The first thing I want to tell you about 24-hour urine collections is that they are vital in determining what is causing your stones. Your results will show diet issues and/or other medical conditions that could be the culprit.
Many doctors don’t order them initially and will say, “let’s just wait for the second episode before testing.” Well, if you know me at all, you know that I do not agree with this approach! Why wait for a second stone (and perhaps another surgery) if we can prevent that from happening? If your doctor says you don’t need it yet, push back.
All labs will have their own protocol on how to perform the collection. If you have questions, call the person or lab that provided you with the collection materials.
If it’s your first 24-hour collection, please eat and drink the same way you did when you were making stones. Don’t worry; you will not make a new stone in a single day—they take time to form. Eating and drinking normally prior to your test will help to see how your pre-stone diet affected your body.
For follow-up urine collections, eat and drink adhering to your post-treatment lifestyle changes (hopefully, you are following the Kidney Stone Diet guidelines).
But remember to be honest. If you have not lowered your sodium to where it needs to be, then be sure to perform your collection that way.
And finally, make sure you understand what your results mean. Did your doc say you should take a med? If so, why? If a medication is recommended, ask first to keep working on diet changes to see if you can avoid the medication? Sometimes medication is necessary to keep stones away, but no matter what disease you are dealing with, you should know what the med does and how it will impact your condition.
And, one more thing! Please make sure you complete follow-up urine collections. Doctors don’t always remind you to do them but they are essential for making sure the prescribed treatment plan is having the desired effect. I can’t tell you how many patients come to me with no follow-ups who continue to make stones. Remember, the goal is NO MORE STONES.
I hope this helps clear some things up. You know where to find me if you need anything.