Kidney stones may be large or small; they may cause only mild discomfort, or they can be as painful to pass as childbirth. They are relatively common; around 9% of women and about 19% of men will experience a kidney stone at least once over their lifetimes. The first kidney stone usually comes after age 30, but they can strike when you are much younger too.
Whether you have a kidney stone now and are desperate to be rid of it, or you are trying to prevent kidney stones in the future, it can be hard to identify lifestyle changes and home remedies which actually work. Right now one of the most popular methods out there is apple cider vinegar for kidney stones. Does it actually work, or is it just another alternative health craze?
Apple Cider Vinegar and Kidney Stones
Right now, there is not much in the way of scientific evidence showing that apple cider vinegar can prevent or resolve kidney stones. Note that there are a number of different types of kidney stones, and each requires a different treatment method. You can find a table here.
Looking at these treatment methods, there is no obvious link with ACV. With uric acid stones, for example, you are supposed to increase potassium and phosphates. ACV contains very little potassium in the amounts you would drink on a daily basis. With cystine stones, you are supposed to use alkalizing agents. ACV may actually make your urine more acidic, not less.
Apple Cider Vinegar May Help Indirectly
This does not mean that apple cider vinegar cannot help at all. It may help indirectly, at least in some circumstances, and especially as a preventative for kidney stones.
Consider some of the risk factors for developing kidney stones:
• Diabetes• High blood pressure• Obesity
If you can reduce your risk factors, it becomes less likely that you will develop kidney stones in the future.
Take a look at this research study into apple cider vinegar. Scientists say that evidence was mixed on whether it could be used to treat high blood pressure, but they did find some hopeful evidence that ACV can treat diabetes and improve satiety.
“However, many recent scientific investigations have documented that vinegar ingestion reduces the glucose response to a carbohydrate load in healthy adults and in individuals with diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “There is also some evidence that vinegar ingestion increases short-term satiety.”
What does this mean for preventing kidney stones?
ACV can help you in two ways:
• Improving satiety may prevent you from overeating, which can help you keep the pounds off, preventing obesity. This reduces one of your risk factors for developing kidney stones (maybe two—if you lose weight, your blood pressure may drop as well).
• Reducing the glucose response to the carbohydrates you are eating. Whether or not you have diabetes, this may help to control your blood sugar levels and maintain them in a healthier range. If you can do this, you may be able to reduce another risk factor for developing kidney stones.
How to Take ACV for Kidney Stones
If you do suspect you have a kidney stone, it is important to see a doctor about it. That way you can evaluate which kind of kidney stone it is, and follow the appropriate treatment advice for that type of stone.
Thinking of trying the apple cider vinegar kidney stones remedy? Whether you are attempting to treat or prevent kidney stones, there are several ways you can take ACV. Whichever approach you go with, make sure you are buying the raw unfiltered type of ACV. The filtered type may not be as nutritious.
ACV in Water
The simplest way to take apple cider vinegar is by diluting it into a glass of water. You just need a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and an 8-ounce glass of water. Mix the ACV in thoroughly and drink it at your own pace.
Apple cider in vinegar is a pretty intense experience; the stuff really burns even when it is so weakly diluted. A lot of people do not like the taste; if it bothers you, try adding some honey. This can balance out the flavor and may also reduce the sensation of burning as you swallow the apple cider vinegar.
ACV in Recipes
You can also try apple cider vinegar in recipes. You can add it to juice drinks if you want to cloak its flavor more than you do when you drink it in water. You can also add it to foods. It makes a great base for salad dressing. Look up recipes online and you may come up with other great ideas for how you can integrate ACV with your diet.
Don’t want to drink apple cider vinegar at all? There is an alternative method for taking it. Now you can purchase it in tablet form. You just take two tablets a day with meals and you are all good to go. It is important to eat a full meal when you take the pills because otherwise you can get an intense burn when you are digesting them. Remember, they are in concentrated form.
While apple cider vinegar is not among the scientifically proven home remedies for kidney stones, it is a very popular option. And there is some science to indicate that it may help to indirectly prevent kidney stones in the future.
Just be sure if you decide to use ACV for kidney stones that you also visit a doctor to learn more about the type of kidney stone you are dealing with. That way you can also combine traditional treatment methods with ACV for a greater chance of success.