A kidney stone is a build up of dissolved urinary minerals that forms crystal aggregations. These usually pass through the body without causing any problems or symptoms, but if the stones becomes large enough they can start to cause problems. But, how do you get kidney stones? This article will answer this question and take a look at the symptoms of this condition.
How do you get kidney stones?
There are two main types of kidney stones. The first type of stone is comprised of calcium oxalate crystals and makes up 80% of cases. This type of kidney stone was thought to be caused by high calcium diets, but it has since been shown that a low calcium diet puts you higher at risk of this type of kidney stone.
The second most common type of kidney stone is made up of uric acid. These type of stones account for about 5-10% of cases. This is generally caused by excessive amounts of uric acid in the urine.
Other types of kidney stones are less common and can be caused by urea-splitting bacteria or other specific illness or diseases.
What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
Most kidney stones cause no problems at all, but when a stone grows in size it can cause the following symptoms;
- A strong, gripping pain in the back (just below the ribs) that may reach around the front and down to the groin.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Blood or pus in the urine.
- Visible stones passing out like gravel, (usually caused by uric acid stones).
- Urgency to urinate.
- Reduced urinary volume because of a blockage.
Kidney stones can be detected via x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan and your doctor may request a blood test and/or urine sample to help prevent them in the future. It is important to keep any stones that you pass so that they can be examined and analyzed.