Posted 7/5/2011 5:18 PM (GMT -7)
I've passed 30+ kidney stones since the age of 16. At this point, mine have to be pretty large to cause any symptoms (I think the ureters have dialated over the years), and often I only have bladder discomfort instead of horrific flank pain, although I still sometimes have that if the stone is large enough.
I've had lithotripsy, surgical removal, and tried various meds to no avail. I usually just pass mine at home now, if possible. I no longer see a urologist regularly because every time I did, they would want to run extensive, expensive tests but couldn't really do anything to help me. Now, my GP will just ask me if I've had any lately and put it in my chart. If I have one large enough that won't pass, I will have to go back to a urologist, but I didn't really get any help in prevention going that route.
There is a possibility of kidney damage if the ureter gets blocked, but typically, if it were blocked the pain would be severe, and you would know. For now, I just try to let nature take it's course.
If you had your stone analyzed, you can tailor your diet to help prevent your particular type of stone. Mine are Calcium Oxalate (most are this type). With this type, you often want to avoid calcium pills (ask your doc first), but eating foods high in calcium helps avoid stone formation. Drinking lots of water, lemon juice (or lemonade), and avoiding foods high in oxalate, such as chocolate, coffee, tea, spinach, also help block formation of CO stones.
My opinion, and I'm not a medical professional, is to mention it to your doc and see what he says. A simple x-ray (called a KUB) can often show if you have more stones in your kidneys. Stones just sitting in your kidneys usually don't cause any problems. Doctors only go after a stone if it is causing too much pain, won't pass on its own, or is causing damage (rare). Most stones do pass on their own, and the only thing the doctor will do is offer pain relief and try to help prevent another.
On the other hand, because I've had so many over the years, I would probably just ignore it, lol.