Preventing Kidney Stones

Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses how to prevent kidney stones.

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Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses how to prevent kidney stones.
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Featuring Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist

Duration: 2 minutes, 40 seconds

The treatment of kidney stones is labour intensive on behalf of patients. Once we’ve identified the type of stone that you have, there’s quite often dietary changes that you can undertake to prevent or lessen the chance of another stone.

For example, calcium oxalate stones are some of the most common stones, and oxalate is in very many foods, from chocolate to rhubarb. Sitting down with a dietitian, reviewing foods that are high in oxalate can go a long way to preventing you from getting another calcium oxalate stone.

We diagnose the calcium oxalate stones by getting the stone, and if you pass a kidney stone, do not throw it out. Take it to your physician. We would send it to the lab to have it ground up and find out what’s inside of it.

That’s our first step to find how to prevent it. Short of actually having the kidney stone, doing 24-hour urine collections so we can analyze what minerals are in the urine and which ones are outside of the normal range, therefore predisposing you to get kidney stones. And again, dietary therapy and sometimes medication can be used to correct the abnormalities in your urine and prevent further stones.

All of this is important but the most important thing is drinking more water. Whatever stone it is, whether it’s uric acid, calcium oxalate, or struvite, whatever stones there are, if your urine isn’t concentrated you won’t be more likely to form stones, so, drinking water regularly.

One of the rules of thumb in this is that you should be drinking sufficient water that you have to get up in the middle of the night at least once to pee. And when you get up in the middle of the night and you pee, you drink a big glass of water.

And you just keep doing that. It’s really something to emphasize with patients as something patients can do is keep the water moving. Do not let your urine get concentrated because concentrated urine is the cornerstone of what causes kidney stone formation in the first place.

If you have symptoms of flank pain, blood in your urine, or you think you have a kidney stone, discuss it with your family practitioner.

Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.