This post does not constitute medical advice. I am not a healthcare professional and I have no training in the health field. This post is here solely for the purpose of sharing my story. The information that I am about to share is not a substitute for the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that this information is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Baking soda overdoses have resulted in people being rushed to the emergency room and even death. You should consult your healthcare professional before taking any course of action.
I tried just about everything for my kidney stones but nothing seemed to work- lemon juice with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, magnesium, and the lemon juice bomb all failed to get rid of my stones. I had acidic urine and I knew that alkalinizing my urine would dissolve my stones that thrived in acidic urine (e.g. Calcium oxalate and uric acid stones). I was initially reluctant to do it because I knew that people can overdose on baking soda and get rushed to the emergency room or even die, but I decided to take the risk. I then tried baking soda (also known as sodium carbonate) and it dissolved my kidney stones by the next day! Here's the dosage information that I used from drugs.com:
Usual Adult Dose for Urinary Alkalinization:
325 to 2000 mg orally 1 to 4 times a day. One gram provides 11.9 mEq (mmoL) each of sodium and bicarbonate.
I went on the Atkins diet and my fat was melting off effortlessly. However, a little while after I gave up drinking milk and diet Mountain Dew I noticed that when I tested my urine pH with urinalysis test strips it went from being alkaline to being acidic. I didn't think too much of it at the time as all I cared about at the time was testing for urine protein. Not too long after giving up milk and diet Mountain Dew I got sharp pains in my middle back around the bottom edge of my rib cage. My dad died from kidney failure so I was extremely scared that my kidneys were failing too so I went to my family doctor.
When I went to the doctor, he said that I had a pulled back and did a blood test which showed that my kidney function was great! However, he did his own urinalysis and found blood in my urine. So he said to take it easy on the weightlifting and see him again in 2 weeks. However, the pain turned into aches that spread from my back to my loins and flank. I waited a week but my urinalysis test strips showed that I was still bleeding. At that point I figured it wasn't the weightlifting and then I did some research. My urinalysis test strip didn't show any leukocytes so I ruled out a urinary tract infection (plus infections are rare in men and I am a man). The blood tests showed that my kidneys were fine, plus I didn't see any protein in my urine so I didn't think it was my kidney. So I figured that I probably had kidney stones in acidic urine, which probably meant calcium oxalate or uric acid stones. That's when I found this forum and started trying out the remedies that were suggested.
A. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil - Failure
I took 2 oz of Lemon Juice and 2 oz of Olive Oil once a day for two days. It did absolutely nothing for me. I still felt the aches in my loins and flank and I was still detecting blood in my urine. I figured that I wasn't taking enough so I increased took 2 oz of Lemon Juice and 2 oz of Olive Oil twice a day for 3 days. That did absolutely nothing for me either. So I decided to move onto the next remedy.
B. Apple Cider Vinegar - Failure with side effects
I bought the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother since it seemed that was the one that was recommended. I took a shot (1.5 oz) at midnight and went to bed. But the next day I still had the same aches and still detected blood in my urine. On top of that, I lost my appetite. I felt weaker from the lack of food and forced myself to eat a banana for the entire day. Not wanting to give up so easily, I increased the amount of Apple Cider Vinegar to 2 oz that night. The next day, I got the same disappointing results aches and blood with a loss of appetite.
I went to the doctor after this since it was about the end of 2 weeks. Of course he did the urinalysis test strip and found more blood and then referred me to a kidney doctor (nephrologist). However, I didn't want to see the nephrologist since I figured I had kidney stones, I didn't want to pay for a specialist as I only had disaster health insurance, and I didn't want to have surgery after reading about other people's accounts of pain and side effects after surgery.
C. Lemon Juice Alone - Failure
So I decided to try the lemon juice without the olive oil and see what would happen. I started out with 2 oz of lemon juice for a couple days and I still had aches and blood. Then I increased it to 4 oz a day for the next few days and still the same results aches and blood. I knew I had to try something new.
D. Magnesium Citrate - Reduced pain but not cured
I read about magnesium in a post. Reading the studies on how magnesium was able to not only prevent kidney stones but also cure them in some people intrigued me. It was well worth the read so I am reposting the link to the post:
I also read Fred's account on magnesium citrate in earthclinic.com. I found it very interesting that the real reason why lemon juice is supposed to work is because there is potassium citrate in the lemon juice, and the liver then takes the citrate and converts it into bicarbonate (which is a strong base). The bicarbonate then alkalinizes the urine. Having read that very acidic urine is one of the precursors to calcium oxalate or uric acid kidney stones, I was persuaded that magnesium citrate was the type of magnesium that I wanted to take. Here's the link Fred shared on lemon juice and potassium citrate:
Then I thought about why my kidney stones formed after stopping diet Mountain Dew. I looked at the label and sure enough, diet Mountain Dew has sodium citrate! I figured that's why my urine turned acidic when I stopped diet Mountain Dew (I drank 24-48 oz/day). But I wasn't about to start drinking diet Mountain Dew again!
I also read about how magnesium is able to bind with oxalate in your system and how magnesium oxalate is 567 times more soluble than calcium oxalate and thus reduce the incidence of calcium oxalate stones:
I bought 400 mg magnesium citrate tablets at my local health food store and took one everyday for a week. I noticed that about 90% of my pain disappeared, but that 10% pain and the blood in my urine was enough to remind me that I still had kidney stones. But magnesium citrate was successful in that it made the aches and pains bearable.
E. Lemon Juice Bomb - Reduced blood but not cured
I ran across what I call the "lemon juice bomb" on youtube. This man started by drinking 8 oz of lemon juice and then every hour after that drank 1 oz of lemon juice in 8 oz of water for 12 hours. His pain went away. Here's his video:
I tried it. Drinking all of that lemon juice really makes you hate the taste of lemon juice. The next morning I had dry mouth, it was an unquenchable thirst. I drank about 2 liters of water just that morning and my mouth still felt thirsty. But when I checked my blood it went down a noticeable amount, but the blood was still there. Thankfully the dry mouth went away the next day, but it was enough to make me not want to do the lemon juice bomb again.
F. Baking Soda - SUCCESS!
I was encouraged by the lemon juice bomb in that it decreased my blood, but I wasn't about to go through that experience again. I started thinking how I could get the alkalinizing effects of lemon juice without having to drink lemon juice because by then I HATED drinking lemon juice. Then I started thinking about how the liver takes the citrate from lemon juice and turns it into the strong base bicarbonate to alkalinize the urine to dissolve the kidney stones. I started thinking that instead of trying to beat around the bush and drink lemon juice to get the bicarbonate, why don't I just take straight bicarbonate? I knew that baking soda was a source of bicarbonate in the form of sodium bicarbonate, so I decided to take it. I was initially hesitant to take it because I knew that an overdose of baking soda would send me to the emergency room or even kill me, but I decided to take the risk.
I found on drugs.com a dosage of 325-2000 mg 1-4 times a day to alkalinize the urine. I translated this to about a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and took it every 4 hours. On the first day at the end of the first day I my urinalysis showed that it decreased my blood! The next morning, my urine was cloudy and that excited me I figured that cloudiness was the remains of my kidney stones! I did the urinalysis but was very disappointed to see that there was still a detectable amount of blood in the urine. I tried increasing the dosage to half a teaspoon but then I felt weak, nauseous, and I had to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes. I think I had a mild overdose but thankfully I recovered about an hour or two later, so I went back to the 1/4 teaspoon dose. I continued the baking soda and by the end of the day no blood! No pain! I checked my urine on the third day and it showed no blood too! I went out and bought my favorite beer to celebrate!
I posted here previously about how baking soda worked for my kidney stones by alkalinizing my urine so that it would dissolve my stones that formed in acidic urine.
Maybe about a month after I got rid of my kidney stones with baking soda, I experienced that dull ache in my lower pelvis again. I thought about using baking soda again, but I didn't like the taste of baking soda so I decided to try something new.
I then found that orange juice also had an alkalinizing effect on the urine (verified by testing my urine with pH test strips), but it is not as strong as baking soda or lemon juice. Because I hated the taste of lemon juice and baking soda, I decided to give orange juice a try. My thinking was that I enjoyed the taste of orange juice, I knew for a fact it didn't have any side effects (at least for me), and if it failed I could always go back to baking soda.
Knowing OJ was weaker than baking soda and lemon juice at alkalinizing urine, I drank about 3 cups of orange juice a day. By the second or third day I felt the ache move down and that night my urine split into a dual stream (presumably from the stone passing). By the next day my ache was gone! I drink orange juice every day now.
I get kidney stones every 8 months to 2 years. The pain has been so bad that I almost feel like passing out. I was driving my self to the ER and I almost had to pull over thinking I was going to pass out. The ER visit cost me $3500 just to get an x-ray of a 3 mm stone entering my ureter, a UA, and a prescription of pain pills, which really help. I have had kidney stones so often I know that I just need pain pills to pass them. I pass them in 1 to 2 days and a couple times in just a few hours, and those ones are always small. I pass the small ones just taking IB 200 MG pills.
Just in the last couple months, I have discovered that baking soda helps with heartburn incredibly. I noticed that I burp these really big burps after I drink about 11/2 teaspoons of baking soda mixed into 1/2 cup of water. I shoot it like a shot of liquor, then I chase it with water. For me, that's how I deal with the bad taste. It almost seems like it is relieving the gas bubbles in my stomach that are building up pressure pushing out stomach acids into my esophagus. After I burp all crazy for about 2 or 3 min, my heartburn starts to fade. I have found the best combination to be Prevacid 24 hr along with baking soda.
If I do not get kidney stones because I am now taking baking soda for my heart burn, I will be one happy man :) and a richer one too.