Understanding Kidney Stones

Urinary stones are hard deposits that form inside the kidneys. They can be caused by various factors such as diet, medical conditions, and medications.

There are various parts of the urinary tract that can be affected by kidney stones. The most common kinds of stones are those that form after the urine gets concentrated.

Getting a kidney stone can be quite painful, but it usually doesn't cause long-term damage. In most cases, passing a kidney stone will require little or no effort such as drinking lots of water and taking some pain medication. In other cases, surgery may be necessary to remove stones that have become lodged in the urinary tract.

You may be recommended with preventive treatment from the doctor if you are exposed to the risk of recurring kidney stones.


A kidney stone usually doesn't cause symptoms until it passes into the ureters, which are the tubes connected to the bladder. If it gets lodged in the ureters, it can cause the kidney to swell and cause the bladder to spasm. This can be very painful. Below are some descriptions of the symptoms and signs;

  • Pain that emits to the groin and lower abdomen

  • A burning sensation while urinating

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Unusually frequent urination in small amounts

  • Red, pink, or brown urine

  • Sharp pain in the back and side, below the ribs

  • Chills and fever may be an indication of infection present

As the stone move in the urinary tract, the kidney stone pain may shift to different locations in the body or result in different magnitude of intensity. When you feel symptoms or signs mentioned above, making an appointment with your doctor is strongly recommended.


Although kidney stones can be caused by many factors, such as age, diabetes, and high blood pressure, they most often have no definite cause. Also, if urine lacks certain substances that prevent crystals and kidney stones from forming, it could be a risky environment for kidney stones.

Knowing the type of kidney stone that you have helps identify its cause and can give you some clues about your risk of getting more stones.

Most kidney stones are formed by calcium oxalate. They can be found in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is the produced substance by your liver or can be found in various fruits and vegetables. High oxalate content can also be found in chocolate.

High doses of vitamin D and other metabolic disorders can increase urine calcium or oxalate. A calcium stone is a type of stone that can also occur in the form of calcium phosphate. It is more common in individuals with metabolic conditions such as diabetes and kidney tubular acidosis.

Uric acid stones can be formed in people with chronic diarrhea or malabsorption, diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and those who consume a high-protein diet.

Struvite stones are usually formed by an infection in the urinary tract. They can grow quickly and become large.

Cystine stones are formed by a hereditary disorder known as cystinuria. This condition causes the kidneys to produce too much of certain amino acids.


Certain conditions can increase the exposure to kidney stones. They may include;

  • Not drinking enough water can increase your risk of having kidney stones. Certain lifestyle factors can also make people more prone to having kidney stones.

  • Family members with a history of kidney stones can make people more prone to developing them. This is because kidney stones can affect the kidney's function.

  • Gastric bypass surgery, chronic diarrhea, and inflammation in the digestive tract can all cause changes in the way calcium and water are absorbed in the body and increase the amount of water and calcium in your urine.

  • Certain lifestyle factors, such as calcium-based antacids and vitamin C, can increase your risk of developing kidney stones.

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