Kidney stones can only naturally come out of your body one way, which is with your urine. Small kidney stones (less than 5mm) can usually come out by themselves. Larger stones will require doctor intervention. Here are three ways to pass these smaller kidney stones.

Natural Remedies

There are many natural home remedies for passing kidney stones effectively. While passing kidney stones can be a very painful process, these remedies are designed to help you pass your kidney stone quickly and without much discomfort. Natural remedies for kidney stones include:

  • Drink more water. Any fluids will do if you’re dehydrated, but you should minimize coffee, alcohol, tea, and soda while passing a kidney stone. Drink water with lemon to help even more!
  • Drink lemon juice and olive oil. Mix ¼ cup each of these together and drink, then follow with water. Only use pure lemon juice and olive oil, as additives such as sugar won’t be doing you any favors. You can drink this mixture every hour until the pain ceases. The lemon juice contains citrate that will help break up the stones, and the olive oil will help to flush the stones out of your body.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar. You can mix this with a few ounces of water and drink it down. This will help break up the stones. Raw apple cider vinegar is also great to help prevent future kidney stone formation.
  • Eat foods that are diuretic. Celery, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, watermelon, and asparagus are all great foods to eat to help you pass kidney stones.

While these natural remedies may help with your small kidney stone, remember to see your doctor if you have a larger kidney stone that can’t be passed—you’ll need your doctor’s help for larger stones. 

Shock Wave Therapy

This form of therapy consists of shock waves to help break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces, which will then be able to pass more easily out of the body. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is usually used with stones larger than 5mm but no larger than 2cm, and with stones that are in the kidney or close to it, meaning they have not traveled far down the ureter to exit the body. This treatment is also used when the stone is blocking urine flow and causing extreme pain. The procedure lasts about an hour and you may be put under general anesthesia. This outpatient procedure cannot be used for extremely obese patients or pregnant patients. There are risks for kidney injury with this treatment, and you should discuss it further with your doctor.

Medication or Surgery

Alpha-blockers are common medications for kidney stones. They work by relaxing the muscles in your urinary tract, therefore helping the stone to pass less painfully. These medications may help you if you have a small kidney stone that you are trying to pass naturally. Surgery will be required if you have a very large kidney stone that cannot be passed out of the body. While medication and surgery will be necessary for a large stone, you can use preventive measures in the future to ensure that you minimize your risk for kidney stones and help to break up any mineral deposits that may form in your kidneys over time. The most important factor is staying hydrated, as water will help naturally carry out any minerals that build up in your kidneys and be the biggest factor in preventing kidney stones.


Kidney stones are not fun, but the smaller stones can usually be passed, even if they are painful. Consider these three ways to pass a kidney stone and always speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of passing your kidney stones.