggestions.
Passing kidney stones is easier when a person drinks at least eight glasses of water per day. Pushing fluids helps to flush out waste materials from the kidneys and can also help to push the stone out of the body through the urine. Some patients have difficulty drinking plain water, so adding a little lemon juice may make it easier to drink the proper amount. Some juices, such as orange juice or grape juice, may help to dissolve kidney stones, making them easier to pass.
In some cases, medical professionals may recommend making dietary changes to help pass a kidney stone. Some foods, such as beans or chocolate, may actually make the kidney stones larger, causing them to be more difficult to pass. Other foods to avoid include blackberries, okra, and soy products.
If the patient is of legal drinking age, a healthcare professional may recommend that he drink a beer or two each day. Beer increases the production and flow of urine, making it more likely that the stone will be able to pass naturally. Other beverages containing carbonation or caffeine should be avoided.
There will likely be a significant amount of pain until after the stones have been passed. During this time, the patient may take over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In many cases, a medical professional will prescribe a narcotic pain reliever to help ease the pain. Nausea often accompanies the pain of kidney stones, so an anti-nausea medication may also be prescribed.
If the patient attempts the above methods of passing kidney stones without results or if the pain becomes excruciating, a medical professional should be consulted. In cases where urination becomes difficult or impossible, the patient needs medical help immediately. If the stones cause a complete urinary blockage, kidney damage could occur from the added pressure.