Can Kidney Stones Cause Bloating and Gas?

Can Kidney Stones Cause Bloating and Gas?

Do you feel a burning sensation when urinating? Have you noticed blood in your urine? Then, these might be signs you’re having a kidney stone.

While you would be familiar with these symptoms, most of you often overlook gastrointestinal problems, like bloating and gas, common in people with kidney stones.

However, it’s best to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and determine whether kidney stones cause bloating and gas. 

Kidney stones are a common health condition that can affect anyone, regardless of gender.

They are crystallised mineral and salt deposits that form inside the kidneys, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pearl or even a golf ball. If you're dealing with kidney stones, you're not alone. This blog is here to help you navigate this health issue.

While persistent pain in the lower back is the most common symptom of kidney stones, other symptoms can also arise. In addition to experiencing pain while urinating, you may also face an obstruction in the urine flow despite having the urge to urinate.

Moreover, kidney stones can lead to infections, causing high fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. You can also see blood in the urine, or it may appear cloudy due to kidney stones. 

Now, through this blog, let’s see how kidney stones can cause bloating and gas and what the ideal treatment for this health condition is.

Gastrointestinal tract and kidney stones

Before discussing how kidney stones might cause bloating and gas, let's briefly examine our digestive system, also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The gastrointestinal tract is a long, muscular tube that runs from your mouth to your anus. It includes your oesophagus, stomach, and intestines. The main functions of the GI tract are breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste.

While kidney stones don't directly cause bloating or gas, they can indirectly trigger these uncomfortable GI symptoms in a couple of ways:

  • Shared nerve connections: The kidneys and some parts of your GI tract share nerve pathways. When a kidney stone irritates the kidneys, these nerves can send pain signals also felt in the abdomen, mimicking bloating or gas.
  • Blockage and backflow: In some cases, larger kidney stones can partially block the ureter, the tube carrying urine from the kidney to the bladder. This blockage can lead to a backup of urine, putting pressure on the intestines and causing bloating or discomfort.

Though kidney stones can potentially trigger gastrointestinal problems like bloating, gas, and constipation, a proper diet and lifestyle changes can help you overcome these issues.

While some healthy foods, like leafy greens, can contain oxalates that increase kidney stone risk, they also offer essential fiber for good digestion. The key is finding a balanced diet that works for you. Similarly, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy weight can benefit your kidneys and gut.

If you're intrigued by the interconnectedness of kidney and gut health, explore how The Good Bug's range of prebiotics and probiotics can enhance your digestive well-being alongside your kidney care regimen.

Next, let’s take a closer look at how dietary factors and lifestyle can indirectly cause bloating and gas in kidney stone patients.

Indirect causes of bloating and gas in kidney stone patients

Bloating and gas are not associated with kidney stones. However, some patients with kidney stones might experience gastrointestinal issues, including bloating and gas. So, let’s understand the connection between the kidneys and the GI tract to figure out the indirect causes of bloating and gas in kidney stone patients.

Dietary factors

While the development of kidney stones can result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, certain medical conditions and dietary habits are known to increase the risk.

Certain fruits and vegetables rich in fiber are great for your gut health, but they might be higher in purines or other substances that can contribute to kidney stones. 

The trick is to find a middle ground. For instance, swap out cauliflower for zucchini or skip spinach (high in oxalates) and choose other leafy greens. This way, you can get the gut-friendly benefits without worrying about potential stone risks.

Limiting your intake of red meat, salt, and processed foods can also benefit your kidneys and gut. These foods can disturb your digestive functions and contribute to inflammation, bloating, or gas. Instead, focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables (excluding those highest in oxalates if you're prone to stones), and whole grains.

Finding the right balance in your diet can be tricky, especially when managing kidney stone risks. The Good Bug offers specialised dietary fibers that harmonise with your nutritional needs without amplifying the risks of kidney stones.

Medication side effects

People use medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease kidney stone pain.

These medications can sometimes cause side effects such as an upset stomach, heartburn, or even gas. If you experience these side effects, talk to your doctor, who might suggest alternative pain relief options that are easier on your gut health.


Besides dietary factors and medications, dehydration is also a significant factor that causes kidney stones. When dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated, creating an environment where stones can form more easily.

Dehydration can also lead to constipation, which again can contribute to bloating. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out your system and keeps things moving smoothly in your kidneys and gut.

Now that we've cracked the code on diet and lifestyle, brace yourself as we venture into medical research to uncover the indirect ties between kidney stones and gut health.

Medical perspectives on kidney stones and gastrointestinal symptoms

Medical perspectives on kidney stones and gastrointestinal symptoms


Researchers have tried to understand the relationship between kidney stones and gastrointestinal symptoms. Though there isn’t clear evidence that suggests kidney stones can cause bloating, a few research studies indicate an indirect connection. 

According to a study published in the National Institutes of Health’s Journal of Urology, few patients reported bloating and gas with kidney stones. However, another article titled Urological Emergencies in General Practice mentioned that nausea and vomiting can be present in some cases of kidney stones but did not explicitly highlight bloating and gas as common symptoms.

Medical research suggests that bloating and gas are not typical symptoms of kidney stones. However, shared nerve pathways or rare complications might cause them in some cases.

Next, let's simplify treatment options and management strategies to keep those kidney stones—and their gut-wrenching companions— at bay.

Treatment and management

Whether or not kidney stones cause bloating and gas, you might find the symptoms painful and uncomfortable. But you don’t have to bite your pains or tolerate discomfort.

There are several effective treatment options for kidney stones. Once doctors diagnose your stones, they suggest an appropriate treatment option based on the stone's type, size, location, and associated symptoms.

Treating kidney stones

Here are some of the most common approaches that doctors use to treat and manage kidney stones:

  • Manage pain through medications like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
  • Encourage small stones (less than 4mm) to pass naturally through increased fluids and pain medication.
  • Use shockwave lithotripsy to break down larger stones into smaller fragments that pass through urine more easily.
  • Perform ureteroscopy, where the doctors insert a thin tube with a camera and laser to remove or break down the stones lodged in the ureter.
  • Undergo Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) for large or complex stones, where a small incision is made in the back to access the kidney and remove the stone directly.

While these practical approaches are best suited for kidney stones, they do not guarantee the prevention of gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating and gas.

If NSAIDs create discomfort in your stomach, it’s wise to ask your doctor for alternative pain management options. Similarly, drinking plenty of water and modifying your diet can benefit your gut health, potentially reducing bloating.

Managing kidney stones

Just because you have undergone treatment for kidney stones and feel normal again doesn’t mean you no longer risk forming kidney stones.

People who have had kidney stones face an increased risk of developing them again in the future. Therefore, adopting long-term dietary and lifestyle changes is crucial for reducing the likelihood of recurrence.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of kidney stones.
  • Limit sodium intake: High sodium intake can contribute to kidney stones and bloating.
  • Reduce animal protein: Excessive animal protein can increase uric acid levels and oxalate excretion, both risk factors for kidney stones.
  • Increase fiber intake: Fiber promotes gut health and can help prevent constipation, which can contribute to bloating.
  • Choose low-oxalate fruits and vegetables: Certain fruits and vegetables are high in oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stones. Opt for lower-oxalate options like berries, apples (with skin removed), and leafy greens (except spinach).
  • Limit processed foods and sugary drinks: These can contribute to weight gain, dehydration, and poor gut health, all risk factors for kidney stones and bloating.

If you think we’ve covered all angles, let’s not forget the power of a good chat with your healthcare professional to connect the dots. Are you ready for the final piece of the puzzle?

Consulting healthcare professionals

Ever wonder, "Can kidney stones cause bloating and gas?" The answer, for some folks, is yes! Kidney stones can be disruptive and uncomfortable, sometimes causing bloating alongside other symptoms.

But don't worry—you don't have to navigate this alone! Consulting a healthcare professional is the first step to feeling better.

They'll be your partner in diagnosis and treatment. Each person experiences kidney stones differently, so your doctor will create a personalised plan based on the stone's size, location, and overall health.

Be sure to share any gastrointestinal symptoms you're experiencing, as this information can help tailor your treatment to address both concerns.

The relationship between kidney stones and gut health is a puzzle. While bloating might not be a typical symptom, it can sometimes occur. Your healthcare professional can act as your guide, differentiating between kidney stone discomfort and digestive issues and ensuring you receive the best treatment for all your concerns.

So, are you pumped up to transform your overall health? The Good Bug is here to help you switch to improved health with our exclusive range of prebiotics and probiotics.

Tweak your diet and lifestyle with our products and see how quickly you bid goodbye to your digestive troubles. Visit The Good Bug’s website today to be a part of this new health experience. 


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