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Kidney Stones: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are solid masses of minerals that form in the kidneys. They can be as small as a grain of sand or larger than a golf ball, depending on their composition and size.
Kidney stones can be made up of calcium oxalate (the most common type), uric acid, cystine, struvite (a combination of magnesium ammonium phosphate), or other substances.
The National Institutes of Health reports that about 10% to 20% of people will develop kidney stones at some point in their lives; however, only 5% will experience more than one episode within five years after their first episode.

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can cause pain in the back, side or abdomen. The pain may be sudden and severe or it may come on slowly over time. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people experience mild discomfort, while others experience excruciating pain that lasts for days or weeks at a time.
Some people also have nausea (feeling sick) with kidney stones, while others don't experience any symptoms related to nausea at all. In some cases, nausea can lead to vomiting (throwing up). Vomiting blood is another sign that you might have a kidney stone--if this happens, contact your doctor immediately!

Risk Factors for Kidney Stones

There are several risk factors for kidney stones, including:

Diagnosis of Kidney Stones

To diagnose kidney stones, your doctor may perform the following tests:

Treatment Options for Kidney Stones

Preventing Kidney Stones

Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

If you're suffering from kidney stones, there are several home remedies that can help ease your symptoms and speed up recovery.

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