How to stop being a “stoner”

Because approximately 50% of patients will form another kidney stone within 5  years, prevention plays an important role in avoiding future problems and pain.  Efforts at prevention can be basic (involving dietary changes alone) or more involved (including daily medications). They type of treatment you choose will be determined by you and your physician depending on your specific situation. First time stone formers with low risk factors can choose only simple guidelines while patients at high risk (recurrent stones, young age, specific stone types, anatomic abnormalities) may be counseled to undergo more extensive evaluation and treatment.

Does prevention work?

The short answer is yes. Studies have demonstrated that basic efforts at prevention can reduce your chances of developing another stone by half or more. It is usually not possible however to entirely eliminate the possibility that another stone might develop in the future.

What type of things can I do for prevention?

Things that you and your doctor may choose to help prevent future kidney stones include drinking more fluids on a daily basis, lowering your salt intake, lowering your meat intake, avoiding certain food items with high oxalate content, and taking medications. You may also choose to undergo testing to help identify personal factors that puts you at risk of developing stones. This testing usually involves determining the type of stones that you form, going over your medical history and dietary habits, obtaining a blood sample for testing, and collecting your urine over a 24 hour period for analysis.

For more in-depth information on prevention, explore our content pages below:

Three steps towards fewer kidney stones

Dietary prevention of kidney stones

Should I stop my calcium if I have kidney stones?

The next step: Medications for kidney stones

Testing for why you are forming kidney stones