March is National Kidney Month

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones (urolithiasis) are rock-like masses that form inside of the kidneys. Kidneys are organs that make pee (urine). A kidney stone can cause very bad pain and can block the flow of pee. The stone usually leaves your body (passes) through your pee. You may need to have a doctor take out the stone.

Follow These Instructions At Home:

Eating and drinking
• Drink enough fluid to keep your pee clear or pale yellow. This will help you pass the stone.
• If told by your doctor, change the foods you eat (your diet). This may include:

• Limiting how much salt (sodium) you eat.
• Eating more fruits and vegetables.
• Limiting how much meat, poultry, fish, and eggs you eat.

• Follow instructions from your doctor about eating or drinking restrictions.

General Instructions

• Collect pee samples as told by your doctor. You may need to collect a pee sample:

• 24 hours after a stone comes out.
• 8–12 weeks after a stone comes out, and every 6–12 months after that.

• Strain your pee every time you pee (urinate), for as long as told. Use the strainer that your doctor recommends.
Do not throw out the stone. Keep it so that it can be tested by your doctor.
• Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your doctor.
• Keep all follow-up visits as told by your doctor. This is important. You may need follow-up tests.

Preventing kidney stones

To prevent another kidney stone:
• Drink enough fluid to keep your pee clear or pale yellow. This is the best way to prevent kidney stones.
• Eat healthy foods.
• Avoid certain foods as told by your doctor. You may be told to eat less protein.
• Stay at a healthy weight.

Contact A Doctor If:

• You have pain that gets worse or does not get better with medicine.

Get Help Right Away If:

• You have a fever or chills.
• You get very bad pain.
• You get new pain in your belly (abdomen).
• You pass out (faint).
• You cannot pee.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.


Document Released: 06/05/2009 Document Revised: 09/05/2017 Document Reviewed: 09/05/2017
Elsevier Interactive Patient Education © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

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