(NaturalHealth365) The pain of passing a kidney stone has been described as on par with natural childbirth. However, urologists are increasingly prescribing an accessible natural remedy for kidney stones: lemonade.
Citric acid-rich lemon juice in the form of lemonade has proven highly effective in preventing kidney stones or slowing their formation substantially. Medical professionals like Roger L. Sur, MD, director of UC San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center and Steven Y. Nakada, chair and professor of urology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison advocate lemonade therapy as an alternative to taking medications or supplements for the painful condition.
Therapy for kidney stones: Lemon juice has highest concentrations of citric acid of any fruit juice
Passing a kidney stone is experienced as an excruciating pain in the flank and lower back. Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and blood in the urine are also possible symptoms of kidney stones. In addition, important to note, the presence of a fever indicates a likely blood infection – which can be life-threatening.
People experiencing kidney stones or who are prone to them are often prescribed potassium citrate in supplement form. However, lemons and lemon juice contain the highest concentrations of natural citrate, making lemonade therapy an excellent alternative.
A study out of the Duke University Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center tracked 12 patients with kidney stones who were on lemonade therapy for as long as four years. They all showed a decrease in the levels and growth of kidney stones throughout the time they were on the citrus therapy.
By the way, none of the participants required a medical intervention for kidney stones during the study period.
Restoring citrate through citric acid: The key to addressing and preventing kidney stones
Drinking lemonade also causes kidney stone patients to drink more water, which has a positive cleansing effect on the kidneys. Physicians recommend passing 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids each day to help reduce kidney stones. And, yes, taking a citrate supplement can have the same effect.
Kidney stones are formed when the urine becomes concentrated with stone-forming salts and has a deficit of stone-preventing substances such as citrate. Restoring citrate levels is key to addressing the problem of kidney stones, and a natural source of lemonade can offer a refreshingly effective way to address the citrate deficit.
Important: Reduce salt intake and make dietary changes to avoid kidney stones
The ideal blend of lemon juice and water for lemonade therapy is approximately ½ cup lemon juice to 7 cups water. A small amount of natural sweetener like, honey or stevia can be added for flavor.
And, while lemonade therapy is often highly effective for anyone suffering with kidney stones, it is also important to adjust the diet to reduce the formation of future stones. For example, avoid the intake of processed (denatured) table salt and meats.
In general, be careful not to eat too much protein and, of course, stay well hydrated by eating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables daily. Remember, the development of kidney stones is a result of lifestyle decisions. Start making healthy choices today.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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