Kidney stones (also called renal calculi, nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. Diet, excess body weight, some medical conditions, and certain supplements and medications are among the many causes of kidney stones. Kidney stones can affect any part of your urinary tract — from your kidneys to your bladder. Often, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.
- Severe, sharp pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
Type of kidney stone:
- Struvite stone
- Calcium stone
- Cystine stone
- Uric acid stone
- Crixivan stone
How can I prevent kidney stones?
The best way to prevent most kidney stones is to drink enough fluids every day. Most people should drink eight to 12 cups of fluid per day. If you have kidney disease and need to limit fluids, ask your doctor how much fluid you should have each day. Limiting sodium and animal protein (meat, eggs) in your diet may also help to prevent kidney stones. If your doctor can find out what your kidney stone is made of, he or she may be able to give you specific diet recommendations to help prevent future kidney stones.