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Kidney stones - what to ask your doctor

Definition

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in your kidney. The kidney stone may be stuck in your ureter (the tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder). It also may be stuck in your bladder or urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside your body). A stone can block the flow of your urine and cause great pain. In most cases, a stone that is in the kidney and not blocking the flow of urine does not cause pain.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider.

Alternative Names

Nephrolithiasis - what to ask your doctor; Renal calculi - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about kidney stones

Questions

If I had a kidney stone removed, can I get another one?

How much water and liquids should I drink every day? How do I know if I'm drinking enough? Is it OK to drink coffee, tea, or soft drinks?

What foods can I eat? What foods should I avoid?

  • What types of protein can I eat?
  • Can I have salt and other spices?
  • Are fried foods or fatty foods OK?
  • What vegetables and fruits should I eat?
  • How much milk, eggs, cheese, and other dairy foods can I have?

Is it OK to take extra vitamins or minerals? How about herbal remedies?

What are the signs that I may have an infection?

Could I have a kidney stone and not have any symptoms?

Can I take medicines to keep kidney stones from coming back?

What surgeries can be done to treat my kidney stones?

What tests can be done to find out why I get kidney stones?

When should I call the provider?

References

Bushinsky DA. Nephrolithiasis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 126.

Leavitt DA, de la Rosette JJMCH, Hoenig DM. Strategies for nonmedical management of upper urinary tract calculi. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 53.

Review Date:2/21/2017
Reviewed By:Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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