Kidney stones are small, solid particles that form in one or both kidneys. They sometimes travel into the ureter, the channel that connects the kidney to the bladder. The stones vary from the size of a grain of sand to a golf ball, and there may be one or more. It occurs more often in men over 30, but can occur in both sexes.
Causes of Kidney Stones
A number of processes can lead to the development of kidney stones. These include excess calcium in the urine caused by disturbance in the parathyroid gland, which upsets calcium metabolism or by excess calcium or vitamin D intake. Gout, produces elevated levels of uric acid that can form uric acid stones. Obstruction of urine from any cause can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones produce typical symptoms. They include episodes of severe, colicky (intermittent) pain every few minutes. the pain usually appears first in the back, just below the ribs or in the flank. Over several hours or days, the pain follows the stone’s course through the ureter toward the bladder. The pain stops when the stone passes. Frequent nausea is common, especially when the pain is severe. There may be blood in the urine, or the urine may appear cloudy or dark. There may have been similar episodes of pain in the past.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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