Kidney stone formation

What is a Kidney Stone?

A kidney stone is a hard, pebble-like deposit that forms in the kidneys. It is made up of minerals and acid salts and can range in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball.

How do Kidney Stones Form?

Kidney stones form when the chemicals in urine become out of balance. When this happens, tiny crystals form in the kidneys that eventually grow into stones.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones can form due to a number of causes:
  • Insufficient water intake: Not drinking enough water increases the concentration of minerals in urine, which can lead to the formation of stones.
  • High intake of certain foods: Eating too much of certain foods, like animal fats, oxalates, or proteins can increase the risk of stones.
  • Certain medical conditions or treatments: Some medical conditions, such as gout or urinary tract infections, can increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Certain medications: Drugs like diuretics or antacids can cause stones to form.

How Can You Prevent Kidney Stones?

There are several ways to reduce your risk of forming kidney stones:
  • Stay well hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, including water and natural juices.
  • Limit certain foods: Eat a balanced diet that limits foods high in oxalate or animal fats.
  • Regular exercise: Exercise helps keep the chemicals in your urine balanced and can help prevent stones from forming.

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?

Common symptoms of kidney stones include:
  • Sharp or intense pain in the back, side, abdomen, or groin
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.