Kidney stones are made of small crystals that form inside the kidneys. They form when salts and minerals that are normally in the urine build up and harden.
Kidney stones usually get carried out of the body when you urinate. But sometimes they can get stuck on the way out.
If that happens, the stones can cause pain in your side or in the lower part of your belly, blood in the urine, nausea or vomiting, and changes in urination.
If you suspect you have a kidney stone you can contact your doctor and he or she can order an imaging test that can show the stones. This may include a kidney ultrasound, xray, or CT scan.
If a kidney stone is found then treatment depends on size, type, and location of the stone but also on how sick you are feeling and how much pain or vomiting you have.
Some stones are too large to pass on their own or are causing too severe of symptoms and will need hospital treatment. Others are small enough to pass on their own and only cause mild symptoms and therefore you may be able to stay at home and try and pass it by drinking fluids and taking medication.
Kidney stone prevention is important for patients who have had stones. The main reasons for getting stones are your genetics and diet. Blood tests and urine collection tests can help your doctor determine why you form stones. A simple thing you can do is to drink plenty of water. You might also need to change what you eat, depending on what your kidney stones were made of. If so, your doctor can tell you which foods to avoid. Your doctor might also prescribe you new medicines to keep you from having another kidney stone.