Most kidney stones are small enough (less than 4mm in diameter) to be passed out in your urine and can probably be treated at home.
But even small kidney stones can be painful, although this usually only lasts a couple of days and disappears when the stone has been passed.
If you are in severe pain, your GP can give you pain relief by injection. A second dose can be given after half an hour if you’re still experiencing pain.
Medication can also be injected to treat the symptoms of nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting. This is called an anti-emetic (anti-sickness) medication.
You may also be given a prescription for painkillers, anti-emetics, or both, to take at home.
You may be advised to wait until you pass your kidney stone when you go to the toilet, and to try to collect it from your urine. You can do this by filtering your urine through gauze or a stocking.
Give the stone to your GP so that they can have it analyzed to help determine any further treatment you may need.
You should drink enough water to make your urine colorless. If your urine is yellow or brown, you’re not drinking enough.
Admission to hospital
If your kidney stone has moved into your ureter (the tube that carries waste products from the kidneys to the bladder), and it’s causing severe pain, your GP may admit you to hospital for treatment.
This may be necessary if:
- you’re at an increased risk of your kidneys failing (for example, because you only have one kidney)
- your symptoms don’t improve within an hour of being given painkillers or anti-sickness medication
- you’re dehydrated and vomiting too much to keep fluids down
- you’re pregnant
- you’re over 60 years of age.