A kidney stone is a hard, crystallise mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Nephrolithiasis is the medical term for kidney stones. The kidneys filter the blood and remove the extra waste and water as urine. Many waste chemicals are in the urine. They can sometimes form crystals that clump together to make stones.
There are four main types of kidney stones:
- The most common are those formed from calcium combined with oxalate or phosphate.
- Struvite stones are caused by a urine infection and are often horn- shaped and quite large.
- Uric acid stones are often softer than other forms of kidney stones
- Cystine stones are rare and hereditary and look more like crystals than stones
Pain is typically the first sign of a kidney stone. Known as ‘renal colic’, the pain usually begins when a stone moves from where it has formed into the urinary tract. This causes a gripping pain in the back, just below the ribs, it can spread around the front of the body and sometimes towards the groin. Other features that appear in few of the cases are:
- Obstruction to the flow of urine
- Pain during micturition
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Bleeding during urination
- Fever & chills
- Small uric acid stones, which look like gravel, in your urine
- Bad odour of the urine
Kidney stones form when there is a decrease in urine volume and/ or an excess of stone- forming substances in the urine.
- Dehydration is a major risk factor for kidney stone formation
- People with certain medical conditions, such as gout, and those who take certain medications or supplements are at risk for kidney stones
- Diet and hereditary factors are also related to stone formation
Diagnosis of kidney stones is best accomplished using an ultrasound, intravenous pyelography (IVP), or a CT Scan.
Kidney Stones as per Ayurveda:
In Ayurveda, Kidney Stones are referred as “Mutrashmari”. Mutra means urine and Ashmari means stones. The basic causative factor & symptom for Mutrashmari is tridosha aggravation. When Vata is accumulated in Vasti (urinary bladder), due to its Ruksha guna (dry- rough quality), it stimulates to dry up Mutra (urine), Shukra converts to urine crystals. The Kapha dosha is Guru (dominant), Snigdha (oily), it binds those crystals/ gravels together to make a soft stone like structure. Pitta dosha by its paka Karma completes the stone formation.
Due to the above factors, the urine gets concentrated and its acidity increases. The reduced quantity of urine leads to increased dryness, sedimentation of salts, obstruction of urine flow, leading to stone formation. It results in painful urination. Often, it is associated with burning sensation. As the muscular tone is reduced, fatigue is complained in the localized area, pain is found in the nearby parts like bladder, flanks, back, urethra, etc.
Types and its features:
- Vataja Ashmari
- Pittaja Ashmari
- Kaphaja Ashmari
- Shukraja Ashmari
Vataja Ashmari symptoms:
- Constant severe pain around umbilicus
- Burning sensation is experienced in the penis, and while urination, belching and defecation becomes difficult & painful
- Haematuria may be seen
- Ashmari/ stone are found to be a dusty colour, rough, uneven shape, etc
- In Ayurveda texts, the shape of the stone described as hard faceted & nodular like Kadamba Flower
- Resembles Uric acid stone
- Burning sensation near the bladder, warmth in the genitalia
- Urinary calculi similar to the seeds of Bhallataka (marking nut) and reddish yellow coloured stones are the features of Pitta dominant urinary calculi
- Urine colour yellowish red
- Associated with fever, chills
- Resembles to calcium oxalate, uric acid & cystine stone
- Pricking pain in the bladder, sensation of cold & heaviness
- Stiffness at the region of pain. Have the pain but it is not severe as Vataja type
- Colour of urine will be white
- Stone in white, glossy and attain to large size to that of Hen’s egg. And has the colour of Madhuka Flower
- Resembles to calcium phosphate stones
- Constant suppression of semen results in this kind of stones in men. This is corelated to spermolith
- Pain in the bladder, dysuria, inflammation in the scrotum and decreased sexual libido are the features of this kind of stones
- Discharge of semen and sediment occurred by excessive coitus or abrupt or sudden stepping sexual act
- Associated with dysuria, scrotum swelling
Complications of Kidney stones :
Debility, fatigue, emaciation, anaemia, acute renal failure, recurrent or persistent urinary infection.
Line of treatment according to Ayurveda:
Mild oleation (Snehana).
Medicines which are penetrative (Teekshna Ushna) and break the stones (Ashmari Bhedana), diuratics (Muthala Dravyas)- to flush out the small sized kidney stones, sufficient water intake, watery food intake, coolants (Sheetala Upachara) and remedies to balance Vata are helpful to relieve Ashmari/stone.
According to the Dosha imbalance each variety of calculi is treated easily and successfully.
We can also treat according to the stage of the disease:
- Stage 1: Severe pain in the Kukshi and Kati region (Vatahara Treatment)
- Stage 2: Burning urination (Pittahara Treatment)
- Stage 3: Obstruction of urinary flow (Kaphahara Treatment)
Single drugs useful in Urinary Calculi / Kidney stones:
- Shunti/ Ginger
- Kadali/ Stem of banana
- Karposa/ Cotton tree
- Sukshma Ela/ Cardomom
Herbal Formulations used in Ashmari/ Kidney Stones:
- Gokshuradi Guggulu
- Punarnavadi Kashaya
- Varanadi Kashayam
- Veerataradi Kashaya
- Pashanabhedi Kashaya
- Chanderprabha Vati
- Elokanadi Kwatha
- Shilajatu Vati
- Gokshura Churnam
- Balapunarnavadi Kashaya
- Gomutra Haritaki Lehyam
It is advisable to practice yoga along with medicines to relieve the symptoms of calculi. Some of the Asana useful to reduce the conditions are:
- Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
- Uttanna Padasana (raised leg pose)
- Pawanamuktasana (wind releasing pose)
Panchakarma Detox Therapies :
Panchakarma is suggested as it removes all the bad elements out of the body, by cleaning all body.
Self- care Tips:
- It is very important to drink at least 2 to 2.5 litres of water per day.
- Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, cold drinks, pickles, fish, sour, heavy and dry food, poultry and meat.
- Eat more of fresh fruits and avoid fruit items that have seeds like guava, tomato and cucumber.
- Watch your water intake, don’t let yourself dehydrated, low water consumption assists stone formation.
- Eat easily digestible food items like Khichdi, Daliya and vegetable soups.
- Strictly avoid the sour, stale food items that can cause burning sensation while urinating.
- Don’t suppress body urges of urinating & defecation. The Ayurvedic treatment of kidney stones involves the use of herbs that are diuretic and stone dissolving in nature. The treatment of kidney stones has time-tested results that cure the patients without much difficulty and clean the urinary passage. For expert opinion contact Dr. Sandeep Kumar and Dr. Anupam Vasudeva at Life Line Ayurvedic Herbal Clinic now.