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Kidney Stones Natural Remedies Detailed Report
Frequently Asked Questions


open quote logo quotation Passing kidney stones can be the most painful experience ever and the pain has been compared to giving birth. Find out what natural remedies can speed this up and prevent it from happening again in the future.
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Fluid Intake - To cure kidney stones, drink water! Lots of it. Drink at least 6 glasses daily. 8 to 10 glasses would be best. This is the best cure and is a must do before you consider the other options.

Diet Change
- This is the second step. A diet change will prevent future stone formation. Click here to jump right to the details.

Natural Remedies - Natural remedies can be considered once you've started to drink more water and made some adjustment to your diet. To go right to natural remedies, click here.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a kidney stone?
How common is this problem?
What are the typical sizes of the stones?
What symptoms can I expect?
How would my doctor diagnose it?
What causes it and what are some risk factors?
Can I use natural and herbal remedies and supplements to cure it?
What diet should I consider?
Does eating certain foods increase the risk of getting them?
Foods you may want to consider taking to reduce the risk
What about the DASH diet guidelines? Does it work for prevention?
Does kidney cleansing programs work?
What are some homeopathic remedies?
Can I suffer from stones during pregnancy? What can I do about it?
 

Video - Kidney Stones


What are some natural and home remedies for kidney stones?

Below is a quick summary of natural remedies, vitamins and minerals that have been suggested for treating and curing kidney stones.

For details and the dose to use, see our article focused on Natural Remedies for Stones in the Kidney.
 
Natural Remedy What experts say about them
Water leaf plant logo natural remedies review
Magnesium
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Vitamin B6
(Pyridoxine)
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Vitamin A leaf plant logo natural remedies review 
Vitamin E leaf plant logo natural remedies review
Inositol hexaphosphate
(IP-6)
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Aloe vera leaf plant logo natural remedies review 
Uva ursi
Helpful
Horsetail Helpful
Juniper Helpful
Dandelion root Helpful
Marshmallow
Gravel root
Parsley   
Goldenrod
Hydrangea

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What is a kidney stone?

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi or urinary calculi, are rock-like crystals that form inside the kidneys or in the urinary bladder.

These crystals may be made up of calcium, magnesium, phosphate, cystine or uric acid. 80% of the cases the stones found are made up of calcium oxalate crystals. The remaining 5 to 10% are made up of uric acid. A rare type of stones is struvite stones that are produced by bacteria in those suffering from urinary tract infections.

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How common is this problem?

It is estimated that about 10 to 15% of United States adults will get stones in the kidney. Dietary habits are a major cause of the increase in stone formations.

The North American diet, unfortunately, is high in fat, protein and sugar and low in fiber. Women are not immune to this condition either.

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What are the typical sizes of kidney stones?

The size of the stones various from the size of a grain of sand to large stones the size of a marble.

The table below gives you an idea of how the size of the stone can affect the treatment options.

Stone size What can you expect
smaller than 2 mm
These stones pass without any symptoms. You may not even know that you have kidney stones.


between 2 to 4 mm
These may block the flow of urine and cause severe pain and other symptoms of having  stones in the kidneys.

90% of time, these stones will pass on their own. But oh, the pain you will experience!!

over 6 mm
More pain!!

Medical treatment will be required 99% of the time. Ultrasound waves (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy) therapy would be considered to break these larger stones so that they can pass. Worst case, surgery may be required.



pictures of kidney stones stone image

Picture of a kidney stone (ouch!!) (6 x 8 mm)

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What symptoms can I expect if I have kidney stones?

The severity of the symptoms depends on how large the stones are and whether the blockage is partial or complete. Complete blockage of the urine flow by a large stone is a medical emergency as it can lead to damage to the kidney and bladder and kidney infection. Smaller stones usually can be passed in the urine by itself and you don't usually experience any symptoms.

Symptoms of having stones may include:
    • nausea and vomiting
    • pain, often very severe, near the kidney area, on one side or near the lower back, belly or in the groin.
    • frequent urination
    • blood, pus or substances appearing in urine
    • cloudy urine
    • fever and chills (a sign possible severe blockage and/or possible infection)
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How would my doctor diagnose it?

Your family doctor can send you to a lab to get an ultrasound. They may be able to see the location, size and quantity of stones in the kidneys. X-ray image of the kidney can also be done.

Smaller stones may pass on their own causing no symptoms. Larger stones may required medical treatment either with a non-surgical lithotripsy machine ("stone cracker") or (worst case) surgery.

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What causes kidney stones and what are some risk factors?

There are many different theories as to why some people develop kidney stones and others do not.

Experts believe that dietary habit is a major factor for the increased risk of getting stones in the kidney. Other factors that may be possible include:
    • dehydration

    • urinary pH imbalance (high acidity promotes the formation of uric acid kidney stones)

    • insufficient water intake leading to dehydration

    • being overweight / obesity

    • lack of physical activity

    • deficiency in minerals such as potassium and magnesium

    • allergic reactions or sensitivity to certain foods

    • infections that interferes with urine flow

    • genetic factors that affects kidney function

    • genetic disorder affecting the body's ability to process calcium

    • various metabolic diseases that make kidney stones more likely to be formed (such as sarcoidosis, vitamin D toxicity, cancer, hyperparathyroidism, high levels of cystine in urine, Cushing's syndrome and others)

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Can I use natural or herbal remedies to cure it?

Yes. Natural remedies and a dietary change are much more effective for preventing the formation of new stones than curing the large stones you already have. Once the larger stones are removed or passed out of your kidney, natural remedies can be used to prevent stones from forming in the future.

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What diet should I consider if I suffer from kidney stones?

The most important thing...

First and foremost, make sure you drink enough water to prevent dehydration. Dehydration causes the urine to be more concentrated and that increases the chance of stone formation. Experts recommend drinking a minimum of 1.5 Liters (about 6 glasses) of water daily. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses is even better. This is THE best way to avoid kidney stones.

If the kidney stones are made up of calcium...

It is mostly likely caused by the body excreting too much calcium into the urine (called hypercalciuria). A diet low in calcium is recommended. Doctors may prescribe potassium citrate to increase urine levels of citrate. Citrate prevents the formation of calcium stones.

Foods that cause high oxalate levels in the urine increases the risk of calcium stone formation. Avoid foods with high oxalate content such as rhubarb, spinach, cocoa, nuts, pepper and tea.

If the kidney stones are made up of uric acid...

A diet that is low in meat, fish and poultry will help reduce the formation of these stones. Eating these foods causes more uric acid to be formed in the blood and excreted into the urine.

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Does eating certain foods increase the risk of developing kidney stones? Foods to try to avoid.

Yes. Your diet can either increase or decrease the risk of stone formation. How to avoid kidney stones? Let's start by seeing what you are eating...

Foods to AVOID What experts say about them
Rhubarb
Spinach
Chocolate
Soybeans
Cocoa
Nuts
Starfruit
Pepper
Tea

For calcium stones...

These foods are high in oxalate content. A high level of oxalate in urine increases calcium stone formation.


Dairy products
(milk and cheese)
For calcium stones...

Common sense would tell you to cut out calcium intake if you suffer from calcium kidney stones.

However, current studies show that calcium in your diet binds oxalate in the gut and reduces the amount that gets in. So less oxalate gets into your bloodstream and thus less of it shows up in urine. Check with your doctor if you plan on taking additional calcium supplements.

Meat
Fish
Poultry
For uric acid stones...

These foods increases uric acid levels in the urine. Avoid or cut down eating them if possible. Population studies showed that eating more protein increases the risk of uric acid kidney stones.

Alcohol
Caffeine
salt
For any types of stones...

Avoid liquids that might dehydrate you. Water is the best "natural remedy" for kidney stones.

As well, caffeinated drinks cause more calcium to show up in the urine. However population studies show that caffeine seems to protect against kidney stone formation. Until we see clear evidence of benefit or harm, limit your caffeine intake to a reasonable level.

Vitamin C Avoid taking too much vitamin C. Limit it to less than 2,000 mg daily. Studies done in human show that vitamin C is converted to oxalate and this can increase the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones in the kidney.
 

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Foods you may want to consider taking to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Here is the list of foods to take.

Foods to TAKE What experts say about them
Water
For any types of stones...

This is a must do. Dehydration causes the urine to be concentrated and this increases the likelihood of stone formations. Drink 6 to 10 glass of water daily.

Orange juice
Blackcurrant juice
Cranberry juice
Drinking orange juice seems to reduce the risk of calcium and uric acid stones formation.

A study showed that blackcurrant juice can be useful in treating uric acid stones because of its alkalizing effect.

Cranberry juice acidifies urine so it can be useful in treating struvite stones and urinary tract infection.

Diet sodas, especially those with citrus flavour

Diet Sunkist Orange
Diet 7-Up
Diet Canada Dry

Note: Diet Coke with Lime does not contain citrate.
For calcium stones...

Some soda pop contains citrate (listed on the left column) which is known to stop calcium stone formation.

However, be aware that this may not be the best solution to the problem. Our best recommendation is to drink plain water.

Lemon juice mixed with water
Orange juice
For calcium stones...

This natural remedy will help acidify your urine and reduce the risk of further calcium stones formation.


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What about the DASH diet guidelines? Does it work?

Following the DASH diet guidelines not only lowers high blood pressure, but a new research study published in October 2009 in the Journal of American Nephrology shows that it also reduces the risk of developing stones in the kidney. (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, originally designed to help lower high blood pressure.)

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Does kidney stone cleansing programs work?

A kidney cleanse is designed to remove stones by dissolving stones and by preventing future formation of stones. There are many kidney detoxification programs available.

Consider a vegetable and fruit juice diet. Vegetables to consider include green vegetables, parsley, celery and carrots. Fruits to consider include lemons and especially watermelon.

Ultimately, it's the amount of fluid (water) that you are taking that will go a long way to cleanse your kidney of stones. The more water you drink, the more water gets to the kidney to flush out whatever stones are there.

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What are some homeopathic remedies I can use?

Ask your homeopathic practitioner for the best remedy for your condition. Homeopathic remedies you may want to consider include:
    • Belladonna (Atropa belladonna)
    • Dioscorea
    • Lycopodium (Lycopodium clavatum)
    • Nux Vomica
    • Lachesis
    • Berberis Vulgaris
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Can I suffer from kidney stones during pregnancy? What can I do about it?

Yes. It is possible. You would follow the same recommendations as for treating and preventing stone formation.

Often, women get stones only during pregnancy. This is suspected to be due to dehydration during pregnancy although other factors may also be involved.

Your doctor will be able to decide on the best course to take as some treatments should not be used during pregnancy.

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Related to Kidney Stones

What is a Good Diet for Stones in the Kidney?

The List of Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

 



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Revised: 25.04.2015

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