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Renal Colic


Renal colic is severe pain in your lower back area.

Urinary System


Drink a lot of liquids:

Drink about 3 liters of liquids each day unless your primary healthcare provider tells you otherwise. That equals about 12 glasses of water or fruit juice. Half of your total daily liquids should be water. Limit coffee, tea, and soda to 2 cups daily. If you are drinking enough liquid, your urine should be pale and clear.

Strain your urine every time you urinate:

Urinate into a strainer (funnel with a fine mesh on the bottom) or glass jar to collect kidney stones. Give the kidney stones to your primary healthcare provider for testing.


  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and stop vomiting (throwing up).
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by germs called bacteria.
  • Steroids: Steroids may help decrease pain and swelling.
  • Antispasmodics: Antispasmodics relax the muscles in your urinary tract, and may help decrease your pain. When the muscles are relaxed, it may be easier to move any stones out in your urine.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider or urologist if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you take any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines you take. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.

Eat healthy foods from all food groups:

Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy products, and protein (meat, and fish). Healthy foods may help you feel better and have more energy. You may need to make some changes to your diet to help prevent kidney stones from forming. Follow your caregiver's instructions about the amount of salt, calcium, and protein you should eat.


Activity may help decrease your pain. Avoid extreme heat. Heat may cause you to lose water in your body and to urinate less.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or urologist as directed:

Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them in your follow-up visits. You may need to have your stent removed. You may also need a CT scan or x-ray to check if your blockage has cleared.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You get a rash or itching after taking any medicine.
  • You have a fever.
  • You need to urinate more than usual.
  • You see a stone in your urine strainer after you urinate.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cannot stop vomiting.
  • You see new or increased bleeding when you urinate.
  • You are suddenly urinating very little, or not at all.
  • Your pain is not getting better even after you take your medicine.

© 2016 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.