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Types of Kidney Stones

There are four main kinds of kidney stones: calcium-oxalate, struvite, uric acid and cystine.  Each type has a different cause.  Each may need a different kind of treatment or prevention.  The four types are:

Calcium-Oxalate Kidney Stones

These are the most common kidney stones.  They can be caused by eating too much calcium or vitamin D, some medicines, genetics and other kidney problems.  Talk to your doctor about ways to stop these stones from forming.  Do NOT limit calcium unless your doctor tells you to.

Struvite Kidney Stones

These stones affect women more than men.  They can grow very large and may harm the kidneys more than other stones.  Having kidney infections often may cause struvite stones.

Uric Acid Kidney Stones

These stones may be caused by eating too much animal protein or by genetics.  To prevent uric acid stones from forming, try eating less red meat.

Cystine Kidney Stones

These stones are very rare.  They are caused by cystinuria, a genetic kidney disease.

Ask your doctor about what kind of stones you have.

Learn More

Kidney stone symptoms

Treatment for kidney stones

General information about kidney stones

Learn more about how your kidneys work

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