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WHAT YOU NEED TO 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 more than one kidney stone.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have vomiting that is not relieved by medicine.
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.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and 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 pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Medicines to balance your electrolytes may be needed.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
What you can do to manage kidney stones:
- Drink more 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.
- 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 if you stay active. Exercise can also help you manage your weight. Ask about the best activities for you.
After you pass the kidney stones:
Your healthcare provider may order a 24-hour urine test. Results from a 24-hour urine test will help your healthcare provider plan ways to prevent more stones from forming. Your healthcare provider will give you more instructions.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.