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Kidney Stones - Cause

Kidney stones may form when the normal balance of water, salts, minerals, and other substances found in urine changes. How this balance changes determines the type of kidney stone you have. Most kidney stones are calcium-type—they form when the calcium levels in your urine change.

Things that change your urine balance include:

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Understanding Kidney Stones -- Treatment

If you've had a kidney stone once, you're at an increased risk for another one. A urologist is frequently involved in deciding whether you'll need an extensive medical evaluation, including testing the amounts of various minerals in your urine, to assess further risks of stone formation. If your kidney stone is small, it may pass out of your body on its own within a few days or weeks. Your health care provider will likely ask you to drink lots of water -- 2 to 3 quarts a day -- and prescribe a pain...

Read the Understanding Kidney Stones -- Treatment article > >

  • Not drinking enough water. When you don't drink enough water, the salts, minerals, and other substances in the urine can stick together and form a stone. This is the most common cause of kidney stones.
  • Medical conditions. Many medical conditions can affect the normal balance and cause stones to form. Examples include gout and inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease.

More commonly, kidney stones can run in families, as stones often occur in family members over several generations.

In rare cases, a person forms kidney stones because the parathyroid glands produce too much of a hormone. This leads to higher calcium levels and possibly calcium kidney stones.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 05, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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