THE COKE TREATMENT IS USELESS

ZismanUCThe featured image points to a widespread idea now on the web concerning how cola drinks might promote kidney stone passage. It has been called the ‘Coke Treatment for Kidney Stones.‘ Fluids are valuable for all stone formers, but the suggested usage may not be ideal and this post points out some of the drawbacks.

OUR PATIENT

A few months ago, a delightful 71-year-old woman presented to our clinic for a metabolic evaluation to try to stop her chronic kidney stones. She passed her first kidney stone about 5 years ago. A year later she developed another kidney stone, which required shockwave lithotripsy therapy. Ultimately her stone was analyzed and she was told it was a “calcium stone.” Over the following few years, she continued to pass one stone per year. More recently, the frequency had increased to a few times per year. Frustrated with the frequent stone recurrences, she sought information online regarding potential remedies for recurrent stone disease. On several websites she came across a remedy known as the “Coke treatment,” which was purported to dissolve kidney stones and prevent stone recurrence. She sent in her payment of $39.97 and received a booklet instructing her to do the following:

  • drink 72 ounces of Coca Cola, ideally not diet or caffeine-free, in 15 minutes or as fast as possible
  • steam and puree one-half pound of asparagus and drink immediately
  • repeat as necessary until kidney stone pain is resolved and stones have passed
  • some variations of this treatment that can be found on the web also recommend drinking water for several hours after the treatment

She dutifully followed the instructions provided and found that on the day of her acute pain, her symptoms did, indeed, abate. Unfortunately, over the next year she found the frequency of her stone attacks actually increased – most recently to as often as passing gravel 2 to 3 times weekly (with significant discomfort). To combat this she has been using the “Coke treatment” about 2-3 times weekly over the last year, creating an apparent vicious cycle (more on that later). Finally, her daughter insisted that she see a physician and so she presented to our office, wondering why her treatment hasn’t been effective.

THE COKE TREATMENT IS COMMON ON THE NET

Using the term ‘Coke treatment of kidney stones’ yielded about 108,000 results, and by page 10 the treatment was still prominent. So cola drinks as a treatment is current.

claim in Internet lore is that phosphoric acid, an additive used in dark colas, when consumed in large quantities can facilitate a reaction within the kidney that will dissolve the calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate admixture that is the kidney stone.  One finds variants of this claim in the discussions by patients.

As I pictured this poor older woman chugging a 6-pack of Coke 2-3 times per week with an asparagus chaser, I was curious to determine whether any potential scientific merit to the internet solution exists.

In short, the answer is No.

Allow me take you through some of the details.

THE EVIDENCE FOR COKE

Fluids are Useful

I will start with the 72-ounces of Coca Cola that are to be ingested rapidly. Of course, if one is having acute renal colic with a small stone stuck in a tiny structure like the ureter or urethra, drinking over two liter of fluids of any sort is likely to be beneficial in attempting to propel the stone forward and out of the body. But why Coca Cola? Or any cola for that matter? Is there some reason to believe cola drinks have special properties as a stone treatment?

As far as I can tell, no.

Cola Drinks Are Not a Proven Remedy

Phosphoric Acid as a Stone Dissolver

Phosphoric acid, mixed with nitric acid, is used as a cleaner in the beer industry to remove beerstone (calcium oxalate) from beer kegs. It is also used in home cleaning solutions, as an industrial etchant, and as a rust remover. This leads to the false impression that drinking acid phosphates in beverages will create conditions in the kidneys like those in the beer kegs.

In beer kegs, and when you clean your floor with cleaners, high concentrations of a strong acid are applied directly to the unwanted material.

You Can’t Get Phosphoric Acid into the Urine

But when the small quantities of phosphoric acid found in dark colas are ingested, the first thing that will happen is that calcium and magnesium binding will occur in the gastrointestinal tract. By the time the remaining phosphoric acid is absorbed, additional buffering will occur in the blood and bone, so essentially neutral – not acid – phosphate will be delivered to site of the stone. In studies of a neutral phosphate’s effect on crystal inhibition and dissolution, no evidence of crystal dissolution has been noted.

Effects of Cola in People

How about real people, instead of crystals?

Cola Drinks Raise Stone Risk in Urine

Four subjects were asked to drink three quarts (96 oz) of a dark cola over the course of 48 hours. The researchers then compared the amounts of 3 urine constituents that are known to affect the likelihood of stone formation: magnesium (higher levels in the urine are associated with DECREASED likelihood of stone formation), citrate (higher levels are associated with DECREASED likelihood of stone formation) and oxalate (higher levels are associated with INCREASED likelihood of stone formation). In this study, the average 24-hr magnesium excretion decreased by 2.6 mg, the average citrate excretion decreased by 122 mg, and the average oxalate excretion increased by 8.6 mg.  So in fact, in each of the three constituents, the effect of the cola was a worsening of stone risk.

A larger study performed a few years later confirmed these findings, as well as an associated increase in supersaturation for calcium oxalate in a group of 45 subjects.

Cola Drinks Raise Statistical Risk of Stones

In nearly 200,000 individuals who have been followed over time, Ferraro and colleagues analysed the association between consumption of sugar-sweetened colas and kidney stone formation. Subjects consuming the most sugar sweetened colas were 23% more likely to develop a kidney stone than those in the lowest consumption group. In general cola type drinks are exactly the wrong ones for stone prevention.

Cola Drinks May Pose Other Health Hazards

Sugar and Sodium

The suggested amount of regular Coke in the ‘Coke treatment’ has 840 calories, 270 mg of sodium, and 39 grams of sugar. Taking in that many calories from sugar will almost certainly reduce the amount of other nutrients that one is able to eat or drink in a day, while sugar and sodium are both directly linked to higher urine calcium excretion, a key contributor to nephrolithiasis.

Bone Disease

Whether because of substitution for milk-based drinks, or due to the high acidity associated with soft drinks, consumption of increasing quantities of carbonated beverages has been linked to osteoporosis.

Kidney Disease

In addition to the well known association with diabetes and obesity, a recent report has linked higher consumption of dark colas (2 cans or more per day) with risk of chronic kidney disease.

WHAT ABOUT ASPARAGUS?

Ancient Beliefs

Asparagus has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region and in Asia for over 2000 years. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans believed asparagus to have medicinal properties ranging from treating mood disorders to rheumatism, and a 15th century Arabic sex manual entitled “The Perfumed Garden” claimed asparagus has aphrodisiac properties. It is believed by many to have diuretic properties.

Not Our Asparagus

The usual variety of asparagus that we would buy at the store, Asparagus officinales, is a different species than the medicinal Asparagus racemosa, which is commonly grown in Asia. Furthermore, the medicinal use of asparagus typically involves the root, not the shoot that we typically eat. In Germany, for example, asparagus root is approved by an herbal oversight board as a diuretic whereas the shoot is not recommended.

Not Any Asparagus?

How good is the evidence? Despite what the herbal board says, a recent review found no evidence for human use of the asparagus root as a diuretic. And what if it were a potent diuretic, for argument’s sake? It would have to have specific effects in the distal convoluted segment (a particular region of the kidney tubule), like the thiazide diuretics, to have any beneficial effects on stone prevention –and certainly unlikely to be effective in the acute setting.

So What’s the Harm in a Lot of Asparagus? 

Generally, not much. In normal quantities it is  a healthy vegetable loaded with nutrients such as folate, potassium, and vitamin C. For a stone former, however, there may be hidden dangers with a high asparagus intake. Asparagus has a moderate amount of oxalate, and this amount adds up quickly with repeated administrations of such treatments as the ‘Coke treatment.’ Furthermore, vitamin C is also metabolized to oxalate in the body, adding more of the lithogenic substance to the urine. So, as with most things (except water), it seems that moderation is key.

OUR PATIENT

Looking back,our patient appears to have increased her stone attack frequency with the help of the “Coke treatment” from yearly to several times per week. It seems that the remedy was indeed worse than the disease.

During our visit, in preparation for which she performed several 24-hour urine collections, we determined an individualized plan for her kidney stone treatment based on her urine parameters and a thorough history. With a steady increase in her daily fluid intake and the addition of thiazide therapy, at last check she has had no further stone episodes.

OUR FINAL WORD ON THE ‘COKE TREATMENT’

On a hot Summer day, a can of Coke can be delightful. As a medical treatment for kidney stones, no cola is as good as plain water. In the very high doses of the ‘Coke treatment’ there is no benefit predicted from what science we have, and no data to show benefit from a clinical trial. In fact, it would be difficult to organize and perform a clinical trial of the ‘Coke treatment’ because of its evident potential for harm. The trial would be unlikely to pass the human subject protection board review.

Don’t do it.

You Might Want to Read:

Kidney Stone Pain

Fluids to Prevent Stones

Citrate to Prevent Stones

What Stones Are

Types of Kidney Stones

 

 

 

 

107 Responses to “THE COKE TREATMENT IS USELESS”

  1. Curt

    Dr. Coe. I had to write and Thank-you for your measured responses to the comments here. I am 50 and in the middle of my third (or fourth) kidney stone situation. This one was confirmed by ultrasound and X-ray to be 9mm. I was a pre-med student a long time ago and have a published thesis out there in an Arts vein. I live in a country with health care so I am not motivate by saving money – but it is interesting to see how someone would look for a low cost treatment to a very painful issue. I’ve had two pulmonary embolisms in the past which are the only thing that I’ve ever felt more pain from. I am a Coca-Cola collector, and I drink the stuff. Not every day – but a couple on the weekends. Just reading this has made me consider stopping the “drinking” part. I am almost ashamed to admit that I tried the coke-remedy. I did it because it was easy and something I could do at home. I actually tried it three times. Since the original detction, I have had another x-ray that indicated my 9 mm stone was now 3 mm. I have no idea what specifically shrunk this stone. I’ve been doing a number of things, like drinking a cranberry/lemmon diluted with water solution every day, and taking some other herbal things (under the guidance of a herbologist). I have never been able to catch one of those little painful crystals – so I have no idea what mine comprise of. However, I once again, am thankful for this site and your empirical (Dr. Zissman’s) work on this. I’m heading over to your prevention suggestions right now!

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Curt, Please let me know what you decide to do after reading about prevention. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
      • Curt

        Dr. Coe. Thank-you for the reply. It looks like the best bet is to stop the process of super-saturation by increasing fluid intake. The 3.5 L is doable (I’m already up to that level). This makes perfect sense. I do have a few questions I hope you might be able to answer:
        (1) Assuming that a person has the occasional super-saturation moment and crystals begin to form. Do the crystals continue to grow even if not in a super-saturated environment (can they be flushed out even if they have been started – if fluid levels are above the 3.5 L mark and all other conditions are normal)? (2) The statistics for Wine, Beer and Coffee drinkers is fascinating. I do not drink any of these items. Are the properties of wine, beer, and coffee such that they inhibit crystal growth, or is it some other factor with people who drink these things (alternatively: should I add these items [in moderation of course] to my diet as another facet to helping prevent stones from forming)?

        Thank-you so much.

        Reply
      • Curt

        Thank-you for the reply Dr. Coe. I intend to increase my fluid intake to approximately 3.5 L/day or higher if possible. Stopping the number of supersaturations just seems to make sense. I’ll also attempt to limit sodium intake to some degree – or at least increase the fluid intake if I happen to have a little extra sodium. I’ll also lower the cola intake to one or two on the weekend. I do have a couple of questions if I might: (1) If an individual enters a supersaturation state and crystals start to form, but they have made changes so that a majority of the time they are not in that state. Will the crystals continue to grow or can they be flushed out? (2) The statistics on beer, wine and coffee drinkers is fascinating! I have nearly none of this in my diet currently. Is there something in these items that assists a person to be a non-stone-former or is there another factor with people who drink these items (alternatively: I’m looking to add these items [in moderation of course] to my diet to help) – should I add them? (3) Coffee, I assume, should be drunk black?
        Thank-you so much!

        Reply
        • Fredric Coe, MD

          Hi Curt, Great questions. Lower supersaturations can prevent crystals; apart from uric acid and cystine, they will not dissolve. The good beverages are probably just good fluids without anything bad in them. Coffee is fine. If black means you avoid calcium stop avoiding. High diet calcium will lower urine oxalate and also protect your skeleton. I assume you are a calcium oxalate stone former without a systemic disease causing your stones. If so, read this. The ideal stone diet is the ideal US diet, so any physician can recommend it out of hand. Regards, Fred Coe

          Reply
  2. Dr. David Vitko

    Prevention beats cures every time!
    Thanks for a great insightful article! You are right. Anecdotal evidence like passing a stone soon after performing a folk remedy like the coke remedy is a poor choice in dealing with any health issue. Since kidney stones often pass on their own within days or weeks, how do you know it would not have happened without the remedy? Scientifically speaking, you cannot say for sure. Odds are the body will normally take care of itself.
    I am a chronic stone former 16 stones in the past 35 years. They would occur every 2 years, alternating kidneys every 2 years. Most passed, although 3 were surgically removed. I was told 2 of them were too big to pass. I have since passed a bigger one on my own. The body is incredibly resilient. It has been 3 years now since my last stone. I chose to finally make a major effort at prevention. I cut out all sugar and have adopted a primarily vegetarian diet with small excursions when I dine out (usually fish). What you do once in a while does no harm. It is what you do every day diet-wise that makes a difference. I lost 30 pounds, which in itself is very helpful with kidney stones. Lastly, I drink 1/2 gallon of water every day. A less concentrated diet helps the kidneys function better as well. By the way my early prostate issues resolved and I stopped snoring at night, sleeping much better. There are so many health benefits to this approach. I love the way I now eat. Hope this helps some fellow stone sufferers!

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Dr, , Very thoughtful comments what I agree with. Thanks for contributing very sound advice about fluids, the vagaries of stone passage, resiliency, and what it takes to get prevention. Warm Regards, Fred

      Reply
  3. Jeffrey Jordan

    I have used the asgaragus and coke to cure my last 5 bouts of kidney stones and the longest it took was 3 days. Several times only 24 hours. Start on empty stomach. Drink a 2 liter bottle of regular coke within 2 hours then eat 12 to 16 ounces of steamed asparagus right after finishing the coke. Don’t eat anything else that day. Only drink water. Worked every time for me.

    Reply
    • Jeff Sidlosky

      It worked for me as well. I had kidney stones twice, the treatment worked within a few hours, the stones were gone along with the days of pain as well.

      Reply
  4. Steven N Keller

    Has worked amazingly well for me twice and once for my wife.
    I knew within an hour that it was helping.
    If it didn’t work I wasted about $3 and an hour of my time.
    So because it doesn’t work for one person its conclusive evidence that it doesn’t work at all? Thats silly. Most drugs dont work for most people. All drugs work for some people.

    Reply
  5. David Kailin

    Is there credible evidence for supplemental potassium citrate (or anything else) acting to dissolve stones of various composition? Ditto with respect to dissolution of kidney plaque and plugs?

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi David, Uric acid stones can dissolve when urine pH is increased in any manner – potassium citrate is an example of an alkali agent. Plaque is in the kidney tissue and how it is made and perhaps removed biologically an area of present research. Plugs are in tubules and cannot be dissolved. I suspect tubules somehow repair themselves but have no evidence as yet. Great questions, thank you, Fred Coe

      Reply
      • David Kailin

        What theoretical and applied approaches are being considered and tested for kidney tissue plaque removal?
        Why might one choose to combine alkalizing agents, specifically potassium citrate and potassium bicarbonate?
        Do I gather correctly that there is no substance scientifically verified that safely dissolves calcium stones in vivo?
        Thank you for such an informative – and artful – website!

        Reply
        • Fredric Coe, MD

          Hi David, Plaque removal has not as yet found its way into any workable science. The mechanisms of plaque formation remain uncertain. I suspect plaque is naturally shed from the tissues and the secret is to slow production, and I have ideas, but no results.

          As for alkali, some people cannot excrete potassium normally and cannot be given potassium loads. Others cannot stand the GI effects of the potassium. SOdium alkali are not ideal because the sodium load raises urine calcium – and in some people blood pressure. But in uric acid stone formers, as an example, they can work fine. As for dissolving calcium stones in the kidneys, we have nothing. Chelating agents are toxic. Regards, Fred Coe

          Reply
  6. thangaraj

    hi sir

    i am read article usually coco cola and pepsi is not suitable for health,and cola drinks causes kidney stones,is it really
    V.Thangaraj
    vtjana07@gmail.com
    http://www.dataentryjobathome.com

    Reply
  7. Lee hawthorn

    Hey , everything seems great . I no longer have the kidney stone symptoms . I am going to stay with the recommended daily dose of Apple Cider Vinegar . I have found that it goes down better and tastes better by mixing it with grapefruit juice . Nothing but smiles here .:)

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Lee, I am glad you have found yourself a remedy. I do have to make clear that I do not endorse the product but I also cannot see anything much wrong with it, either.
      Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  8. Dawn Hadley

    Seriously 5 kidney stones is chronic stone disease?? Please tell me it’s a joke!! I actually have chronic stone disease!!!!! I pass stones every week, sometimes every day, for 17 years!!! I’ve had over 400 stones removed at once at John’s Hopkins in Maryland. Most people that have a kidney stone will get another one, 5 stones in 5 years is not uncommon. This article is extremely insulting to the people who actually have chronic stones I can’t believe somebody would use the word “chronic” without actually knowing what it means. And for anybody actually considering that “remedy” – if you drink 72 ounces of any liquid in 15 mins you’ll pass your stone fast, the Coke has absolutely nothing to do with it. Plus if you make oxalate stones than the Coke will help you to make more kidney stones!!

    Reply
  9. Bruce Gomes

    1) The studies all cited concerning Cola appeared to always specify Cola with sugar – is there a reason that matters? Is there any reason to believe that Diet Cola wouldn’t carry the same risks of raising the probability of kidney stone formation? (assuming there are risks..) 2) The press appeared to include any dark colored soda in this category, and often cited root beer – one I have uses Malic acid, part of the Citric acid cycle – so is that not applicable to a problem involving Phosphoric acid?

    Reply
  10. Roger

    Hey Doc : What are the options for removing a 7×11 mm stone from my mid to lower L ureter? Can they go in thru the skin with orthroscopic tools and get it, similar to hernia repair techniques??? I’ve had lithotripsy on peanut sized stones in L kidney twice in past decades. Not sure if I will go for it again.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Roger, What to do is so specialized to the exact anatomy there is no simple answer. Your surgeon could wait to see if it will pass, although it seems rather large. The decision about waiting involves the degree of obstruction and whether progress is being made. Shock wave disruption is sometimes an option. Usually flexible digital ureteroscopy is efficient and effective. Surgeons do not enter through the skin for ordinary ureteral stones. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  11. Lee Hawthorn

    Hello again . Everything is going well . For now I stopped the extra calcium and staying hydrated well . Last night I got a good sleep no tingle or still need to pee sensation 🙂 The day has gone well everything honestly feels great . I am continuing with the Apple Cider Vinegar route . And plenty of watermelon .:)

    Reply
  12. Lee Hawthorn

    OK , I have evidently developed kidney stone or two hopefully just 1one . I have read the pro’s and con’s on the cola treatment . I am highly skeptical myself. However I have read about the apple cider vinegar , although it tastes a bit rude I am trying . I also stuffed myself with watermelon . I could live off of watermelon yummmm . Today is 8/25/16 and I started this after mowing my yard . I am 64.5 years old and have never had kidney stones , but the symptoms match . My wife had to go to the Dr. for the stone she had . I probably is more of a coincidence than reality , but I had started taking calcium liquid gels 600 mg with D-3 about 2 months ago . I work a lot out in the heat and do my best to stay hydrated ,water and Gatorade . I am going to drown my insides with water and watermelon and a Walmart substitution for Excedrin for a bit of pain relief . I will repost as either progress or regress is accomplished .

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Lee, I cannot tell if you think you have had a stone or had one but your instincts are not so far off. Taking calcium supplements and working in the heat are a good way to create urine crystals or stones. Here is a tip. Calcium supplements are a good thing but need special usage. They need to be taken with a meal and they need to be used with a reduced sodium diet – 1500 mg is ideal – to prevent an undue rise in urine calcium in case you have genetic hypercalciuria. About 10 – 15% of people have rather high urine calcium losses by genetic endowment and when they eat a lot of calcium and sodium urine calcium can rise markedly. Low sodium will prevent that. Since no one knows if they have this trait, it is safest to assume the worst, thence the notion to keep salt intake low. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
      • Lee Hawthorn

        Thank you for your reply . Yes I was consuming the calcium on a coffee and orange juice stomach and eating about an hour later . Working out doors in the sun the temperature rises quick and the humidity makes it worse . After working in the heat I would always stop at the Sonic for a very large Route44 cherry coke and drink it all and usually kept a medium bottle in the fridge . I know shame on me . I have since reversed those acts and it is like overnight things are wayyyyyy better . But of course it reoccurs I will certainly have to (brrrrr ) Visit the local Dr. .But for now all is good . I will post again as I go along .

        Reply
  13. Lester

    I have passed a kidney stone every 10 years or so since I was 26. I’m almost 70 now. The last time I had a kidney stone I was away on vacation in the mountains. 200 miles from a VA hospital and I called the nurse and she said to drink a 6 pack of beer and eat a watermelon! Dang! It worked!! shot that 4 mm stone right out in the shower!!

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Lester, The beer and watermelon would produce quite a high urine flow rate and perhaps that helped. I am glad it worked for you. As a physician I cannot recommend such a treatment, of course. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  14. Connie Andrew

    Do you have to drink the full 72oz of Coke on an empty stomach that means you can’t have anything to eat ,Paid for the recipe but my daughter got the email so don’t fully understand what to do ,Please help ,

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Dear Connie, I am responding to both of your questions here. I no not advocate this treatment, and the article by my colleague Dr Zisman is very critical of the underlying lack of scientific support for it. I am sorry you paid for the recipe, as the article would have advised otherwise. On a personal level, I would gladly share with you how to eat the vegetable or drink the coke just as a courtesy but I confess I do not know the details. From all we can tell as scientists there is no basis for doing any of it so I never looked into the issue. Regrets and best wishes, Fred Coe

      Reply
      • Connie Andrews

        I tried the Coke and asparagus remedy all I got was a very bad stomach and the pain was really severe ,Wished I hadn’t bothered as I think I’m worse than what I was before I started ,It was Wilfs Remedy I tried ,I’ve tried to contact him as he says there will be a full refund if it doesn’t work ,You can’t even get hold of him so I think he’s a con ,Might be wrong but can’t get in touch anyway with him ,

        Reply
        • Connie andrew

          He should think ashamed of himself he’s just ripped me off with £40 and I am a pensioner ,He won’t even let me go back on the site ,His treatment did nothing but cause me discomfort ,He reckons if it didn’t work you get a full refund ,How can you when you have no one to get hold of or talk to ,He said he doesn’t rip people off as he wouldn’t be able to sleep at nights as he’s four kids ,Well I don’t seem to be bothering him ,He’s a disgrace ,Least he could do was read his bad comments ,But I don’t think this man has a conscious ,

          Reply
          • Fredric Coe, MD

            Dear Connie, I am not very positive about this treatment, and do not advise it. The price is astounding! Coke and a vegetable should not cost much, and the ‘secret’ recipe is hardly worth anything at all. Fred Coe

            Reply
          • jeet

            if you paid through clickbank you will get refund through click bank, but apply within 60 days

            Reply
    • Diane

      Your info is wrong. My boyfriend on Saturday had kidney stone
      He consumed 5 12 oz cans of Coke within 2 hours
      The 6 th can at the 2 hour mark with can of warmed purée asparagus.
      We started recipe at 3:30 pm
      He passed a lg kidney stone at 6:30 into his urinal.
      This is the second time he has used this recipe.
      I was witness to this.
      His doctor also has this recipe Andhis sister used it.
      It works.
      It’s a fact
      I got the picture of the stone.
      I am sure doctors would hate for everyone to know this info.
      It truly works.
      You are dead wrong.
      The Coke recipe works every time!!

      Reply
      • Fredric Coe, MD

        Hi Diane, Thanks for the comment. Doctors don’t hate these kinds of remedies, the better word is sceptical. I am glad it worked for your boy friend. If you look at the comments, there is a kind of split – some say good, some say no good. As for science, so far, not so good. But I am happy his stone passed, and wish him well. Regards, Fred Coe

        Reply
  15. Jason

    Putting about two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink twice daily while suffering from the stone worked best for me.

    Reply
  16. STEVEN JOHN WILGA

    Worked for me 3 years ago. now I have stones again, however, coca cola creates a more acid environment in your bloos causing you body to rob minerals from your bones . once the threat is over there is no way to put them back.. wonderful world wide attack on the humans…osteoporosis is a money maker. oh … when you counteract with D3, maker sure you use a combo with K2 otherwise the calcium doesn’t get where its needed.
    Dr. Coe… why is it that you are always replying with negative about the effects of this treatment and downplaying those who say it worked for them… worked for me. lasted three years. Seems you are assigned this thread to make sure the people are kept in the dark. regards

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Steven, This thread began with the article by my colleague Dr Anna Zisman who research through the data concerning the coke treatment and came to the conclusion that there was no reasonable support for using it and, like you, that there was some bone risk. I felt the same, and still do. Many people have written that it helped them, as you have, and I am glad it did. But I have to be fair and say that from an objective point of view – I am a professional scientist and physician – there is no scientific support for it. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  17. am

    I appreciate this article so much. Im suffering acutely from the same condition and although I hadnt heard of the coke ‘remedy’ I certainly would not have tried it. Just drinking that much coke could send me into a sugar shock of some kind. I have found little online so far in my search, but your suggestion of thiazide diuretics will be something I ask about. Im just surprised the specialist I saw last didnt prescribe anything for me, almost as if he was throwing up his hands saying nothing works. When you try to function with non-stop pain you are willing to try many things.

    Reply
  18. Tami dayton

    I have had several stones so the remedy drink water don’t work either that’s all I drink and now have the one that I had two years ago that the doctor wouldn’t take out when took the other one out cause it was small and I told her mine don’t pass now it’s big and stuck but now they can make more money that I can’t afford. Do know water don’t work either. I believe my first doctor who told me they r inherited at the age of 16 goings get them no matter what I drink.

    Reply
  19. Sarah

    I forgot to add on my previous post that she was in intense pain for three days before she did the home remedy. This happened three years ago and she is healthy and has not had any stones since. When someone is in that kind of pain and that long–to this day she said it was worth it.

    Reply
  20. Sarah

    The Coke and asparagus worked for my sister when nothing else would. She was in so much pain and all the doctor did was give her pain killers which only made her groggy. She only drank 1 liter of coke in fifteen minutes and then a 1/4 blended cup of asparagus. And within a hour her pain lessen and as each hour passed she had less pain and eventually she had no pain. She only drank it this one time. She was peeing a lot during that time. I believe the coke turned her stones to mush and the asparagus helped her flush it out of her system. And while it is not pleasant to drink coke and then asparagus she would not hesitate to do it again if she developed kidney stones. We believe her kidney stones were Uric acid stones. I do not believe this home remedy works on Calcium stones.

    Reply
    • Connie andrew

      Do you cook all the green and eat all or do you just eat the tips of it ,Whilst drinking the Coke can you still eat or do you have to do this on an empty stomach

      Reply
  21. Mark Fisher

    It worked for me.
    I do not have health insurance and three years ago I was desperate.
    After a couple of weeks of drinking blueberry and canyberry juice..
    I tried this. It was a very horrible tasting remedy.. but saved me an expensive trip to the hospital.
    It did have a fairly immediate effect. Within a few days I was back to 100%
    Your study could have a negative impact on those who do not have health insurance or live in 2nd and 3rd world countries.
    From my experience I believe your study to be faulty.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Mark, Thanks for sharing your experiences. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
    • Tami dayton

      U should get another ct cause kidney stone pains come and go and are different my first only hurt during my monthly and this one can go a few months no pain or a little pain or lots of pain the bigger they get the worse it will get js

      Reply
  22. Heather Wargo

    Hi,
    I’ve had kidney stones for years, and heard about the Coke remedy and found this article while trying to research the topic. Why the asparagus? After my first kidney stones were blasted, “ASPARAGUS” was on the do not eat list for causing kidney stones. So wouldn’t that counter-act any benefit that the coke might be doing? If you’re going to do a Coke study, why follow it with only asparagus? What a bizarre idea. Why not follow it with cranberries, or anything else that doesn’t contribute to stone development? What about eliminating the asparagus and doing a study without it?

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Heather, I cannot imagine any reason to do a study of this altogether. Coke has a lot of acid phosphate and the dark colas are associated with increased stone risk in epidemiological studies. I think so far this is a remedy with no evidence for it and I am pretty sceptical. It is proposed to foster passage of stones already formed. As a prevention of new stones it seems kind of unlikely to do good and possibly likely to do harm. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  23. B

    I had a bad kidney stone and went to the hospital. They took a scan and determined it was a5 millimeter stone. Too small to break up they said, I would just have to pass it. So right away they give me drugs and tell me to go home rest take the drugs and drink lots of liquid until it passes. I did so to no avail for 7 days. The drugs do not ease my pain nor open my tubes and I was drinking like a fish. After seven days of pain I got desperate and found the come cure online. I took it and within 5 minutes I was pain free. I never did pass a stone, it apparently dissolved it completely. So you can poo poo or try to discredit it here all you want but I am a firm believer that it did work. It is also been said here on this thread that maybe he has something to do with this so that they sell more product, but isn’t that exactly what the big pharmaceutical companies are doing with drugs? Perhaps it is the doctors and pharmaceutical businesses that went to discredit this cure because it stops them from making any money. All I know is that this cure certainly helped me after 7 days of pain when no doctor or medication could. That is a fact.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi B, I am glad you are without pain. It is very unlikely that the stone dissolved, however. Be sure and have your physician do another scan and find out where it is. If it did not pass and you have no pain it may have moved into the bladder, or possibly back into the kidney. Whatever it did, it is not safe to assume it dissolved – there is risk of obstruction and possible kidney damage if a stone is neglected because loss of pain makes one sure there is no more to do. As for the coke treatment, at least this doctor has an even mind – as a professor I do not make my income from any direct patient care and if I had any reason to believe this was worthwhile would be a staunch advocate. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  24. Alex P

    My ex used to drink Coca Cola like it was going out of style … morning noon and night. When she was pregnant with our daughter, she had pains and thought she might be in labor … was admitted to the hospital. She passed a kidney stone and it was caught and analyzed, main composition was phosphorus. Phosphoric acid is a main ingredient in colas. Coincidence? I think not.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Alex, Phosphate in stones is mainly reflective of an alkaline urine pH, which can happen from pregnancy calcium supplements which have alkali in them. But the high phosphate in cola drinks certainly would not help. The dark cola drinks are well known to raise risk of stones, Fred Coe

      Reply
  25. Lesley

    Girlfriend had a stone passed, was calcium stone, scanned and found to have many, many more, scheduled for lithotripsy 2 weeks out, did the coke and asparagus thing twice and got rescaned and no stones. It worked quite well. She now just drinks lots of water and takes mag. Citrate

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Lesley, Thanks for the case history. If she had many stones in her kidneys as implied, their disappearance would seem physically impossible from this or any other treatment over a period of a few weeks. I hate to sound sceptical, but crystals follow physical laws, and so does coke. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  26. Jonathan D

    I believe that drinking water with lemon essential oil is also good.

    Reply
  27. John Hanses

    The Coke and asparagus worked for me. I passed a stone within a few hours after doing the coke and asparagus plus distilled water. I knew I had the stone because it showed up on a CT scan. I also used Renavive about 8 capsules that day. I passed the stone with a little blood. When the stone came out it was graveling and broken down.

    Reply
  28. Mike S.

    I have personally found that drinking anything with phosphoric acid *will* cause kidney stone formation in myself. I’ve suffered with these for many years, and the only thing that has abated my stone formation is to simply abstain from Colas and anything with phosphoric acid.
    This is good information, appreciate the article.

    Reply
  29. jack d benisi

    OMG….Who funded this nonsense? Coca-Cola This must be the most absurd study ever. I hope these folks don’t add a lemon to that 72oz of coke because then they be in for a big surprise…..The preservative potassium benzoate combined with any type of citric acid will react to form the scary substance benzene ( benzene causes cancer )…..Forget all that pseudo-science garbage…..Simply drink 72oz of reverse osmosis water each day….In closing, if you don’t believe this then I encourage to Google it in between sips of coke.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Jack, No one funded this nonsense except perhaps commercial interests about which I am afraid I know nothing. It is not the result of a study but a kind of lore or rumor. Thanks for your comment – People are being told to put lemon juice in water for stone prevention. That is also a bit misleading because the amount of citrate you get depends upon the pH of the lemon juice from the lemons you happen to squeeze. Best, Fred Coe

      Reply
      • jack d benisi

        Hey Fred, couldn’t Coca Cola be considered a commercial interest? Unfortunately, people can be presented with all the factual data available and at the end of the day they will continue to drink this stuff. At best, I have had 3 cans of soda in past 15-20 years…As for lemon juice in water to create a more alkaline environment…that’s something I have been doing for some time….At the end of the day, at least for me, the less chemicals I can put in AND on my body the better….drive my wife nuts.

        Reply
        • Fredric Coe, MD

          It is, Jack, but I doubt if that corporation has anything to do with the coke treatment stuff. They would have no reason to associate themselves with such a thing. At least I think so. Regards, Fred

          Reply
          • F TUTTLE

            I have used this method 3 different times always with the result of passing the stone. I have passed 50 + stones over 30 years usually without any help . Only used this as a last resort when I felt I had a stone stuck.

            Reply
  30. MSD

    I can’t believe the Coke remedy either. One doctor told me Coke was most likely the CAUSE of my many episodes of kidney stones when I was younger. I had been drinking at least one can of Coke almost everyday of my life up until my mid 20s. After over a dozen extremely painful stones that each time made me drop everything and run to the emergency room, I saw an article in Readers Digest that suggested soft drinks were the culprit. I immediately stopped and started drinking bottled water instead. After about a decade it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a single stone since then. Then followed yet another decade stone free. So now it’s been around 30 years and I think I might have a stone, but if it is it’s nowhere near as painful as all those other times. Normally the first symptom is that “kicked it the groin” pain but this time I only had a mild ache that lasted less than an hour, then went away. I still have an occasional ache in what appears to be my right kidney so I’m waiting for a doctor’s appointment next week to have it checked out.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi, Thanks for your comment. There is pretty strong epidemiology evidence linking the dark cola drinks to a higher risk for kidney stones. Jill Harris has summarized the data in one of her articles. Your story is in line with those data and you were smart to switch away from Coke. I am happy to hear you have been well. Warm Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  31. Kent

    Say what you want, I had a 7mm Calcium stone removed surgically eight years ago and the surgery and the stint for two weeks was almost worse than the stone. When I had a second stone a year later they wanted to take it. I tried the Coke remedy on Saturday and had no passage, I did it again Sunday morning and I passed the stone without pain and they had said it was 7mm too. I wanted to get it plated gold and give it to the doctor as a necklace. I saved several thousand dollars and several weeks of pain.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Kent, Thanks for the comment. Stents are awful for some patients and I surely understand wanting to pass the stone whatever it takes. What we wrote is not meant as negative so much as lacking any evidence of truth. There is no trial support for the coke treatment, and no reason to think it any better than an equivalent amount of any other fluid load, like water. The ‘treatment’ is being pushed as a real benefit as, for example, mere water, but those who push it appear to feel no responsibility to try it against another treatment – like water – and show the coke and the vegetable matter. Stones have capricious behavior, individual experiences are completely valid as true but you cannot distinguish a real treatment effect from either chance – the stone was going to pass – or from a fluid load itself of any kind. Medicine proper has had many experiences of treatments that appeared reasonable scientifically, seemed to work in practice, and proved ineffective with proper trials, so why accept something with no science and no trial? However in your instance I am happy the stone passed, you needed no stent, and, if you gold plate the stone, your doctor may wear it. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  32. David

    I’m a 44yo male who is electing to have a small (4-5mm) stone removed with a scope rather than try to pass it. I have a low pain threshold and trying to find the process that gives me less pain. Reading on the internet I’m concerned about the stent causing severe pain especially after it is removed. Will the medication Rapaflo prevent colic or is there a significant risk after the stent is removed? What can be done to prevent severe pain.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Dear David, you do indeed have a dilemma. You could let the stone alone. It might not pass, or if it did it might make it all the way and you would need no procedure at all. Given the size that might be the best alternative unless your work or travel makes it impractical. Flexible ureteroscopy with laser disruption – it sounds like that is your plan – is a fine approach but does involve a stent. Given only one stone, and a desire to get rid of that one, is there any thought to shock wave lithotripsy? It is old fashioned but may not require a stent. Best, Fred Coe

      Reply
      • Dave

        ESWL is ruled out by my urologist. CT scan said 3mm and Ultrasound said 5mm. Urologist said it’s probably somewhere in the middle and may be too small and difficult for ESWL. Normally he recommends doing nothing and watching it, but offered me a choice since I’m too nervous to continue with daily activities waiting for the stone to cause severe pain. With the stent my biggest fear is obstruction after stent is removed. I hope the alpha blocker will significantly limit that possibility. Can it?

        Reply
        • Fredric Coe, MD

          I think your physician has excellent judgment in suggesting that it might be prudent to leave it be. Likewise this stone sounds quite small. But if you are intent on his removing it, there probably will be some stent discomfort. Obstruction after the stent is removed is not very common, and your physician can manage it, should that occur. Good luck. Regards, Fred Coe

          Reply
          • Dave

            Thank you doctor, I just realized that you’re the founder of Litholink. I sent a 24hr sample so I sure hope I can use the results for diet changes to prevent stones. I think you know my urologist who practices out of Elmhurst hospital. He did the ureteroscopy and saw a lot of crystals coating the lining in my kidney. (I hope I’m understanding that right) I need to make sure I do what is necessary to prevent them from forming stones.

            Reply
            • Fredric Coe, MD

              Please give your urologist my compliments for being so modern and observing the crystals on the linings of your kidneys. Ask him if he might send me a picture of them provided you gave permission for me to see the material. I might like to put up such a picture on the site. Fred Coe

              Reply
  33. Paul Dull

    I am a 39-year-old white obese male. I have had several episodes of kidney stones, beginning around age 19. It used to be about every 5 years. Then, it was about every 2-3 years. I had a procedure to remove stones in January. Now, 5 months later, I have 3 large stones. I gave up Dr. Pepper 7 weeks ago. I have been drinking lots of water and Gatorade. I also drink lemon juice daily. Is there any reason that stone formation is occurring at a more frequent rate? My urologist does not seem concerned. Not to sound jaded, but the more stones I have, the more money he makes. Thanks for any advice!

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Paul, There can be a lot of reasons why stone frequency has increased but I doubt it has anything to do with the beverages by themselves. The important matters for you are what the stones are made of, what was found on your blood and 24 hour urine evaluation, and what specific treatments you have been offered based on the first two items. Stones are preventable in a majority of cases if we know what crystals are in them and also know the blood and urine chemistries related to stone crystal formation. I am sure your urologist wants to prevent stones; my experiences with a large number of urological surgeons is that they are very involved with prevention and either do it themselves or, if too busy surgically, via referral to suitable physicians in their communities. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  34. Dave

    Hello, you answered a question for lemon juice and uric acid stones, but what about lemon juice for calcium oxalate stones? Can lemon juice really prevent those from forming? Can it shrink calcium stones already formed? What about adding olive oil to the mix?
    thanks,

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Dave, Some people who form calcium stones are deficient in urine citrate and adding sources of citrate can help prevent stones. Lemon juice has no trials showing efficacy but could increase urine citrate to some extent. Beverages in general can do this if they have the right pH and contain citrate. You might want to read through the posts on this site about citrate – on Page one. Regards, Fred Coe

      Reply
  35. Chris M

    What about the lemon juice remedy? I believe I may have a kidney stone (possibly from excess uric acid, since I have a genetic mutation associated with increased levels of uric acid and gouty knuckle pads), and I came across various Websites–including some of well-known medical schools–touting the benefits of lemon juice. Most of the sites mention it as a preventative, but a few recommended drinking 4 oz of diluted lemon juice to dissolve the kidney stone. There appeared to be some controversy as to whether olive oil should also be ingested. I’ve been drinking artificially sweetened lemonade all day, but the pain is still there. I am also wondering whether it is possible to drink too much lemon juice. So, is this another folk remedy, like the coke and asparagus, or is there any truth to it?

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Dear Chris, If your stones are indeed uric acid then raising the pH of the urine – increasing its alkalinity – will prevent new stones and has the potential to shrink stones already present. It is not sensible in this case to trouble with incomplete remedies like fruit juice but to use potassium citrate or other medicinal alkali in proper doses. Uric acid stones can become large, and can grow rapidly. They are diagnosed by stone analysis, and can be suspected if stones are red – orange in color or if red or orange gravel is passed in the urine. No physicians I know of will fail to treat authentic uric acid stones with appropriate doses of alkali. The dosing should follow proper 24 hour urine testing. If you do not know the type of stone but have gout such testing is medically appropriate, and ad hoc remedies are not. I would strongly advise that things be done with care and proper medical science in a situation such as you describe which appears to include gout and perhaps some complex genetic abnormality. Fred Coe

      Reply
  36. pat

    True there is no scientific evidence. There is human success evidence. Does human evidence not matter?

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Pat. You raise a really important point that deserves serious attention and thought. Firstly, yes; human experience is very important as evidence and needs to be taken seriously. I do, and so does Anna Zisman who wrote the post. The problem lies in this: When is experience evidence? For example, estrogen therapy for women at menopause seemed to help maintain mental function and perhaps stave off dementia. This was eventually tried – subjected to a trial – scientifically. The answer: It did not do this. Likewise, estrogen seemed to stave off vascular disease, and it did not when tried. Here, human evidence included what patients thought and what doctors thought and both were wrong. Medicine is filled with these examples, and by now we have all become sceptical of claims made for treatments that have not had proper trials. You might say, so what: If it seems to help, that might be good enough. But no. Anna points out that all the coke is filled with phosphates which can worsen new stone production. But much more troubling is this: Stone passage causes obstruction and kidney inflammation. Not rarely, symptoms can mislead people into thinking a stone is passed when it is in fact obstructing and damaging the kidney. The coke treatment is a distraction and source of confusion in a setting where kidneys can be damaged by delay and misunderstandings. It is for this reason we worry and argue against this untried remedy, which has no apparent likelihood of effectiveness. The folks who promote this treatment surely mean well: they should fight to get a real trial done. If it does work, fine. If not, lets get rid of it. But so far nothing has been done but promote the idea. Where is the trial? Why promote a treatment and not do a trial? Ask them – they who promote this as a good idea. Say: Why not do a trial and settle the matter once and for all? Fred Coe

      Reply
  37. jaroslav

    I am 50, was absolutely healthy, make a lot of sports, doctor of medicine. 2 years ago – 1st operation – endoscopic – ureterolithiasis. Many pains, renal colics, infusions, stone didnt pass. In 8 months – other side, next operation. In 2 months – extracorporal ultrasound litotripsy. 2 months after litotripsy 2 stones left 2 stones right, in kidneys. My stones – 80% calcium oxalate, 15% apatit 5% struvit. Lab foundings normal, lightly lower Magnesium and chlorine in 24 hrs urine collection, blood normal. Eating 2×2 tbl Cystone, 1 cps Megacranberries, 1g Magnesium plus pyridoxin. I was 3 month drinking 5 liters water daily – stones were bigger after that. I needed low ph of urine, but juices contains a lot of oxalates, i should not dring lemon, orange…. What is acid ? Which drink ? I started to drink coca cola 1 – 2 liters daily. Plus some sport, body building, bicycle. In 3 months NO STONES on USG no pains nothing ! Excuse me i dont believe coca cola doesnt help, it has low ph, plus CO2 in it i breath out, so urine is extreme acid after cola drinking, cola is binding calcium from food, and it was only one last thing which really helped, in combination with high doses of Magnesium – have diarrhea from magnesium bye the way

    Reply
    • azisman

      Glad to hear that you appear to be stone free, though I suspect that was through passing them, rather than the magic of Coke. Physiologically your argument doesn’t work either, as you don’t need a low urine pH for stone prevention unless you have infection. Now, because your stone has some struvite, I would make sure that you don’t have an infection – the only way to really make struvite stones.
      Again, it is scientifically impossible for Coke to have been helpful to your cause, but I am still delighted that your disease is improved.

      Reply
  38. Ryan H

    Thanks for publishing this data. I am a frequent sufferer of kidney stones and came across this. It is likely that I have recurring kidney stones because I have never had the discipline to enough fluids each day. I don’t think most people want to blame their lifestyles for their kidney stones but I believe that is the truth in most cases.

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Ryan. Thanks for the comment. It is a comment I can fully agree with. Elsewhere on this site is a lot of material about how to get in enough fluids. But be sure and have a physician check for other causes of stones. There are many and some require more specific treatment than fluids.

      Reply
  39. David Stanley

    Your study was wrong. I too was a chronic sufferer of kidney stones. Starting at age 23 I had 5 stones in as many years. I was broke and had no insurance and every emergency room visit with M.R.I. cost me $5000 a pop. I too paid for a Coke-treatment back in 2004, it was around $25 and It did work and I haven’t had a kidney stone since. I however used Pepsi because it has the highest amount of the phosphoric acid and it MUST be downed within 2 hours (a 6-pack of 12 oz. cans). Is it actually the phosphoric acid or the sudden flush of liquid through the kidneys?? I don’t know but be prepared for regular fast trips to the urinal and also for a caffeine rush/overdose. Since then I have found that drinking sodas and especially COFFEE cause one to LOSE water/hydration and I recommend drinking LOTS of water to counteract these drinks that actually dehydrate you. I think I have kidneys that for whatever reason don’t absorb water into my body as it should and every morning I wake up in a dehydrated state. Remember if you are a chronic stone sufferer then first thing you need to do when you wake up in the morning is drink WATER, lots of it and continue to do so throughout the day. And the worst time of year to get stones is during the winter because when one doesn’t sweat one doesn’t feel as thirsty and therefore gets more dehydrated. If your pee is not CLEAR you need to drink water. A urologist once told me it’s not the quality of what you drink, it’s the QUANTITY.

    Reply
    • David Stanley

      As for the asparagus ‘shake’ I did do it the first time. It’s supposed to act as a diuretic and flush the ‘dissolved stone’ out of your kidney. I really don’t think it is necessary as you will be peeing a beautiful clear powerful stream every 10 minutes with all those Pepsi colas going through you.

      Reply
    • azisman

      Dear Mr. Stanley,

      We appreciate your thoughts on the subject and are glad to hear that you have been stone free for some time. We also very much agree that drinking LOTS of water throughout the course of the day is the way to prevent stone formation. I must reiterate that there is no scientific evidence for the phosphoric acid found in soda drinks can aid in stone prevention or dissolution. In fact, epidemiologic data from the Harvard group has shown an association between consumption of soda and risk of kidney stones: http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2013/05/14/CJN.11661112.abstract

      Reply
  40. Tim

    Yeah I’ve tried that coke thing and all it did was get me addicted to coke and I got more overweight. Its all rubbish. I’ve been dealing with stones for freaking years and most of the stuff out there is total crap. Plus the doctors want you to pay crazy $$$$ to do anything. My insurance sucks too and they deem it as “unnecessary” and don’t cover most costs to do anything about it.
    I have been looking for ways to prevent them and remove them. I’ve been looking up reviews on some products to help and the one that helped me out the most was by Mike. I’ve noticed a considerable decline in size and i’m hoping it will continue and be gone soon. If you want to read his review you can check it out here: http://iwantthatrightnow.com/kidneystones/review/

    Reply
  41. Susan

    My husband does not drink pop but;
    He did the Coke Asparagus treatment on 2 different occasions and he has not had stones for years.
    He drank a 6 pack of Coka’Cola Classic with in 2 hours followed by a cup of pureaed asparagus.
    I do not think this was meant to do on a regular bases, but we swear by it.
    To say it does not work is unfair.
    It is worth a try.

    Reply
  42. Fredric Coe, MD

    I have heard this from some of my patients, and it is safe so long as you don’t get too low of a blood pressure from the heat and faint getting out of the tub. Because any stone that is causing pain can be obstructing the kidney, I would always let my physicians know about a stone attack and let them help be sure the kidney drains normally when the attack is over. Pain can go away but obstruction persist, and kidneys are sometimes lost from chronic obstruction.

    Reply
  43. Internet Fool

    Drink half a gallon of water as quickly as possible once or twice a day. Inject “some” of it with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. The huge amounts of rapid water intake will produce a noticeable result. You should feel tinglings down there as the water shifts things around.

    Reply
  44. Fredric Coe, MD

    Hi Erik. Here is the problem: No data. Maybe Hydrangea root has something in it that helps with stones, maybe not. Some stone crystals will not dissolve very easily even in the laboratory, let alone in the more limited conditions of the kidney – calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate. Some stones will dissolve under conditions the kidneys can create – uric acid, cystine for example. The world is filled with plants, and we have many of our best medicines from them, but we also have many false leads. So, if it works for you, good. For others, I can only say I hope it helps but I have no reason to believe it will. Moreover, a well known general medical site warns about side effects, and everyone who reads this answer should read that warning. I have not studied this question to date, but may. Thanks so much for your comment. Fred Coe

    Reply
  45. shekhar das

    I suffer from recurring kidney stone and now I am having 8mm stone in LK and 2.6 mm in RK. What should I do as home remedy or any other else?

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      The Coke Treatment is useless, as the post points out.
      Just having a stone in each kidney means you are able to form multiple stones and should have your physician provide some long term prevention for you so you will not keep making more.
      If stones that are in the kidneys are causing significant pain, bleeding, obstruction to urine flow, or infection, they need medical or surgical treatment. This means you need to have your physician(s) evaluate things: You cannot tell if stones are obstructing, or if infection is present.
      If the stones you mention are passing – in the ureters – medical or surgical management is most urgent, as stones that are passing often obstruct the kidneys. Obstruction can injure kidneys and produce kidney disease.
      Regards, Fred Coe, MD

      Reply
  46. Terri LePell

    I have never tried “The Coke Treatment,” but I do know that when ever I have a kidney stone or kidney infection that coke and pepsi products make me feel worse. So I avoid them during this time.

    Reply
  47. Kim gallagher

    These newsletters are a great way to provide info to kidney stone sufferers like myself. Please keep the info flowing. I only wish you starting using digital media a long time ago !

    Reply
    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Thank you, Kim, for your encouraging comment. I would have begun using digital media a long time ago if I had thought of how to do it. I certainly plan to keep the site running, and hope people write in with suggestions about topics.

      Reply
  48. Giovanni Gambaro

    Dear dr Zisman
    fortunately in Italy we do not have this misinformation yet. Your article is very nice and clear. I’d just add a further adverse effect of the Coke Treatment, the activity on purine metabolism.
    Asparagus are reported among foods with a moderate content in purines, 50 to 150 mg per 100 mg food; fructose sweetened drinks such as coke increases uric acid synthesis. Actually The dramatic increase in frequency of stones observed in this patient remind me uric acid stones rather than calcium stones.
    Thanks.
    Regards

    Giovanni Gambaro, UCSC, Rome, Italy

    Reply
  49. Jill

    Dear Dr. Zisman,

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have had many clients ask me about “the coke remedy” and I have told them don’t waste their money. Your post will now explain exactly the reasons why.

    It is extremely bothersome that people try to capitalize on other people’s pain. I think dispelling these myths are a great service to patients.

    Thank you again,

    Jill

    Reply

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