A Picture Guide to Kidney Stones

This example of a large kidney stone has razor-sharp crystalline edges.
This illustration shows the path a kidney stone takes to pass through the urinary system.
The number of people in the United States with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years.
Kidney stone symptoms include excruciating, cramping pain in the low back and/or side, groin, or abdomen as well as blood in the urine.
A helical CT scan without contrast material is the most common test to detect stones or obstruction within the urinary tract.
Depending on the size, most stones eventually pass on their own within 48 hours.
For kidney stones that do not pass on their own, a shock wave procedure called lithotripsy is often used to break up a large stone into smaller pieces to pass.
Try to drink enough water to keep your urine clear.
Dietary choices can affect kidney stone development.
Weight gain can increase the risk of kidney stones.

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Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information: Disclaimer