by Kimberly Harper, MD
If you have recurrent kidney stones, it is recommended that you have an evaluation with a nephrologist (a doctor that specializes in kidneys, including kidney stone prevention). If your stones are large, you may also benefit from an evaluation with a urologist (a surgeon that specializes in kidneys, including kidney stone removal).
At your visit, your nephrologist will review your history and conduct a physical exam. You will likely then have blood tests and complete a 24 hour urine collection. These tests will help determine what makes you prone to developing kidney stones. After analyzing this information, your nephrologist will be able to advise you on dietary maneuvers and medications that can help prevent you from forming more stones.
To prevent kidney stones, one of the most important things you can do is to drink more fluids and stay hydrated. For some people, increasing citrate (citrus fruits) consumption, lowering soft drink consumption, lowering animal protein and lowering sodium consumption can help. Other dietary modifications may be beneficial. Prescription medications such as thiazides or allopurinol may also help prevent future kidney stones.
This Scripps Health and Wellness tip was provided by Kimberly Harper, MD, a nephrologist at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.