Kidney Stone

What is a Kidney Stone?

Kidney Stones originate inside the urinary tract or the kidneys and they are solid formations that develop from minerals. Kidney stones materialize when a person’s urine contains an excessive amount of uric acid, oxalate or calcium. Kidney stones can become a major health issue when they obstruct urine flow.

A blockage in the urinary tract can cause a kidney infection or damage to the kidneys. People who do not consume the recommended amount of water they need every day are at a high risk for acquiring this condition. Medical issues, including urinary tract infections, Crohn’s disease, Dent’s disease and hyperparathyroidism, can also promote the development of kidney stones.

What are the Symptoms of a Kidney Stone?

There are several symptoms that indicate the presence of kidney stones and the most pronounced symptom is extreme pain. Individuals may have pain in the lower portion and side of their abdomen, in the groin area, underneath their rib cage and in their back. The pain often comes on strong, subsides and then becomes excruciating again. Experiencing pain while urinating is another common symptom of kidney stones. Changes in urine to look for include urine that has a foul odor and urine that has a red, pink or brown hue. Some people have the urge to urinate frequently but can only pass a minuscule quantity at one time.

How is a Kidney Stone Treated?

Individuals who have small kidney stones can often pass them effectively by drinking large amounts of water and taking a prescribed medication that causes the ureter muscles to relax. Taking an over the counter pain medication can help with the pain and discomfort until the stones are passed.

Treatment for large kidney stones may include undergoing a procedure that busts up the stones by using sound waves so the smaller fragments can travel through the urethra. Another type of surgery, called percutaneous nephrolithotomy, may be performed if the shock wave procedure does not produce positive results.

Last Reviewed:
September 14, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017