If you've had a kidney stone, there's a 50% chance you'll develop another one within 7 to 10 years. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of future stones. Find out how stones form.
At the HealthEast Kidney Stone Institute, we pay careful attention to emerging research and attempt to make our own contributions to this general body of knowledge.
There is currently no prevention program that is 100% effective for all people. However, by taking simple steps, it is usually possible to extend the time between stones or avoid recurrence entirely.
It is important to think of recurrent stones like any other disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. For patients with severe stone disease, lifelong treatment is necessary to avoid recurrence.
Prevention tailored to you
We examine urine and blood samples
After urine and blood tests, we offer behavioral, dietary and medication recommendations that can reduce your chances of developing another stone. We then perform follow-up studies to confirm that we have had the desired effect and make further recommendations to give you the best chances of preventing future stones.
We incorporate results of population studies into our practice
We attempt to be as specific as possible in our interventions and advice. We do not ask patients to do anything unless there is good evidence to believe that it will be effective for their particular age, sex, diet, habits or urine and blood chemistry.
Decreasing your chances for recurrence
If you're experiencing kidney stones for the first time (and have stones made of calcium oxalate), small changes in diet and habits are often adequate to keep stones from recurring.
Risk evaluation tests
A comprehensive risk evaluation may be recommended if you have atypical stones, multiple stones, frequent recurrences or are highly motivated to avoid future stones.
The following tests are generally included:
- Analysis of the stone(s)
- A simple blood test
- 24 hour urine collection on two occasions
- A dietary diary around the time of urine collection
From these three tests, your doctor may detect disorders and can discuss specific prevention strategies with you.