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Kidney stones are small bits of hard crystallized material that form in the kidney. The human body has two kidneys. The kidneys are vital organs that filter waste products from the blood to make urine, which then flows from the kidneys into small tube called ureters into the bladder. The bladder stores urine until it is eliminated from the body through the urethra.
Kidney stones, also called renal lithiasis, are a common condition and are often made up of calcium, but can also contain uric acid or amino acids (proteins). One or more kidney stones can form in one or both kidneys. Kidney stones begin as small specks and can gradually increase in size. A person with a small kidney stone may be unaware of the condition, and it may pass in the urine out of the body without causing pain or other problems. There are generally no symptoms of large kidney stones that remain in the kidney. However, when a large kidney stone moves out of the kidney into the ureter it causes severe pain, called renal colic.
Other symptoms of a large kidney stone that has moved out of the kidney include hematuria, (blood in the urine), dysuria (difficulty urinating), nausea and vomiting. Most kidney stones generally pass out of the body in the urine. On occasion, a kidney stone can get stuck in a ureter and result in potentially serious, even life-threatening complications in some people. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of kidney stones.
Kidney stones are more likely to develop in men than in women. Certain other populations have a higher risk for developing kidney stones, including people over the age of 30. People who become dehydrated and/or live in hot climates are at risk for kidney stones because they lose more body water and produce smaller amounts of urine that contains a higher concentration of substances that form kidney stones, such as calcium and amino acids. Kidney stones also run in families. People with kidney deformities or anomalies, such as horseshoe kidney, are also at risk. Other diseases and condition that increase risk include obesity, being bedridden, gout, urinary tract infection, hypertension, history of kidney stone, extreme stress, and having a diet that is very high in protein.
Making a diagnosis of a kidney stone begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Diagnostic testing includes blood tests and performing a urinalysis test, which checks for the presence of blood in the urine and other elements and help to differentiate between a kidney stone and a urinary tract infection. Imaging tests, such as ultrasound or CT, are performed to determine the cause of symptoms and locate any possible kidney stones. A urine test that includes collecting urine for 24 hours may be ordered to evaluate the urine for substances that typically form kidney stones.
A diagnosis of a kidney stone can be delayed or missed because there may be no symptoms. In addition, some symptoms of a kidney stone are similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as urinary tract infection. For more information about disease and conditions that can mimic kidney stones, refer to misdiagnosis of kidney stones.
Kidney stones may be prevented by ensuring good hydration and with prescribed medication in some cases. Once a stone has developed, treatment may include hospitalization, pain medication, and certain procedures that remove or crush large stones so that they pass more easily out of the body. Small kidney stones may require no treatment. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of kidney stones....more »
A diagnosis of kidney stones may be missed or delayed because there may be no symptoms of a small kidney stone or of a kidney stone that has not yet passed out of the kidney.
A diagnosis of kidney stones can be also be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. These include urinary tract infection, pyelonephritis, ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Kidney stones.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
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Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Kidney stones, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
The first step in treating kidney stones is prevention. Prevention measures include avoiding dehydration, drinking plenty of fluids, urinating as soon as possible when the urge is felt, and drinking lemonade, which may have qualities that prevent the formation of kidney stones. Medications may be prescribed to prevent the formation of certain types of kidney stones. Treating ...Kidney stones Treatments
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The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Kidney stones as a symptom.
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When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Kidney stones as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Kidney stones may include these symptoms:
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Read more about causes and Kidney stones deaths.
Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive bladder or other causes of pelvic pain. This condition can...read more »
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Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible
causes of Kidney stones as a symptom include:
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney out of substances in the urine.
A stone may stay in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass all of the way out of the body without causing too much pain.
A larger stone may get stuck in a ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. A problem stone can block the flow of urine and cause great pain. (Source: excerpt from What Are Kidney Stones: NIDDK)
Kidney stones is the term commonly used to refer to stones, or calculi, in the urinary system. Stones form in the kidneys and may be found anywhere in the urinary system. They vary in size. Some stones cause great pain while others cause very little. The aim of treatment is to remove the stones, prevent infection, and prevent recurrence. Both nonsurgical and surgical treatments are used. Kidney stones affect men more often than women. (Source: excerpt from Your Urinary System and How It Works: NIDDK)
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney out of substances in the... (Source: excerpt from What Are Kidney Stones: NIDDK)
Kidney stones is the term commonly used to refer to stones, or calculi, in the... (Source: excerpt from Your Urinary System and How It Works: NIDDK)
Calculi occurring in the kidney. Calculi too large to pass spontaneously range in size from 1 cm to the staghorn stones that occupy the renal pelvis and calyces.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
The list below shows some of the causes of Kidney stones mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Kidney stones. Of the 107 causes of Kidney stones that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Kidney stones' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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The following list of medical conditions have Kidney stones or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Kidney stones based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Medical Conditions associated with Kidney stones:
Symptoms related to Kidney stones:
Kidney symptoms (1125 causes), Kidney pain (14 causes), Urinary symptoms (1228 causes), Hypertension (398 causes), Acute pancreatitis (78 causes), Hemorrhage (1783 causes), Urinary tumor, Internal bleeding (22 causes), Urinary stones, Acute nephritis, Glomerulonephritis (61 causes), Heat exhaustion (46 causes), Chronic nephritis, Shock (259 causes)
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