The different types of stones and the measures used to prevent them

Calcium-oxalate stones

If you had a calcium-oxalate stone you may have a high risk of forming more stones but this is not always the case. After you have had a calcium-oxalate stone you should:

  • Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods (for instance rhubarb, beet, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, tea, chocolate, and soy products)
  • Reduce consumption of purine rich foods
  • Don’t take more than the daily recommended amount of vitamin C
  • In all cases, check with your doctor for personal advice

If the metabolic evaluation shows that you have a high risk of forming more stones you will get medication to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Calcium-phosphate stones

If you had a calcium-phosphate stone you may have a high risk of forming more stones but this is not always the case. The type of treatment you get depends on the cause of the stone.

Uric acid stones

If you had a uric acid stone you have a high risk of forming more stones. Eating less purine rich foods can lower the chance of you forming another stone. High levels of purine are found in certain types of fish (like herring, mussels, smelt, sardines, anchovies), red meat and organs (heart, liver, kidney).

You will get medication to keep the pH-value of your urine between 6.2 and 6.8. You can check the pH-value of the urine easily at home with dipstick tests.

Ammonium urate stones

If you had an ammonium urate stone you have a high risk of recurrence and you may also have a urinary tract infection. You will get antibiotics to treat the infection and you will need to take medication to keep your pH-levels between 5.8 and 6.2.

Struvite and infection stones

If you had a struvite or an infection stone, you have a high risk of forming more stones. You may need to take antibiotics to make sure the infection does not come back.

Cystine stones

If you had a cystine stone you have a high risk of forming more stones. You need to drink enough fluids to produce at least 3 litres of urine every day. Eating less salt will lower the level of cystine in your urine. You will get medication to increase the pH-value of your urine to 7.5 or higher. On top of that you may get medication to reduce the level of cystine.

Other stones

There are other types of stones that are very uncommon. Your doctor will discuss your individual situation and treatment options with you.