Kidney stones are a common problem of the urinary tract. They are like small rocks that form in the kidney. Stones form when certain chemicals in the body clump together. A stone can either stay in the kidney or travel through the urinary tract. This is called "passing."
Anyone can form a kidney stone, but you may be more likely to have one if you:
- Are male
- Are Caucasian
- Are very overweight
- Have had kidney infections
- Have a family member with kidney stones
- Have had kidney stones before
- Eat a lot of animal protein (such as meat and eggs)
- Do not drink enough liquids
Other conditions and medicines can also put you at more risk for kidney stones.
Kidney stone symptoms
Types of kidney stones
Treatment for kidney stones
Learn more about how your kidneys work
Illustration courtesy of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: www.niddk.nih.gov