You visited your doctor or the hospital because you have a kidney stone. You doctor will ask you to take some self-care steps that depend on the type of stone you have.
Your doctor may:
Your doctor may ask you to try to catch your kidney stone. You can do this by collecting all of your urine and straining it. Your doctor or nurse 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, and that makes it less likely stones will form.
If you drink bottled water, read the label. Make sure it does not contain calcium or other ingredients that may be harmful. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
Limit your coffee, tea, and cola to 1 or 2 cups a day. Caffeine may cause you to lose fluid too quickly, and that can make you dehydrated.
Follow these guidelines if you have calcium kidney stones:
Do not take extra calcium or vitamin D. They might cause more stones to form.
Ask your doctor about taking vitamin C or fish oil. They may be harmful to you.
If your doctor 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: alcohol, anchovies, sardines, oils, herring, organ meat (liver, kidney, and sweetbreads), legumes (dried beans and peas), gravies, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, consommé, and baking or brewer’s yeast.
Other suggestions for your diet include:
If you are losing weight, lose it slowly. Quick weight loss may cause uric acid stones form.
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
Renal calculi - self-care; Nephrolithiasis - self-care; Stones - kidney - self-care
Ban KM, Easter JS. Selected urologic problems. Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 97.
Curhan GC. Nephrolithiasis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap128.
FerrandinoMN, Pietrow PK, Preminger GM. Evaluation and medical management of urinary lithiasis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 46.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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