Kidney stones – symptoms, causes and different types

kidney stones types causes

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts from inside the kidneys. There are many causes for kidney stones and they can affect any part of your urinary tract. This means it can affect from your kidneys to your bladder. In many cases kidney stones are forming when the urine becomes concentrated which is allowing minerals to crystallize and they stick together. Passing kidney stones can be very painful but the kidney stones usually are causing no permanent damage if they are recognized in a timely fashion. It depends on the situation what kind of natural treatment you need. There are some people who just take pain medication and they drink a lot of water to pass a kidney stone. But also there are worse cases when kidney stones become lodged in the urinary tract and they are associated with a urinary infection or it cause complications, then in these cases surgery may be needed. You need to talk with your doctor about this condition. He or she may recommend you some preventative treatment to reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones if you have increased risk of developing them again. [1]

Symptoms of kidney stones

A kidney stone may not cause you symptoms until it moves around within your kidney or it passes into your ureter. Ureter is a tube which is connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, you may experience some of the signs and symptoms which are mentioned below:

  • Urinating small amounts
  • Fever and chills if an infection is persistent
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Persistent need to urinate
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Cloudy or foul – smelling urine
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs

The pain is caused by a kidney stone may change (for instance when it is increasing in intensity or shifting to a different location) as the stones moves through the urinary tract. If you have any signs and symptoms that worry you, then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Causes: In many cases there is not a single cause for kidney stones. There are many factors which can increase your risk of it. These stones are forming when the urine has more crystal – forming substances such as uric acid, oxalate and calcium than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, the urine may lack substances which are preventing crystals from sticking together which is creating an ideal environment for the kidney stones to form.

kidney stones causes types

Types of kidney stones

When you know the type of kidney stone, then this can help you to determine the cause and also it can help you to reduce the risk of getting more kidney stones. If you pass your kidney stone, then you should try to save it and bring to your doctor for analysis. Here are the types of kidney stones:

  • Cystine stones: People, who have heredity disorder that causes kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids – cystinuria, are having increased chances of developing this type of kidney stones. [2]
  • Uric acid stones: This type of kidney stones can form in people who do not drink enough fluids or who lose too many fluids. Also people who suffer from gout and people who eat a high – protein diet have increased risk of getting this type of kidney stones. There are some genetic factors which can increase your risk of uric acid stones. [3]
  • Struvite stones: This type of kidney stones form in response to an infection such as urinary tract infection. These stones can grow quickly and they can become large and in some cases they can be with little warning or few symptoms. [4]
  • Calcium stones: In the most cases kidney stones are calcium stones. Usually they are in form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is naturally occurring substance which is found in food and also it is made every day by our liver. Some fruits and vegetables as well chocolate and nuts are rich in oxalate content. Several metabolic disorders, intestinal bypass surgery, high doses of Vitamin D and dietary factors can increase the concentration of oxalate or calcium in the urine. [5]


[1] Washington University in St. Louis. Kidney stone mystery solved: Why some people are more prone to develop kidney stones. Science Daily. 2012. Retrieved from

[2] Goldstein R, Goldfarb DS. Early recognition and management of rare kidney stone disorders. Urologic Nursing Journal. 2017;37(2):81–102.

[3] Kramer HJ, Choi HK, Atkinson K, et al. The association between gout and nephrolithiasis in men: The Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study. Kidney International. 2003;64(3):1022-6.

[4] Alelign T, Petros B. Kidney stone disease: An update on current concepts. Advances in Urology. 2018;2018:3068365.

[5] University of Houston. Researchers propose new treatment to prevent kidney stones: Modifier appears to dissolve crystals of the most common kidney stone. Science Daily. 2016.



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