Our goal was to assess the use and perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for kidney stones among a diverse, urban population. This was a cross-sectional study of patients treated for kidney stones in the Bronx, NY. We assessed demographic information, personal history of kidney stones, as well as knowledge and use of CAM for kidney stones. Patient demographics and responses were analyzed using chi-squared, t tests, and binomial logistic regression. 113 patients were surveyed. 90% identified as non-white, of whom 58% indicated Hispanic, 46% Latinx, and 23% Black. 56% of patients were born outside the United States. 56% of patients had heard of CAM for kidney stones and 44% had used CAM for kidney stones. The most common CAM were fruits (N = 42, 84%). Recurrent stone formers were more likely than first-time stone formers to have heard of CAM (68 vs 44% p = 0.013) and to have used CAM (56 vs 30%, p = 0.008). Those identifying as Hispanic were more likely to have both heard of and tried CAM for kidney stones (p = 0.036 and 0.022, respectively) compared to non-Hispanic patients. CAM are commonly used among our diverse, urban patient population. While some remedies are high in citrate and alkali (i.e., lemon, cranberry), others are high in oxalate (i.e., beets) and could potentially contribute to stone formation. These findings underpin the importance that medical providers educate themselves on the CAM used in their specific patient populations and discussing use with patients. Providers should aim to identify and reconcile therapeutics that oppose goals of treatment.
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Folk medicine
- Kidney stones
- Natural remedies
ASJC Scopus subject areas