Kidney stones are crystallized materials that bunch together in your kidneys. Diarrhea is not a symptom of kidney stones, but there are numerous symptoms.

Kidney stones — also called renal calculi — are tiny collections of hard crystals.

When microscopic compounds accumulate in your kidneys, the compounds bunch together into larger pieces, forming kidney stones.

The risk of kidney stones can be higher for people assigned male at birth or who have:

The least invasive treatment for a kidney stone is to pass it through your urine. This is often painful, resulting in more than half a million emergency room visits annually.

If your stone is too large to exit your body with your urine, you may need a more invasive treatment. If a stone blocks any part of your urinary tract, it can cause further complications and needs treatment immediately.

Kidney stones can cause many symptoms, but diarrhea is not one of them. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of kidney stones.

Diarrhea is a common condition that usually causes you to have urgent and frequent bowel movements. It has many causes and can vary greatly in severity.

Common causes of diarrhea include:

Kidney stones are not one of the causes of diarrhea. But doctors can remove kidney stones surgically if the stones are large. The surgical removal through the abdomen can cause diarrhea to develop. Experts need more research before confirming that kidney stone surgery can cause diarrhea.

The causes of kidney stones include:

While diarrhea is not a direct cause of kidney stones, it often involves passing frequent, watery stools. The most common complications of diarrhea are dehydration and malabsorption.

Because diarrhea can cause dehydration, and dehydration can cause kidney stones, diarrhea may lead to kidney stones.

When you’re dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated, acidic, and filled with salts. All of these factors promote the formation of kidney stones.

If you have diarrhea, it’s important to replace fluids as you lose them. Water is a good replacement fluid. You can also have drinks high in electrolytes, such as sports drinks. Try to avoid beverages with caffeine, alcohol, or a lot of sweeteners, as they can make dehydration worse.

While kidney stones don’t cause diarrhea, they can affect your gastrointestinal system in other ways. If you’re experiencing what you believe are gastrointestinal symptoms of kidney stones, contact a doctor right away.


Kidney stones can cause severe pain in your abdomen, stomach, and lower back. You might feel pain in one of these areas, or multiple areas, on either one or both sides of your body. The pain often comes and goes in waves, lasting from 20 to 60 minutes.


If you have kidney stones, pain symptoms can trigger nausea. When the pain recedes, the nausea may or may not ease.


Vomiting is when you empty your stomach contents through your mouth. Nausea often comes before it, but not always.

Besides the gastrointestinal symptoms of kidney stones listed above, other common symptoms of kidney stones include:

Kidney stones often pass on their own without needing medical attention.

Passing a kidney stone through your urine generally takes 1 to 2 weeks. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may help you manage the pain symptoms.

If the pain is too intense to handle with OTC pain relief medications, or if more than 4 weeks pass without passing the stone, get medical help.

Additionally, contact a doctor right away if you experience:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bloody urine
  • difficulty urinating

These are all indications that your kidney stone is severe or too large to pass on your own. If you’re unable to contact a doctor quickly, get help at an urgent care clinic or emergency room.

Kidney stones are chunks of crystallized materials that can form in your kidneys. The most common symptom is severe pain, and they usually exit your body with your urine.

Diarrhea is a condition that makes you empty your bowels urgently and often, usually with watery stool.

There is currently no evidence that diarrhea is a symptom of kidney stones. Sometimes diarrhea can occur due to abdominal surgery, which doctors may perform to treat kidney stones, but there are no studies available yet that specifically connect the two.

Diarrhea can cause dehydration, however, which may then lead to kidney stones.

Whether you have them together or separately, if you’re unable to manage your diarrhea or kidney stones, speak with a doctor right away.