Talking to Your Doctor About Kidney Stones
You have your own health past. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with kidney stones. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can make the best choices for you and your family.
General Tips for Gathering Information
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 your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Kidney Stones
- What type of kidney stone did I have?
- What caused my kidney stone to form?
- Do I have a health problem that makes me prone to kidney stones?
- Do things in my daily life—diet, exercise, stress—make me prone to kidney stones?
About Your Risk of Developing Kidney Stones
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, how likely am I to have kidney stones?
- 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?
About Treatment Options
- What medicines are available to help me?
- What are the benefits and 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?
- Will I need other surgeries?
About Lifestyle Changes
- 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?
- Do I have any stones remaining?
- What other tests do I need once the kidney stone is treated?
- Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated January 19, 2018. Accessed April 1, 2019.
- Nephrolithiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114904/Nephrolithiasis-in-adults. Updated March 22, 2019. Accessed April 1, 2019.
- Adrienne Carmack, MD
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