The pain of kidney stones has been compared to the pain of childbirth and if you’ve ever been through it, you’ll never forget it.
That searing, ripping flank pain that takes you to your knees can land you in the emergency room and on the highest level of pain killers you can find fast.
Doctors often prescribe potassium citrate to patients to try to prevent kidney stones, but if you want to avoid not only the pain from these stones but also taking one more prescription medication, there is a natural alternative that works so well that even some physicians are recommending it.
The key is in the citrate
Lemonade is the magical drink and the secret is in its natural citrate.
You see, kidney stones form when the urine in your kidneys gets over saturated with the salts that cause stones and when the urine isn’t getting enough of the substances that prevent stones.
One of the most important of these substances is citrate.
That’s why doctors prescribe potassium citrate to prevent stones and just like with the prescription, the citrate in lemon juice stops kidney stones from forming so that you don’t pass them and end up in pain.
In fact, lemons have the highest concentration of citrate — a natural inhibitor of kidney stone formation – of any citrus fruit.
In a recent study conducted at UC San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center, lemonade therapy — drinking four ounces of reconstituted lemon juice in two liters of water per day — was shown to decrease the rate of stone formation.
And, a study at the Duke University Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center followed 11 kidney stone patients who had been on lemonade therapy for up to four years, finding that over the time they drank lemonade they had less kidney stones and appeared to form kidney stones at a slower rate than they did before starting lemonade therapy.
Even better, not one of these patients needed any type of medical intervention for their kidney stones during the entire course of the study.
How to drink away your kidney stones
So, if you’re ready to drink away your kidney stones like the patients in these studies, here’s how.
The key is drinking one cup of concentrated lemon juice per seven cups of water every day. You can even sweeten it if you prefer by adding a tablespoon of honey or stevia to truly get that lemonade flavor.
Not only will the citrate in the lemon juice help break down stones, the extra fluid intake will prevent you from becoming dehydrated, one of the most common causes behind kidney stones.
To further boost your stone prevention, drink more water, avoid calcium supplements since excess calcium is found in many kidney stones and decrease the amount of salt in your diet since it causes increased levels of calcium in your urine as well as decreased urine output.
Passing a kidney stone is one of the most painful experiences you can have. Use the instructions for lemonade therapy above to get sweet relief from these stones and avoid prescription medication.
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Five Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones: From Lemonade to Surgery — UC San Diego Health
HOW TO DRINK ENOUGH WATER — University of Chicago Kidney Stone Evaluation and Treatment Program