Kidney stones are created when certain substances in urine -- including calcium, oxalate, and sometimes uric acid -- crystallize. These minerals and salts form crystals, which can then join together and form a kidney stone.
Kidney stones usually form within the kidney, where urine collects before flowing into the ureter, the tube that leads to the bladder. Small kidney stones are able to pass out of the body in the urine -- and may go completely unnoticed by you. But larger stones irritate...
All or some of the following questions may be asked at your initial
and follow-up exams.
How much fluid do you drink? Do you drink a lot of water? The
most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water.
you drink grapefruit juice? Drinking grapefruit juice may increase your risk
for developing kidney stones.
How active are you? Do you get a lot
of exercise or play sports? Do you have a job where you are active, or where
you are sitting? People who are not physically active are more likely to
develop kidney stones. If you do exercise and sweat a lot but do not drink
fluids to replace the lost fluid, you may also be more likely to develop
What types of foods do you eat? A diet that makes you more
likely to develop stones includes:
Foods high in
oxalates, such as dark green vegetables, chocolate,
Although your doctor may decide you have kidney stones based on
your medical history and physical exam, he or she may also do lab tests such as
urine culture. Your doctor may start treatment before
these tests are done or you know the results.
If you have a family history of kidney stones or pass more than one
stone, your doctor may do more tests to find out the type of stone.