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Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones



There are several types of kidney stones, each formed from different substances. The most common types include:

  • Calcium stones: These are the most prevalent type and can be composed of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate.
  • Struvite stones: Formed in response to urinary tract infections, these stones may grow quickly and become large, causing blockages.
  • Uric acid stones: Result from high levels of uric acid in the urine, often associated with conditions like gout or certain metabolic disorders.
  • Cystine stones: Form due to a hereditary disorder called cystinuria, causing the kidney to excrete excessive amounts of certain amino acids.

After your first attack of kidney stones, there is an 80-90% chance of recurrence within the next 10 years. Knowing which kind of stone you are prone to can aid in choosing a diet that reduces or prevents recurrences.

For all stone types, the best lifestyle change to reduce recurrences is to restrict sodium and drink 3 liters or more of fluids per day.

Symptoms and Causes


Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are hard deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause a range of symptoms. The symptoms of kidney stones can vary depending on the size and location of the stone. Common symptoms include:

  • pain in the side of your tummy (abdomen) or groin – men may have pain in their testicles
  • a high temperature
  • feeling sweaty
  • severe pain that comes and goes
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • blood in urine
  • urine infection

Diagnosis And Treatment


  • Medical History and Physical Examination:

Your doctor will inquire about your medical history, including any family history of kidney stones.

A physical examination may be conducted to check for signs of pain or tenderness.

  • Imaging Tests:

CT Scan: This is one of the most common methods to identify kidney stones and determine their size and location.

Ultrasound: This non-invasive imaging technique may be used to visualize the kidneys and urinary tract.

X-rays: In some cases, a series of X-rays known as an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) may be performed after injecting a contrast dye.

  • Urinalysis:

Examination of a urine sample can help identify crystals or substances that promote stone formation.


  • Pain Management:

Pain relief is often a priority, and medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids may be prescribed.

  • Medical Expulsion Therapy (MET):

Medications like alpha-blockers may be given to help relax the muscles of the ureter, making it easier for the stone to pass.


  • Hydration:

Drinking plenty of water is essential to help flush out the stone. Increased fluid intake can prevent further stone formation.

  • Dietary Changes:

Depending on the type of kidney stone, your doctor may recommend dietary modifications, such as reducing salt or oxalate intake.

  • Observation:

Small stones may pass on their own with supportive measures. Your doctor may recommend observation while monitoring symptoms.

  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL):

This non-invasive procedure uses shock waves to break the kidney stones into smaller pieces, making them easier to pass.

  • Ureteroscopy:

A thin, flexible tube with a camera is used to visualize and remove stones in the ureter or kidney.

  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL):

For larger stones, a surgical procedure may be required to remove or break them up.