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"How do you pass a kidney stone?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do you pass a kidney stone?


What does it mean to pass a kidney stone? My doctor said I have a few small ones and they might pass? Does that mean that they come out when you urinate?


Yes, and I am sorry. Passing kidney stones can often be a very painful experience, from what many of my patients have described. That being said, there are some people who will not even know that they have passed them, and we can both hope that you are one of those people! Kidney stones are caused by multiple factors, but usually have some contribution from low urinary flow (such as dehydration). With this lower flow and other medical factors which alter the type of stone formed, the urine precipitates and the extra minerals in the urine can create a stone. Unfortunately, once they have formed, nature only gave them one direction to go: out with the rest of the urine. Given that the pathway is narrow and lined with muscle that contracts intermittently, it is likely that at some point the stone will become lodged along the way and the body will try to expel it with muscle contractions. This will cause severe but intermittent pain (called "colicky" pain). Drinking as much as you can will help the stones to pass, and avoiding specific things in your diet (which your doctor will suggest based on your case) may help to avoid forming new ones. Please speak to your doctor.

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