You visited your health care provider or the hospital because you have a kidney stone. You will need to take self-care steps. Which steps you take depend on the type of stone you have, but they may include:
You may be asked to try to catch your kidney stone. You can do this by collecting all of your urine and straining it. Your health care provider will tell you how to do this.
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney. A stone may get stuck in one of your two ureters (the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder), the bladder, or the urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside your body).
Kidney stones may be the size of sand or gravel, as large as a pearl, or even larger. A stone can block the flow of your urine and cause great pain. A stone may also break loose and travel through your urinary tract all the way out of your body without causing too much pain.
There are four major types of kidney stones.
Drinking a lot of fluid is important for treating and preventing all types of kidney stones. Staying hydrated (having enough fluid in your body) will keep your urine diluted, which makes it harder for stones to form.
Limit your coffee, tea, and cola to 1 or 2 cups a day. Caffeine may cause you to lose fluid too quickly, which can make you dehydrated.
Follow these guidelines if you have calcium kidney stones:
Do not take extra calcium or vitamin D, unless the health care provider who is treating your kidney stones recommends it.
Ask your health care provider before taking vitamin C or fish oil. They may be harmful to you.
If your health care provider says you have calcium oxalate stones, you may also need to limit foods that are high in oxalate. These foods include:
Avoid these foods if you have uric acid stones:
Other suggestions for your diet include:
If you are losing weight, lose it slowly. Quick weight loss may cause uric acid stones to form.
Call your health care provider if you have:
Renal calculi - self-care; Nephrolithiasis - self-care; Stones - kidney - self-care
Curhan GC. Nephrolithiasis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 128.
Ferrandino MN, Pietrow PK, Preminger GM. Evaluation and medical management of urinary lithiasis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 46.
Updated by: Scott Miller, MD, urologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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