Medical History and Physical Exam for Kidney Stones
Your first diagnosis of
kidney stones often occurs when you are in great pain.
Your doctor will ask a few questions and examine you before suggesting
After you pass a stone, your doctor may give you another exam to
find out if you are likely to have more stones in the future.
All or some of the following questions may be asked at your initial
and follow-up exams.
How much fluid do you drink? Do you drink a lot of water? The
most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water.
you drink grapefruit juice? Drinking grapefruit juice may increase your risk
for kidney stones.
How active are you? Do you get a lot
of exercise or play sports? Do you have a job where you are active, or where
you are sitting? People who are not physically active are more likely to
develop kidney stones. If you do exercise and sweat a lot but do not drink
fluids to replace the lost fluid, you may also be more likely to develop
What types of foods do you eat? A diet that makes you more
likely to develop stones includes:
Foods high in
oxalate, such as dark green vegetables, chocolate,
Eating many foods that contain vitamin C or D, or
supplements of these vitamins.
Foods that contain a lot of salt
Foods or drinks that contain little
Foods high in animal protein (such as beef).
Medicine and medical conditions
What medicines are you taking? Some medicines
make it more likely that you will develop kidney stones.
medical conditions have you had in the past or do you now have? Medical
conditions that make it more likely you will develop kidney stones include:
A complete medical history and physical exam will help your doctor
find out if you currently have a kidney stone and if you are likely to have one
Your answers to the lifestyle and medical questions will help your
doctor find out if you currently have a kidney stone and if you are likely to
have one again.
Physical symptoms that indicate that you may have a kidney stone
Intense pain in the
side, abdomen, groin, or genitals.
Frequent and painful urination.
A urinary tract infection may also be present.
What To Think About
Although your doctor may decide you have kidney stones based on
your medical history and physical exam, he or she may also do lab tests such as
urine culture. Your doctor may start treatment before
these tests are done or you know the results.
If you have a family history of kidney stones or pass more than one
stone, your doctor may do more tests to find out the type of stone.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.