Kidney Stones

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kidney Stone Treatment

Most kidney stones eventually pass from the kidney through the ureter and bladder and finally through the urethra on their own. However, treatment is often required for pain control from kidney stones as they pass. The consumption of ample fluids helps facilitate the passage of kidney stones, but even with plentiful fluid intake, most people require some type of medications for pain control.

Quick GuideKidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Kidney stone facts

  • A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract.
  • Nephrolithiasis is the medical term for kidney stones.
  • One in every 20 people develop kidney stones at some point in their life.
  • Kidney stones form when there is a decrease in urine volume and/or an excess of stone-forming substances in the urine.
  • Dehydration is a major risk factor for kidney stone formation.
  • Symptoms of a kidney stone include flank pain (the pain can be quite severe) and blood in the urine (hematuria).
  • People with certain medical conditions, such as gout, and those who take certain medications or supplements are at risk for kidney stones.
  • Diet and hereditary factors are also related to stone formation.
  • Diagnosis of kidney stones is best accomplished using an ultrasound, intravenous pyleography (IVP), or a CT scan.
  • Most kidney stones will pass through the ureter to the bladder on their own with time.
  • Treatment includes pain-control medications and, in some cases, medications to facilitate the passage of urine.
  • If needed, lithotripsy or surgical techniques may be used for stones which do not pass through the ureter to the bladder on their own.
Reviewed on 11/4/2015
References
REFERENCES:

"Kidney Stones in Adults." National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Sept. 2, 2010. <http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/Kudiseases/pubs/stonesadults/>

Shekarriz, Bijan. "Hyperoxaluria." Medscape.com. Apr. 5, 2013. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/444683-overview>.

Wolf Jr., J. Stuart. "Nephrolithiasis." Medscape.com. September 26, 2015. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/437096-overview>

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