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What Are Kidney Stones

Kidney stones  occur when there is excess of crystal forming materials in the body. Most kidney stones are metabolites of renal processes. Kidney stones, nephrolithiasis or renal calculi in medical terminology are “consisting of crystal aggregates”. Kidney Stones form in the collecting ducts and may be deposited anywhere from the renal pelvis to the urethra. Most renal stones are formed from calcium and uric salts. Although, there are some cases wherein a microorganism called Proteus vulgaris has been known to form renal calculi.

Kidney Stones Symptoms and Diagnosis
People with renal stones are often mostly asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally.  However, when the stones continue to aggregate, that is the most common time that symptoms are evident. Learn about Symptoms of Kidney Stones and Diagnosis to help receive timely treatment and prevent complications that may be serious or life threatening, particularly in the presence of another renal condition.  In select cases, diagnostic tests, such as a blood test signifying kidney infection or an ultrasound suggestive of kidney stones, but may be in addition to or an alternative condition. This may occur in the case of UPJ Obstruction.  There may be benefits and risks associated with all diagnostic tests. A meaningful Q and A with Your Doctor may assist in making a well-educated decision.

Kidney Stones Treatment and Outcome
Kidney Stones treatment options, complication risks and outcomes are important to know about for people who are suffering from kidney stone symptoms and/or receive a renal stone diagnosis. Timely treatment may play a role in the outcome of care, particularly in the presence of other renal conditions, such as, a kidney infection. There are benefits and risks associated with treatment. Learn more  about Kidney Stone Treatment Options.

Who is At Risk?
Kidney stones are a significant health concern with more than three million people visiting a health care provider and more than half a million visiting emergency rooms each year. The prevalence of renal stones has a lifetime incidence. The most common affected age group is from 20 years old to 40 years old. The condition is more common in males than in females.  There is an increased risk of renal stone formation in people who have high levels of Calcium, Phosphate and uric in the serum.  Diabetics are vulnerable to formation of renal stones. Obesity is known to be a strong risk factor for kidney stone development. People who have a family history of kidney stones or kidney infections may be more likely to receive a diagnosis of kidney stones.   People who regularly drink 8-12 glasses of water daily may be less likely to form renal stones compared to those who do not.

Renal Stone Prevention
There are several ways to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Prevention of renal stones rely, in part, on the control of crystal aggregators, such as, foods rich in calcium, uric acid and carbonated drinks like sodas. Maintaining proper weight is associated with a reduced risk for kidney stones. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day may help drain metabolites, preventing them to aggregate as crystals. Learn more about recent study results that may be suggestive of other tips for How To Prevent Kidney Stones. 

It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.