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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 -- Symptoms

Often there are no symptoms of a kidney stone until it starts to move and blocks the flow of urine. When this happens, symptoms may include: Waves of sharp pain in your back and side or lower abdomen. The pain may move toward the groin or testicles. Inability to find a comfortable position. People with kidney stones often pace the floor. Nausea and vomiting with ongoing flank pain Blood in the urine The frequent urge to urinate Sometimes an infection is also present, and may...

Read the Understanding Kidney Stones -- Symptoms 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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