Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Do you have pain in your side that travels to your abdomen or groin? Is it getting worse? Have you had issues using the toilet, such as blood in your urine or difficulty urinating? If so, you might have a kidney stone. Kidney stones are solid masses that form in your urinary tract when there are high levels of certain minerals in your urine. Normally, your urine is supposed to have enough water to prevent minerals from sticking together. If you have high levels of those minerals in your urine, they can clump together, forming kidney stones. The kind of minerals that clump together determines what type of kidney stone you get. Read on to learn how kidney stones form, what they’re made of, what symptoms you may have, and how they can be prevented and treated.

Types of Kidney Stones

What are the different types of kidney stones?
  • Calcium oxalate or Calcium phosphate: You can get these if you have risk factors that increase the amount of calcium or oxalate in your urine. These include certain diets, some metabolic conditions, high vitamin D levels, and intestinal bypass surgery.
  • Struvite: You can get struvite stones after a urinary tract infection.
  • Uric acid: If you have certain risk factors like chronic diarrhea, diabetes, or a high-protein diet, you are at increased risk of getting uric acid stones.
  • Cystine kidney: Primarily arises in children with a hereditary disorder called cystinuria.

Risk Factors

Adults are much more likely to get kidney stones than children. And White males in their 30s and 40s are the most likely group to get kidney stones, although anyone can get one.
Risk factors for developing kidney stones include:
  • Being overweight
  • Family or personal history
  • Dehydration, which makes your urine more concentrated and increases the risk that minerals will clump together
  • Certain diets, such as those high in salt, protein, or sugar
  • Digestive diseases and surgery, which affect the way your body absorbs minerals
  • Certain medical conditions, like cystinuria, repeated urinary tract infections, gout, and cystic fibrosis
  • Certain medications, like dietary supplements, vitamin C, laxatives (when used too much), calcium-based antacids, and migraine medicines
  • Having an overactive parathyroid gland. This causes high levels of calcium in your blood.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of a kidney stone include:
  • Severe, one-sided pain in the side or back that moves to the lower abdomen or groin. This pain comes in waves and varies in intensity.
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Cloudy or smelly urine
  • A constant need to urinate, more frequent urination, or urinating small amounts
  • Nausea or vomiting
Sometimes kidney stones can make urine travel back into the kidneys and cause a kidney infection. If you get a kidney infection, you might also get fever and chills in addition to your other symptoms. You may also notice that the pain caused by a kidney stone may move around or get worse as it moves through your urinary system.


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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