Kidney Stones The pain you are having is caused by a kidney stone. This is one of the most severe type of pain that a person can have. Other signs of kidney stones may include nausea, vomiting, problems emptying your bladder, bloody urine and burning when you urinate. You also may have other risk factors, like family history, that makes you more likely to form stones in the future. Kidney stones form from chemicals or minerals in the urine. These changes can be caused by dehydration. Sometimes the cause for the stone is not known. Crystals may grow and start to move down the urinary tubes into the bladder. When a stone moves, the pain may be severe. The pain will stop when the stone moves into a wider part of the urinary tubes. Stones may be passed out of the urinary tubes during urination. Most stones are small enough to pass on their own within 48 hours. Some larger stones cannot pass on their own and may need to be broken up by shock waves, called lithotripsy, or removed by surgery. You and your doctor will decide on the best treatment for you. What To Do: C Force Fluids Drink at least 12 glasses (8 oz. each) of water every day. A lot of urine will help you get rid of the stones. A habit of drinking lots of water helps prevent further stones from forming. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine which may cause you to loose fluid (dehydrate). C Strain All Of Your Urine You will be given a urine strainer to catch your urine and filter out any stones. Urinate through the urine strainer given to you. If you lose this, you may also use coffee filters. Strain your urine for as long as your doctor suggests. Save any debris or objects that you find in a plastic or glass container for your doctor visit. The doctor may have the stone analyzed and recommend diet changes or medicines which may prevent other stones. Stones are sand colored and vary in size, so check the strainer carefully. C See Your Doctor Or Return To The Emergency Department If: L Your pain continues and is not relieved when you take your pain medicine. L You have fever or chills. L Nausea and vomiting develops, especially if you cannot keep any fluids down. L Bleeding is severe. You can expect a small amount of blood in your urine from the stone passing through the urinary tubes. Page 2 Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Kidney stones that are not treated and block the flow of urine from the kidney can cause permanent damage. Pain medicines that is prescribed by your doctor are strong and may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery after taking pain medicines. Never mix pain medicines with alcohol. If you would like more written information, please call the Center for Health Information at (614)293-3707. You can also make the request by e-mail: [email protected] © Copyright, (10/2002) Emergency Department The Ohio State University Medical Center < Upon request all patient education handouts are available in other formats for people with special hearing, vision and language needs, call (614) 293-3191.
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