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Can kidney stones be managed conservatively?

Can kidney stones be managed conservatively?

March 10 is marked or observed as the Kidney Day worldwide.

New Delhi: March 10 is marked or observed as the Kidney Day worldwide. It is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. Besides certain precautions to be taken and preventive behaviour that needs to be followed to keep the kidneys strong, the campaign also talks about certain diseases and problems related to kidney.

Keeping the same spirit of World Kidney Day, Curofy, India’s largest community of verified doctors, tried probing its doctors community on kidney stones, which have become quite frequent these days.

Kidney stones (renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis) are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys. The stones are made of mineral and acid salts. Treatment for kidney stones varies, depending on the type of stone and the cause. These include drinking water, pain relievers, medical therapy, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), percutaneous nephrolithotomy, using a scope to remove stones. The treatment of kidney stones is always a debatable topic as many a times people tend to neglect allopathic treatment and follow the less established and society driven treatment for the same. But as per some experts in medical fraternity the treatment of kidney stones is indeed driven by too much allopathy which is unnecessary at times.

To understand this behaviour, Curofy floated a question asking if the treatment of kidney stones was unnecessarily driven by allopathy. 1050 doctors voiced their opinion and the poll saw a mixed response from doctors. While 440 doctors (40%) gave an assent to the fact that kidney stone treatment is unnecessarily driven by allopathy there were 460 (44%) who voiced their opinion against it.

The poll was conducted with an aim to understand the views of doctors around allopathy driven ways of treatment and if they are mandatory or not. In general practice, people tend to follow various remedies as told by others, go for Ayurvedic, homeopathic treatment and many a times neglect consulting a doctor for an allopathic cure. The poll was aimed to gauge doctors’ opinion on allopathic treatment of kidney stones.

According to Dr Saurabh Pokhriyal, Director& HOD, Nephrology & Renal Transplant Medicine, “There are no medications for removing or passing out of stone. Depending on the location of the stone, if it is in the parenchyma of the kidney you cannot remove it but if it is stuck in the Ureter & causing blockage and severe pain you have to remove its surgical. The only medication we can use is prescribing something which increases the solubility of various substances like calcium, oxalate, phosphate etc. I have never seen Ayurveda or Homeopathy work nor am I qualified to talk about it."

But there are still few doctors who favour the statement and believe that kidney stone treatment is unnecessarily driven by allopathy and can be removed through other ways. Dr Hemant Adhikari, an Ayurveda specialist from Delhi says, “Yes, I agree that allopath surgeon unnecessarily advice for surgery for renal stone. They are aware that renal calculi can be dissolve by Ayurvedic Medicine within few weeks and results can be concluded by USG. In my very short journey as an Ayurvedic Doctor I have successfully treated many of the renal calculi patient under the guidance of my teachers and Guru. I am sure many of the Ayurvedic Doctors also involves in such practices instead of referring patient to a specialist or experienced doctor they start a try that hurts me more. Somehow we have to change this unhealthy tradition!”

The results do indicate that allopathy is too much involved in the cure of kidney stones but neglecting it totally is not the way out. Patients need to get the clear understanding from doctor about the kidney stone problem, its cure, the extent to which it might effect in future etc. This will give them clearer picture and educate them to take a better call on the same. There are situations where no treatment is required and also where surgery is the only way out. Thus, the most effective way for a patient to go for treatment of kidney stone is to educate and gain awareness from doctor about the stone and then take a call.

(Author Pawan Gupta is co-founder of Curofy)

first published:March 10, 2016, 18:25 IST