Kidney Stones -- Adult
Kidney stones are pieces of a stone or crystal-like material. These stones form inside the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. The kidneys remove waste from the body. They also balance the water and electrolyte content in the blood by filtering salt and water. There are several types of kidney stones:
The cause of your kidney stone may be depend on the type of stone that you have. Calcium stones are the most common type.
- Calcium oxalate or phosphorus stones—These kidney stones form when the concentration of calcium or other minerals in the urine becomes too high or when minerals that prevent stone formation are too low.
- Struvite stones—These stones develop as a result of a urinary tract infection. The stones are composed of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate salts.
- Uric acid stones—These stones form when urine is acidic. This may also occur in people with gout or those who are on chemotherapy.
- Cystine stones—These stones form due to a rare genetic disorder that causes the kidneys to build up excess amounts of cystine. Cystine is one of the amino acids that make up proteins.
Kidney stones are pieces of a stone or crystal-like material. These stones form inside the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. The kidneys remove waste from the body. They also balance the water and electrolyte content in the blood by filtering salt and water.
There are several types of kidney stones:
- Calcium oxalate
- Calcium phosphate
- Uric acid
Kidney Stone Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Urine tests and cultures
- Blood tests
Images may be taken of your kidneys and urinary system. This can be done with:
- Spiral CT scan
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
Once you have formed a kidney stone, you are more likely to form another. Here are some steps to prevent this condition:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
- Talk to your doctor about what diet is right for you. Depending on the type of stone you have, you may have to avoid certain food or drinks.
- Depending on what type of stone you have, certain medications may be prescribed to keep stones from forming again.
Factors that may increase your risk of kidney stones include:
- White adult male under 50 years old
- Personal history of kidney stones
- Family history of kidney stones
Other factors that increase your risk of kidney stones include:
Calcium oxalate or phosphorus stones:
- Excess dietary sodium and oxalate. Oxalate can be found in green, leafy vegetables, chocolate, nuts, or tea.
- Low fluid intake, especially during warmer weather, which can lead to dehydration
- Overactive parathyroid gland
Chronic bowel disorders such as
- Some diuretics
- Calcium-based antacids
- History of urinary infection
- More common in women
Uric acid stones:
- Excess dietary red meat or poultry
A rare genetic disorder increases the risk of cystine stones.
In many people, kidney stones do not cause symptoms and pass during urination. Other people may have symptoms, including:
- Sharp, stabbing pain in the mid-back that may occur every few minutes and last from 20 minutes to one hour
- Pain in the lower abdomen, groin, or genital areas
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning pain during urination
Treatment depends on the size and location of the kidney stone. Treatment may include one or more of the following: