These are deposits that form in the kidney or bladder when substances which are normally dissolved in the urine turn into solids.

What to look for:
*  sharp pain.
*  nausea and vomiting.
*  profuse sweating.
*  blood in urine.

If there is an infection present as well:
*  fever.
*  frequent urge to urinate.
*  painful urination.
*  cloudy urine which can be odorous.

Kidney stones are created when certain substances in urine (including calcium and uric acid) crystallise clump together. Small stones, rather like gravel, are able to pass out of the body in the urine and often go completely unnoticed with no symptoms. But larger stones irritate and stretch the ureter as they move toward the bladder, causing agonising pain and blocking the flow of urine. Sometimes a stone can be very large, in which case it remains lodged in the kidney, creating a more serious condition.

If you've had a kidney stone once, you are likely to get one again. For this reason it is vital that you attempt to prevent it through various means.


Acquiring kidney stones can be hereditary, it can also occur in people who are also suffering from gout, urinary tract infections (cystitis) and certain bowel diseases. Not drinking enough water can also cause it.

If you use antacids consistently you may be prone to kidney stones. Dietary deficiencies in vitamin B6 and magnesium, and excessive amounts of vitamin D also may be factors in the formation of stones.

Doctors will normally perform a urine/blood test on you to confirm the presence of a stone and to determine the possible cause.


Always seek the advice of your doctor if you have the above symptoms and he or she will advise you on the best course of action. In most cases, however, bed rest and a mild medication or pain killer will help. But your doctor will need to perform a test to confirm the composition of the stone and this will indicate the best type of treatment.

If complications develop, such as an infection or total blockage the stone must be surgically removed.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

These remedies can help in relieving the pain of kidney stones.

Chinese Herbs - Practitioners of Chinese medicine sometimes prescribe star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) to help relieve pain and promote urination.

Dietary considerations

*  Take daily supplements of vitamin B6, vitamin A and C, kelp, lecithin, silica and magnesium
*  Avoid anchovies, sardines, organ meats, chocolates, celery, grapes, green capsicum, beans, tea, strawberries, brewer's yeast.
*  Eat a low-protein diet.
*  Avoid antacids.
*  Reduce salt
*  Avoid vitamin D supplements
*  Drink plenty of filtered water every day.
*  Avoid foods containing calcium oxalate, as too much of this can cause the stones to worsen (chocolate, celery, grapes, beans, strawberries, spinach, asparagus, black tea). Ask your doctor about limited your calcium intake at this time.

When to seek further professional advice
*  you think you have kidney stones;
*  you are experiencing any pain or difficulty with urination
*  you notice blood in your urine

Kidney Stones

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