A kidney stone is a hard, solid piece that forms in your kidney. It can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Kidney stones are made up of minerals and salts that are found in your urine.
There are many different types of kidney stones, but the most common are:
- Calcium oxalate stones: These are the most common type of kidney stone. They are made up of calcium and oxalate, which are two minerals that are found in your urine.
- Uric acid stones: These stones are made up of uric acid, which is a waste product that is produced by your body.
- Struvite stones: These stones are made up of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. They are often caused by a urinary tract infection.
- Cystine stones: These stones are made up of cystine, which is an amino acid. They are rare and are usually inherited.
Kidney stones can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Severe pain in your back or side
- Blood in your urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Painful urination
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Kidney stones can be very painful and can even lead to serious complications, such as kidney infection or kidney failure.
There are a number of things that can increase your risk of developing kidney stones, including:
- Family history of kidney stones
- Certain medical conditions, such as gout or diabetes
- Certain medications, such as diuretics
- A diet high in oxalate or calcium
There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, including:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
- Eat a balanced diet that is low in oxalate and calcium
- Take medications to control your blood pressure or diabetes
- Avoid taking certain medications, such as diuretics
If you have had kidney stones in the past, your doctor may recommend that you follow a special diet or take medications to prevent future stones.