The Kidneys and Urinary System
The kidneys are the fist-size organs of the urinary system that balances the body’s fluid.
Most of the people normally have two kidneys, one on each side of the spine behind the liver, pancreas, and intestines.
Healthy kidneys work by eliminating the harmful wastes from the blood and pass out in the urine. These organs maintain the levels of sodium, potassium, and calcium in the blood.
Other parts of the urinary tract are- ureters, urethra, and bladder. Kidneys produce urine from water and the body’s waste products.
This urine travels down through the ureters into the bladder, where it gets stored and then it is excreted through the urethra.
A kidney stone is a solid mass that is made up of tiny crystals. There may be single or multiple stones in the kidney or ureters at the same time.
In all these, calcium stones are the most common. They are likely to occur in men between the ages of 20 to 30. This calcium combines with the other substances to form kidney stones.
Oxalate is also the most common of these and is present in various foods such as spinach. It is also found in various vitamin C supplements. Diseases of small intestine increase the risk of this type of kidney stones.
According to the Ayurveda aspect, ashmari which is caused due to the vitiation of vata dosha appears like kadamba. It is also known as the vrukkashmari(vrukk is kidney and ashmari is stone).
Pitta dosha type of ashmari is like stone and smooth.
Kapha dosha type ashmari is soft and resembles like hens egg or like the color of the honey.
Kidney stones may be caused due to the following causes:
- Crystallization of the chemicals and minerals present in urine leads to chronic kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Blockage of the urinary tract
- Due to overdosage of vitamin D
- Due to mineral imbalance
- Kidney disease
- Dehydration or Diarrhea
- Improper dietary habits such as consuming more animal proteins, taking in less fibre and fluids.
- People who work under high-stress conditions
- People with high blood pressure
- Certain diuretics or calcium based antacids may also increase the risk of forming chronic kidney stones disease.
- People with gout
Patient suffering from kidney stones experiences the following symptoms:
- Urine turns brown or red due to the presence of blood
- Urgent Urge to urinate
- Unbearable pain in the flanks radiating towards urethra
- Bleeding through the urinary tract
- Fever with chills
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pain in the umbilicus, bladder and vascular-rectal region during micturition due to the obstruction of the passage
- Urine is mixed with blood when an injury occurs due to its friction
- The patient feels pain while doing activities like jumping or running
- Discontinuity of the urinary stream
According to the ayurvedic aspect when there is a vitiation of Vata dosha, severe kidney pain occurs in the bladder due to which the person grinds his teeth and presses the umbilical area and starts shivering frequently. Urinary flow gets disrupted. Kidney Stone is blue in color, rough and irregular.
In pitta dosha vitiation, there is a burning sensation inside the bladder and stone is reddish yellow or black in color just like the seeds of bhallataka.
In kapha dosha vitiation, there is cutting or pricking pain in the umbilical area, heaviness in the bladder. The stone is large which resembles hen’s egg.
What are the types of kidney stones?
Types of kidney stones include:
Calcium stones: Calcium stones are the most common type and are present usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a natural substance found in food and it is also produced by the liver. Some fruits, vegetables, nuts, and chocolates contain high oxalate content. These can also occur in the form of calcium phosphate and is present in various metabolic conditions, such as renal tubular acidosis.
Struvite stones. Struvite stones result from the urinary tract infection. By the time these can grow quickly and become quite large with few symptoms or little warning.
Uric acid stones. Uric acid stones are mostly found in those patients who drink enough fluids, eat a high-rich protein diet, and who are suffering from gout. Genetic factors also increase the risk of uric acid stones.
Cystine stones. The formation of cysteine stones in the kidneys is hereditary as it causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids (cystinuria).
What are the risk factors for kidney stones?
Various risk factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones include:
- Family or personal history: Having stones to a family member, also increased the risk of developing another.
- Dehydration. Not drinking enough water each day may also increase the risk of kidney stones. Warm climate and excessive sweating put on a higher risk than others.
- Certain diet: Eating diet rich in protein, sodium (salt) and sugar may increase the risk of kidney stones.
- Being obese: High body mass index (BMI), and excessive weight gain increases the risk of kidney stones.
- Medical conditions: Various diseases that may increase the risk of kidney stones include cystinuria, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, and some urinary tract infections.
What are investigations to be done in kidney stones?
- X-ray KUB
- Serum calcium
- Thyroid profile
- Urine analysis
AYURVEDIC VIEW AND TREATMENT FOR KIDNEY STONES
As per Ayurveda, Kidney stones are formed in the body due to improper diet and lifestyle that leads to the aggravation of all the three doshas mainly vata dosha and the condition is known as Vrikka Ashmari.
It creates a type of dryness in the body because of which the chemicals in the form of toxins start accumulating, that ultimately takes the shape of a stone leading to infections in the kidney and resulting in stages of kidney failure.
At times the entire kidney is filled with the stones and it becomes calcified. Kidney stops functioning and in case if urine is not excreted in the quanity it should be, then the condition of uremia sets in and hence causes complications.
Single herbs useful in this condition are:
- Pashan bheda
Ayurvedic formulations recommended in case of vrikka ashmari are:
- Gokshuradi Guggulu
- Gokshuradi Churna
- Varunadi Kshaya
- Shilajeet Vati
- Yavakshara Churna
- Panchguna Churna
- Chandra Prabha Vati
- Ber Pathar Bhasma
- Kshara Parpati
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Drink enough water every day. Drink at least 4-5 liters of water each day to prevent yourself from catching any kidney disease.
- Avoid eating sour, heavy and dry foods.
- Increase the intake of liquids in your diet like water, juice, soup and lime water.
- Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, cold drinks and pickles.
- Avoid suppressing the urge to urinate and defecate.
- Increase the intake of barley, ginger, horse gram and brown rice in your diet.
- Eat watermelon pr drink its juice. This helps in flushing out stones from the kidney. The water and potassium content of the watermelon helps in regulating and maintaining the level of acid present in the urine thereby keeps the kidney healthy even if you are not living with any chronic kidney disease.
- Lemon juice contains citric acid that helps to break down the calcium-based kidney stones. Drinking this juice increases the volume of urination which is really good for those having kidney stones relieving them from facing chronic kidney stone pain.
What is the Ayurvedic treatment for kidney stones?
Chandigarh Ayurved Center is providing you a very effective and wonderful herbal kit for treating kidney stones that mainly work on the root cause of the disease.
This kit will naturally balance the vitiated doshas and will improve the functioning of kidneys.
This kit contains:
Detox premium powder
Detox premium powder is an herbal formulation that has antifungal, antibacterial and antibacterial properties.
It comprises of ingredients like akik pishti, jahar mohra pishti, kamdudha ras, moti pishti, sutshekhar ras, gandhak Rasayana, giloy stav, etc. which are helpful in balancing the Vata, pitta and kapha dosha in the body.
This powder also shows calming and cooling effect on the body and treats other kidney-related symptoms like dysuria, cramps, nausea, fever, vomiting, etc.
Dosage: Take 1 sachet twice daily with normal water.
UTI care tablet
UTI care tablet is a purely ayurvedic formulation for kidney stones that works on the root cause of the chronic renal disease because it contains various effective ingredients like yav kashar, naushadar, swaran garik, and kalmi shora.
These tablets reduce the burning and frequent micturition, urine incontinence, pain and eliminate the harmful kidney stones from the body through urine. It also shows diuretic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Dosage: One tablet twice daily with normal water.
Gokshuradi guggul is a classical Ayurvedic formulation that has been used in Ayurveda for renal stones for many ages in various health-related conditions like kidney disease and various urinary related disorders.
It consists of various ingredients like shuddha guggul, gokshur, haritaki, bibhitaki, etc.
These ingredients improve kidney functions and also shows diuretic properties by increasing the production of urine in the body.
Dosage: 1 tablet twice daily with normal water.
Kidney care churna
As the name suggests, kidney care churna is a herbo-mineral formulation which improves the kidney functioning by reducing urea and creatinine level. As per Ayurveda, it reduces the kapha and pitta dosha in the body.
The main ingredients are manjistha, bhumiamla and punarnava that shows anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties.
Dosage: 1 teaspoonful twice daily with normal water.
- Heat 60 grams of kidney beans in four litres of water for about 4-5 hours. Strain the liquid and allow it to cool. Drink one glass of this liquid once every two hours in a day.
- Take one cup of horse gram and add half litre of water. Heat the mixture till it reduces to one fifth. Strain and collect the soup. Add two tablespoons of crushed pomegranate seeds to this and mix well. Drink this once a day.
- Take 10-15 basil leaves and crush them to prepare the paste. Take one teaspoon of this paste, press on a sieve and extract its juice. Add one teaspoon of honey to it and mix well. Drink this once a day.
- Soak two teaspoons of radish seeds in a glass of water. Boil and reduce this to half. Strain and drink half cup of this two times a day. This helps in dissolving the ckd kidney stones.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
Patients who are prone to acute kidney stones should concern about the diet and lifestyle. Avoid these foods that are mentioned below. These foods increase the vata, pitta and kapha dosha in the body.
- Intake of a minimum of 3 liters of water daily
- Drink tender coconut oil
- Avoid hot, spicy and sour food
- curd, tomato, spinach, broccoli
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.