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Talking to Your Doctor About Kidney Stones
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
What caused my kidney stone to form?
- Do I have a medical condition that makes me prone to kidney stones?
- Do things in my daily life—diet, exercise, stress—make me prone to kidney stones?
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, how likely am I to develop another kidney stone?
Am I currently taking any medicines that might increase my risk of kidney stones?
- I occasionally take antacids. What kind should I use?
- I currently take a calcium/vitamin D supplement. Should I stop taking it?
- I currently take a vitamin C supplement. Should I stop taking it?
- What medicines are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medicines?
- Will these medicines interact with other medicines, over-the-counter products, or dietary supplements that I am already taking for other conditions?
- Should these medicines be taken with food or on an empty stomach?
- What foods should I avoid while taking these medicines?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that can help me?
- How much fluid should I drink each day?
- How much coffee or tea can I drink to help meet my fluid quota?
- I usually try to avoid drinking too much water because I sometimes have trouble getting to the bathroom on time. What should I do?
- What changes should I make to my diet?
- I had a calcium-containing stone. Can I still eat dairy foods? How about calcium supplements?
- I usually eat either beef or chicken for dinner. How much of these foods can I eat?
- Can I use salt in cooking and at the table? What about a salt substitute?
- What foods should I eat—or not eat—to make my urine less acidic?
- How will I know that my prevention or treatment program is effective?
- Can I tell that a stone is forming before it causes pain?
- Can recurring kidney stones cause permanent damage to my kidneys?
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov .
National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org .
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012
- Update Date: 03/18/2013