Kidney Stones - Topic Overview
You may need more tests if you have more than one stone or have
a family history of stones. To find out the cause of your kidney stones, your
doctor may order a blood test and ask you to collect your urine for 24 hours.
This can help your doctor find out if you are likely to have more stones in the
Kidney stones may not cause any pain. If this is the case,
you may learn you have them when your doctor finds them during a test for
For most stones, your doctor
will suggest that you take care of yourself at home. You may need to take pain
medicine. You'll need to drink enough water and other fluids so you don't get
dehydrated. Your doctor may give you a medicine to
help the stone pass.
If a stone is too large to pass on its own,
or if it gets stuck in the urinary tract, you may need more treatment.
The most common treatment is
extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). ESWL uses shock waves to break a
kidney stone into small pieces. The bits can pass out of your body in your
urine. Other times, a doctor will need to remove the stone or place a small
flexible plastic tube (called a
stent) in the ureter to keep it open while stones
After you have
had kidney stones, you are more likely to have them again. You can help prevent
them by drinking plenty of water, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water, about 8 to 10 glasses
of water a day. You may have to eat less of certain foods. Your doctor may also
give you medicine that helps prevent stones from forming.