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OTC Drugs And Home Remedies For Kidney Stones Could Do More Harm Than Good, Warns Doc

Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs could be due to kidney stone.

Kidney stones are hazardous, it can cause permanent damage to the ureters and kidneys. But managing ailment with home remedies may lead to more complications.

Kidney stones are a widespread ailment in India, and it is primarily attributed to climate and water-related causes. Because kidney stones are common, patients often take over-the-counter analgesics and try home remedies suggested by neighbours and friends to deal with it. While these may help relieve the symptoms, they don't help in permanent cure. The use of these home remedies has increased over the last two years due to the pandemic, as patients were reluctant for any surgical intervention. But doctors have warned that delay in getting proper treatment and managing the ailment with home remedies could lead to long-term complications.

"Kidney stones are hazardous, as the patients are left with permanent damage to their ureters and kidney. They come to the urologists with detected knocked-out kidneys or damaged hydronephrotic kidneys and structured ureter. It should not surprise that some have permanent loss of both the kidneys and then they land up for dialysis," said Dr. Anup Gulati, Director, Department of Urology and Kidney Transplant, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.

He stressed that diabetic patients present with severe sepsis due to kidney outlet obstruction and they require urgent intervention to save their kidneys and their lives.

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"Some patients have long-standing obstructing stones in the ureters which lead to permanent loss of kidney function due to backpressure charges. We also see many patients with forgotten stones. Few months back, we had two such patients for whom Laparoscopic nephrectomy (Kidney removal) was done due to non-functioning kidney. One of these patients had a large hydronephrotic kidney occupying the entire abdomen and displacing the abdominal organs," Dr. Gulati added.

Painless treatment of kidney-related ailments

While talking about the advancement in treatment of kidney-related ailments, Dr. Gulati said that the treatment they have is minimally invasive, painless laser treatment with no incision.

"It is a one-day hospital stay with zero loss of work or daily routine change," he stated.

Some painless stone surgeries include Retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS), Percutaneous Nephro Lithotomy (PCNL), Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL), Ureterorenoscopy (URS).

Symptoms of kidney stones to watch out for

Kidney stones are actually made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. There are many causes of kidney stones including diet, excess body weight, certain medical conditions, as well as use of some supplements and medications.

Usually, a kidney stone start causing cause symptoms when it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureters. If it is lodged in the ureters, the flow of urine may be blocked, causing the kidney to swell and the ureter to spasm, which can be very painful. According to mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills if an infection is present

Seek immediate medical help if you experience if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.

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