Kidney stone treatment that does not require invasive surgery or specialized equipment has been developed by the NASA-funded research team. Scientists are working on a handheld ultrasound device that can detect and break down kidney stones without resorting to invasive surgical intervention.
The technology uses ultrasound waves to detect and move stones, and then breaks them down with short bursts of energy. Principal investigator Michael Bailey said, “Originally, it was that someone might have a blunt trauma, and we can focus ultrasound and stop bleeding. Then we realized that kidney stones were a big risk because bones are demineralizing, and that will increase the likelihood of stones.”
NASA data reveals that astronauts are prone to developing kidney stones and so far there is already one case of an astronaut developing kidney stones while at the International Space Station. If the kidney stones do not pass naturally, the astronaut would have to return back to earth for medical treatment.
In a hospital setting, kidney stones are broken using Shock Wave Lithotripsy, which directs large ultrasonic jolts to the stone. There are two issues with using this process in the space. It uses X-rays for stone detection and the equipment involved is very bulky.
Adam Maxwell, an assistant professor of urology at the University of Washington, has reworked this technology to create Burst Wave Lithotripsy (BWL), which breaks the stones apart with smaller, more frequent bursts of ultrasound.
The team will now focus their attention on BWL’s functionality and possible side effects, and then move towards clinical trials.
The technique could be used to stop bleeding, strengthen bones, or even perform noninvasive ultrasound surgery.
Hydration: A potential cause of kidney stones is dehydration. You want to flush out as much of the minerals that can form into crystals leading to kidney stones. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you do this. Not a fan of water? Try infusing it with mint, lemon, orange, or other fruits to give it some flavor.
Apple cider vinegar: Is there anything apple cider vinegar can’t do? It is often cited as a natural remedy for various ailments, so it should be of no surprise that it can help relieve kidney stones. Apple cider vinegar can work to break down kidney stones and prevent the formation of the new ones, if consumed daily. Apple cider vinegar can be quite strong in flavor, so diluting two tablespoons in some water is an easy and effective way to drink it.
Lemon juice and olive oil: When stones are small and more likely to pass, lemon juice and olive oil may help ease this process. Mixing lemon juice and olive oil, followed by drinking water, can help break down smaller stones.
Pomegranate juice: A 2008 study revealed that pomegranate juice may prevent certain forms of kidney stones. Aside from its antioxidant content, not only will pomegranate juice improve your health, but it can reduce your risk of kidney stones. Keep in mind that many fruit juices contain high amounts of added sugar. If possible, opt for an organic variety.
Fiber: Fiber is required for overall good health and is a great remedy for kidney stones, too. Just like how it can move other things along, it can also help prevent calcium from entering the urinary tract. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.
Watermelon: Watermelon is a natural remedy for kidney stones because it hydrates the body and is a good source of potassium. Potassium helps keep the kidneys healthy by maintaining acid levels. Furthermore, watermelon’s water content will keep you hydrated and help minerals move out of your body.
Kidney beans: Why not treat a kidney problem with a food of the same name? Kidney beans contain fiber, which can help to reduce the onset of kidney stones.
Celery: The use of celery is beneficial for managing the pain associated with kidney stones. Celery contains antispasmodic properties and can help eliminate toxins that may be present in the body. You can drink it up by running celery through a juicer or snack on it throughout the day.
These eight home remedies for kidney stones can break down existing stones, prevent the new ones, and even reduce some of the pain associated with passing the stones. Although treating kidney stones naturally is ideal, if the associated pain and fever become substantial, seeking medical attention is advised.
Kidney stones can be caused by excess zinc level toxicity in the body. Findings from a study reveal that zinc levels may be at the core of kidney stone formation. The study was conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco outlining new approaches to kidney stones. Their findings were published in PLOS ONE. Continue reading…
Often compared to a pain far worse than that of giving birth, kidney stones are no laughing matter, so knowing natural remedies to combat them can offer great relief and prevention. With no one cause for kidney stones, they can affect anyone at any time. Typically, kidney stones are the formation of uric acid, calcium, and oxalate into crystals. Continue reading…