Kidney Stones

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideKidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Can kidney stones be prevented?

Rather than having to undergo treatment, it is best to avoid kidney stones in the first place when possible. It can be especially helpful to drink more water, since low fluid intake and dehydration are major risk factors for kidney stone formation.

Depending on the cause of the kidney stones and an individual's medical history, changes in the diet or medications are sometimes recommended to decrease the likelihood of developing further kidney stones. If one has passed a stone, it can be particularly helpful to have it analyzed in a laboratory to determine the precise type of stone so specific prevention measures can be considered.

People who have a tendency to form calcium oxalate kidney stones may be advised to limit their consumption of foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, beets, wheat germ, and peanuts. Also drinking lemon juice or lemonade may be helpful in preventing kidney stones.

What is the prognosis for kidney stones?

Most kidney stones will pass on their own, and successful treatments have been developed to remove larger stones or stones that do not pass. People who have had a kidney stone remain at risk for future stones throughout their lives.

Are home remedies effective for kidney stones?

For some people who have had many kidney stones, home care may be appropriate. When passing a kidney stone, drinking lots of fluid is important. In fact, this is the most important home care measure. Medications may help control the pain (as described previously). However, if it is the first time one has had symptoms suggestive of a kidney stone, it is important to see a doctor right away.

Reviewed on 11/4/2015
References
REFERENCES:

"Kidney Stones in Adults." National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Sept. 2, 2010. <http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/Kudiseases/pubs/stonesadults/>

Shekarriz, Bijan. "Hyperoxaluria." Medscape.com. Apr. 5, 2013. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/444683-overview>.

Wolf Jr., J. Stuart. "Nephrolithiasis." Medscape.com. September 26, 2015. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/437096-overview>

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