Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Prevention is always the preferable way to treat kidney stones. Remaining well hydrated keeps the urine dilute and helps prevent kidney stones from forming.
Those who have never passed a kidney stone may not appreciate the severity of the symptoms. There is little a person can do at home to control the debilitating pain and vomiting that can occur with a kidney stone other than to seek emergency care. If this is the first episode and no previous diagnosis has been established, it is important to be seen by a health-care provider to confirm the diagnosis.
For those who have a history of stones, home therapy may be appropriate. Most kidney stones, given time, will pass on their own, and treatment is directed toward symptom control. The patient should be instructed to
drink plenty of oral fluids. Ibuprofen may be used as an anti-inflammatory medication if there is no contraindication to its use. If further pain medication is needed, the primary-care provider may be willing to prescribe stronger narcotic pain medications.
Please note, if a fever is associated with the symptoms of a kidney stone, this becomes an emergency, and medical care should be accessed immediately. Urinary tract infections associated with a kidney stone often require urgent assessment and may need intervention by a urologist to remove or bypass the stone.