Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to kidney stones.

  • Kidney stones are fairly common; 10 percent of all people will experience a kidney stone at some time during life.
  • Kidney stones are accumulations of mineral salts and other substances that form solid masses of various sizes within the kidneys or other portions of the urinary tract.
  • Calcium stones are the most abundant type of kidney stones.
  • Conditions that contribute to the formation of kidney stones include a high concentration of stone-forming substances in the urine, an imbalance of acid in the urine, and a lack of substances help prevent the growth of crystals in the urine.
  • Most stones are formed in the kidneys, although some stones can form in the ureters or bladder.
  • The symptoms of kidney stones may include excruciating pain, nausea and vomiting, blood in the urine, and increase in frequency or urgency to urinate.
  • The diagnosis of kidney stones depends on a physical examination, a clinical history, a laboratory evaluation of blood and urine, and, in some cases, x-rays.
  • The treatment of kidney stone disease is primarily based on alternatives to open surgery such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsypercutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy, and laser lithotripsy.
  • Preventing kidney stones involves increasing the amount of water you drink, avoiding certain foods, and possibly taking medication.

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