What are the symptoms and treatment options for renal stones?

Symptom Database

Renal stones, also known as kidney stones, are hard deposits that form in the kidneys. They can vary in size and shape and can cause severe pain and discomfort. In this article, we will explore the symptoms and treatment options for renal stones, as well as discuss the causes, prevention, and natural remedies for this condition.

Symptoms of Renal Stones

The symptoms of renal stones can vary depending on the size and location of the stone. Some common symptoms include:

  • Severe pain in the back or side
  • Pain radiating to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to diagnose renal stones through a physical examination, urine tests, and imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.

Treatment Options for Renal Stones

The treatment for renal stones depends on the size and location of the stone, as well as the severity of symptoms. In many cases, small stones can pass through the urinary tract on their own without any medical intervention. However, larger stones may require medical treatment. Some common treatment options include:

1. Medications

Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve pain and facilitate the passage of the stone. These medications may include pain relievers, alpha blockers, or medications to help dissolve the stone.

2. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

ESWL is a non-invasive procedure that uses shock waves to break up the stone into smaller pieces, making it easier to pass through the urinary tract. This procedure is usually performed under sedation or anesthesia.

3. Ureteroscopy

Ureteroscopy involves the use of a thin tube with a camera to visualize the stone. The stone can then be removed or broken up using laser energy. This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia.

4. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

PCNL is a surgical procedure that involves making a small incision in the back to access the kidney and remove the stone. This procedure is usually reserved for larger stones or stones that cannot be treated with other methods.

Prevention of Renal Stones

Preventing the formation of renal stones is crucial to avoid future episodes. Here are some tips to help prevent renal stones:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and promote urine production.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, and chocolate.
  • Limit your intake of salt and animal protein.
  • Include foods rich in calcium, such as dairy products, in your diet.
  • Avoid excessive vitamin C supplementation.

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce your risk of developing renal stones.

Natural Remedies for Renal Stones

In addition to medical treatments, there are also natural remedies that can help alleviate symptoms and promote the passage of renal stones. Some effective natural remedies include:

  • Drinking plenty of water to flush out the stone.
  • Consuming lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help dissolve the stone.
  • Taking herbal supplements such as chanca piedra or hydrangea root.
  • Applying heat to the affected area to relieve pain and promote relaxation of the urinary tract.

It is important to note that natural remedies should be used in conjunction with medical treatment and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Renal Stone Diet

A renal stone diet can help prevent the formation of new stones and reduce the risk of recurrence. Some dietary recommendations for individuals with renal stones include:

  • Increasing fluid intake to ensure adequate hydration.
  • Limiting sodium intake to reduce the risk of stone formation.
  • Reducing oxalate-rich foods, such as spinach and rhubarb.
  • Including calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, in moderation.
  • Limiting animal protein intake.

Following a renal stone diet can help manage the condition and reduce the likelihood of future stone formation.


Renal stones can cause significant pain and discomfort, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, they can be managed effectively. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of renal stones and seek medical attention if you experience any of them. Treatment options range from medications to surgical procedures, depending on the size and location of the stone. By following preventive measures, incorporating natural remedies, and adopting a renal stone diet, you can reduce the risk of developing new stones and improve your overall kidney health.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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