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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is a kidney stone?
Kidney stones are small, solid lumps that form in one or both of the kidneys and can move into other parts of the urinary tract. Large kidney stones can get stuck in the thin tubes (ureters) that connect the kidneys to the bladder. This can cause extreme pain in the …
What causes kidney stones?
The kidney is an organ that is responsible for filtering excess fluid and waste from the blood and turning it into urine. Kidney stones can form when there is a high concentration of salts and minerals in the urine. When their concentration is high enough, the …
Can kidney stones be prevented?
Kidney stones can be prevented. Drinking lots of water can prevent high concentrations of salts and minerals in the urine, which lead to the formation of kidney stones. Simple changes to some of the foods you eat can also reduce the chance of developing some …
How are kidney stones treated?
Kidney stones are usually treated with medication to relieve pain and by drinking lots of water to help the kidney stones pass. If you are having trouble passing a stone, a doctor may prescribe medication that helps to relax the muscles in the urinary tract, …
What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
The main symptom of a kidney stone is extreme pain, which can be felt in the side and back, below the ribs. The pain often comes in waves and can spread to the groin. Some of the other symptoms of having a kidney stone include nausea and vomiting, …
How long does it take to pass a kidney stone?
The time it takes to pass a kidney stone can vary from person to person. It may depend on how big the stone is, how much water you drink and whether you receive any medical treatment to help pass the stone. Generally stones pass within a few …
How are kidney stones diagnosed?
To work out if you have a kidney stone, your doctor may test a sample of your blood or urine to measure the levels of salts and minerals that typically contribute to stone formation. Urine can also be tested for substances that can help prevent the stones …
Are there long-term consequences of having a kidney stone?
Kidney stones do not usually cause any lasting damage, but in some cases large kidney stones can block the ureter, the thin tube that connect the kidney to the bladder. This can increase the chance of getting an infection and, if …
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 369 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Kidney stones