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Kidney Stones

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Kidney stones form in the urinary system when the water and waste in your urine are out of balance. When this happens, certain types of waste crystals separate from the urine. The crystals build up and form kidney stones. You may have 1 or more kidney stones.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.

  • Prescription medicines may be given to decrease pain or help your kidney stones pass. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take pain medicine.

  • Medicines to balance your electrolytes may be needed.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Self-care:

  • Drink plenty of liquids. Your healthcare provider may tell you to drink at least 8 to 12 (eight-ounce) cups of liquids each day. This helps flush out the kidney stones when you urinate. Water is the best liquid to drink.

  • Strain your urine every time you go to the bathroom. Urinate through a strainer or a piece of thin cloth to catch the stones. Take the stones to your healthcare provider so they can be sent to the lab for tests. This will help your healthcare providers plan the best treatment for you.
    Look for Stones in the Filter


  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, and fish. You may need to limit how much sodium (salt) or protein you eat. Ask for information about the best foods for you.

  • Stay active. Your stones may pass more easily by if you stay active. Ask about the best activities for you.

After you pass your kidney stones:

Once you have passed your kidney stones, you may need to do a 24-hour urine test. You will need to save all of your urine for 24 hours. Each time you go to the bathroom, you will urinate into a container. Then you will pour your urine into a larger container that is kept cold. You may be told to write down the time and amount of urine you passed. At the end of 24 hours, the urine is sent to a lab for tests. Results from the test will help your healthcare provider plan ways to prevent more stones from forming.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have trouble passing urine.

  • You see blood in your urine.

  • You have severe pain.

  • You have any questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have vomiting that is not relieved by medicine.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Kidney Stones (Discharge Care)

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