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.
- Symptoms of a kidney stone include flank pain (the pain can be quite severe) and blood in the urine (hematuria).
- 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.
- 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, 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 12/16/2014
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