Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of kidney stones, study shows

kidney-stone-and-type-2-diabetesStudies have uncovered a link between type 2 diabetes and the risk of kidney stones. Type 2 diabetics have been found to have highly acidic urine, which puts them at a greater risk of uric-acid kidney stones. The study was carried out by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The study is the first of its kind to compare the urinary biochemical characteristics of type 2 diabetics with those of normal volunteers.


Overall, type 2 diabetes patients are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones – particularly, the uric-acid type. Such kidney stone susceptibility among diabetics was not well understood, but the study demonstrated that this heightened risk is associated with high acidity of urine.

Lead author Dr. Mary Ann Cameron said, “Our next step is to find out what causes type 2 diabetics to have an abnormally acidic urine, and what other urinary factors protect some diabetics who do not form uric-acid stones.”

A diet full of animal proteins is associated with highly acidic urine. Uric-acid stones have also been linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Author Dr. Naim Maalouf said, “Diet intake and obesity, those two factors alone, don’t explain the whole picture. So, other unrecognized factors may play a role.”

Senior author Dr. Khashayar Sakhaee added, “Our group at UT Southwestern was the first to determine that the more overweight a person is the more likely he or she is to form uric-acid kidney stones.”

Over 20 million Americans have diabetes, which is not only a chronic condition, but can even be life-threatening due to the numerous other health complications associated with it. Kidney stones cause intense pain and can even block the flow of urine. Uric-acid kidney stones are more difficult to diagnose, because they don’t appear on abdominal X-rays, which can delay diagnosis allowing the stones to continue growing.

Type 2 diabetes severity raises kidney stone risk

An alternative study published in European Urology found that the greater the severity of type 2 diabetes is, the more likely the patients are to develop kidney stones. The researchers looked at data collected by the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The researchers found that a history of type 2 diabetes and insulin use was associated with a 2.4 times and 3.3 times greater risk of kidney stones respectively.

The researchers noted, “Hyperglycemia and its resultant glycosuria have been implicated in altered renal handling of calcium, phosphorus, and uric acid. Both hyperoxaluria and hypercalciuria resulting from poor glycemic control may lead, therefore, to the formation of calcium oxalate stones.”

Natural treatments for kidney stones

Here are eight natural remedies you can utilize in order to naturally treat kidney stones at home.

Water: One of the potential causes of kidney stones is dehydration. You want to flush out the minerals that can form into crystals leading to kidney stones. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you do this. Not a fan of water? Try infusing it with mint, lemon, orange, or other fruits for some flavor.

Apple cider vinegar: Is there anything apple cider vinegar can’t do? It is cited as a natural remedy for many ailments, so it should be of no surprise that it can help to break down kidney stones as well as prevent future ones if consumed daily. Apple cider vinegar can be quite strong in flavor, so diluting two tablespoons in water is an easy and effective way to drink it.

Lemon juice and olive oil: When stones are small and more likely to pass, lemon juice and olive may help ease this process. Mixing lemon juice and olive oil, followed by drinking water, can help break down smaller stones.

Pomegranate juice: A 2008 study revealed that pomegranate juice may prevent certain forms of kidney stones – aside from improving your overall health thanks to its high antioxidant content. Keep in mind that many fruit juices contain lots of added sugar. If possible, opt for an organic variety.

Fiber: Fiber is required for overall good health and it is a great remedy for kidney stones, too. Just like how fiber can move other things along it can also help prevent calcium from entering the urinary tract. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.

Watermelon: Watermelon is a natural remedy for kidney stones, because it hydrates you and provides potassium as well. Potassium helps keep the kidneys healthy by maintaining acid levels. Furthermore, watermelon’s water content will keep you hydrated and help minerals move out of your body.

Kidney beans: Why not treat a kidney problem with a food of the same name? Kidney beans contain fiber, which as we’ve already discussed helps reduce the onset of kidney stones.

Celery: The use of celery is beneficial for the management of pain associated with kidney stones. Celery contains antispasmodic properties and can help eliminate toxins that may be present in the body. You can consume celery by running it through a juicer or snack on it throughout the day.

Related Reading:

Natural home remedies for kidney stone removal

Often compared to a pain far worse than that of giving birth, kidney stones are no laughing matter, so knowing natural remedies to combat them can offer great relief and prevention. With no one cause for kidney stones, they can affect anyone at any time. Typically, kidney stones are the formation of uric acid, calcium, and oxalate into crystals. Continue reading…


Kidney stone prevention with low-oxalate diet and healthy eating guidelines

Kidney stones are described as one of the most painful medical conditions one can have. Kidney stones are caused by oxalate, which is commonly found in humans and plants. Oxalate is not necessarily required by the body, and too much of it can result in kidney stones. Continue reading…