Finding a way to dissolve kidney stones can be very difficult if the stones are large enough to cause pain. Also, if you are successful and you really do find a way to dissolve your kidney stone, if it is a large stone it may take a very long time.
If you have a kidney stone that is already causing pain you will most likely need to pass it or have your doctor remove it to stop the pain quickly.
However there are some things you can do that may help to dissolve kidney stones that are very small.
These steps can also help prevent the formation of new stones.
Kidney Stone Fragments
Image thanks to rjhall, via Wikimedia Commons
Kidney stones form when minerals become too concentrated in your urine.
Keeping yourself very hydrated can help to reduce your chances of forming kidney stones.Theoretically lowering the concentration of minerals in your urine will dissolve kidney stones. Unfortunately, this may take a very long time.
Some people will have other metabolic abnormalities that cause high levels of certain minerals. This can cause a high concentration of these minerals in your urine and this will increase your risk of kidney stones.
Drink Lots of Water
How much water people need to drink will vary from one person to the next. You can monitor your hydration by looking at the color of your urine. You want your urine to be a light yellow color.
Dark yellow or even orange urine is a sign of dehydration and you need to drink more water.
Light Yellow Urine
When you are active and exercising you will need more water. During the summer when temperatures are higher you should drink more water. When you are sweating you need to replace the fluid that is lost.
Do not wait until you are thirsty to start drinking water. Thirst is a late sign of dehydration. By the time you're feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Another way that may be helpful for dissolving small kidney stones is controlling the pH of your urine.
This can also prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Theoretically some kidney stones can be dissolved by adjusting the pH of your urine.
However, the necessary adjustments will depend on the type of kidney stone that you have.
Low ph Urine is Acidic
Cystine and Uric acid stones form in acidic urine. They can be dissolved by raising the pH of your urine.
Dietary changes can change the pH of your urine. Citrus fruits (such as grapefruit, lemons, and oranges) and dairy products (milk and yogurt) tend to make your urine more alkaline and raise the pH
High ph Urine is Alkaline
Calcium phosphate and Struvite stones form in alkaline or high pH urine. They can be dissolved by reducing the pH of your urine.
Foods that can lower the pH of your urine are meats, legumes, grains, and nuts.
PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) scale shows how different foods will affect your urine pH.
Image thanks to MSRoodvoets, via Wikimedia Commons
You can buy pH test strips at the drugstore or online. You can use these to monitor the pH of your body by checking the pH of your saliva or urine.
Normal body pH is 7.0 and will fluctuate between 6.5 and 7.5 through the day. Your urine is naturally slightly more acidic with a pH Range of 6.0 to 7.0.
No matter the cause of your kidney stones drinking more water will keep your urine dilute and can help to prevent the formation of kidney stone.
Certain types of stones have difficulty forming at specific pH levels so controlling the pH of your urine can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
In theory both of these may help to dissolve kidney stones but this can take a long time depending on the size of the stone.