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Diagnosis - Kidney stones

A GP can usually diagnose kidney stones from symptoms and medical history.

It'll be particularly easy if you had kidney stones before.

You may need to have tests, including:

  • urine (pee) tests to check for infections and pieces of stones
  • an examination of any stones that you pass in your pee
  • blood tests

Blood tests will check that your kidneys are working properly. They will also check the levels of substances that could cause kidney stones, such as calcium.

You may be given equipment to collect a kidney stone at home. Having a kidney stone to analyse will make a diagnosis easier. It may also help your GP determine which treatment method will be of most benefit to you.

If you're in severe pain from kidney stones

If you have severe pain that could be caused by kidney stones, your GP should refer you to hospital for a scan.

You may be given a:

  • CT scan – usually for adults
  • ultrasound scan – usually for pregnant women, children and younger people under 16

For children and younger people, low-dose non-contrast CT scans can be used, if the ultrasound does not find anything.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 25 March 2021
Next review due: 25 March 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.