One in every 20 people develop a kidney stone at some point in their life. A kidney stone is a hard mineral and crystalline material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones symptoms and signs are, blood in the urine and pain in the abdomen, flank (lower back), or groin. A number of different conditions can lead to kidney stones including: gout, hypercalciuria, people with inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, and hypoparathyroidism. Some medications also increase the risk of kidney stones.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
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 (which 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.
Dietary 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.
See the Kidney Stones Slideshow
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.