Talking to Your Doctor About Kidney Stones
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with
. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- 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?
Kidney stones and ureteral stones. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=148. Accessed April 16, 2013.
Kidney stones in adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at:
http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/stonesadults. Updated January 28, 2013. Accessed April 16, 2013.