Patient's Guide to Kidney Stones

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Why be concerned about kidney stones?

The most obvious reason is to avoid the intense pain which kidney stones cause. But most importantly, kidney stones can lead to kidney failure which is life theatening.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are lumps made up of crystals that separate from urine and build up on the inner surface of the kidney. They can also migrate to the bladder and ureter.

What are the causes of kidney stones?

There are many potential causes of kidney stones. In general, there is a very high concentration of certain chemicals in the urine that results in crystal formation. This may be brought about:

  • heredity
  • excess of calcium and other minerals in the diet
  • intake of excess uric acid
  • certain medications
  • Vitamins C and D
  • diet high in oxalate
  • long-term dehydration
  • urinary infection

What are chemical composition of stones?

Knowing which one of the several types of chemical composition of kidney stones will allow medical treatment to prevent recurrence

Common chemical make-up of kidney stones are calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate and magnesium ammonium phosphate

Uncommon chemical make-up include diammonium calcium phosphate and magnesium phosphate. Rare stones are made up of cystine and xanthine.

Excerpt from A Patient's Guide to Kidney Stones