Alternate Names : Nephrolithiasis, Urolithiasis, Urinary Calculi
Kidney stones are deposits of mineral salts, called calculi, in the kidney. These stones can pass into the ureter, the narrow tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder.
What is going on in the body?
Kidney stones occur when the urine has a high level of minerals that form stones. Most kidney stones are made from calcium. Minerals such as uric acid and oxalate may also form stones. These stones can irritate kidney tissue and block urine flow.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Kidney stones are caused by an accumulation of mineral salts, with calcium being the most common. People with kidney stones may first have dysfunction or damage to some of the collecting tubes in the kidney. Factors that increase the risk of stone formation include the following:
abnormalities in metabolism of a mineral, such as uric acid
diet high in a mineral, such as calcium
inadequate fluid intake
lack of kidney stone inhibitors, such as magnesium, in the urine
living in a hot, dry climate