Kidney stones are quite a common problem. This condition may give you sleepless nights because it often leads to back pain, painful urination or blood in the urine. Even though people who are diabetic or are obese are more prone to this condition, anyone could end up with kidney stones. But luckily, often these stones are small in size and can be naturally passed through urine in 30-40 days without needing any surgery. Have you heard that drinking beer can help you speed up the process and get rid of kidney stones? Come, let’s find out about it.
What are kidney stones?
“Kidney stones are solid, pebble-like deposits of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys. Stones often form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together,” says Dr Atit Dharia, Consultant Nephrologist and Kidney Transplant Physician at Masina Hospital, Mumbai. He further explains that most common types of kidney stones are made up of calcium and they can be formed in one or both the kidneys and can affect any part of your urinary tract like bladder, ureters and kidney. It is quite a common condition which affects 1 in 10 people during their lifetime.
How to treat kidney stones?
Treatment of kidney stones depends on the size of the stone, location of the stone and type of the stone. Dr Dharia explains that smaller kidney stones which are located closer to the bladder may pass spontaneously in the urine and/or with some medical assistance without surgery. “But larger stones will need surgery which can be in the form of shock wave therapy, ureteroscopy (where a small telescope like instrument is passed up to the ureter) and percutaneous surgery where a small incision is made to directly access the stones in the kidney,” says the doctor.
There are many ways to treat kidney stones, through medicines, surgery and many natural remedies too. But have you heard about drinking beer for kidney stones? Beer can be helpful for treatment of various conditions, but let’s find out if it is a good option or not.
How does beer help in treating kidney stones?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. There are a couple of studies done on people who had never had kidney stones, which shows that the risk of kidney stone formation was lower in beer drinkers, but the quantity and the frequency of beer drank was not known.
“It is a well-known fact that beer is known to cause dehydration which is a major risk for kidney stones. But beer is a diuretic, hence produces a lot of urine,” says Dr Dharia. So, beer may help in passage of small stones (less than 5 mm) which are in the ureter.
To conclude, beer is an option that can help decrease the risk, but for a heavy drinker, beer can instead increase the risk of getting kidney stones. So, you’ve got to choose wisely. Since the aim is to produce a lot of urine which will lead to pressure being created and will help in releasing the stones, drinking lots of fluids is what your aim should be!