Kidney Stones (Renal Calculi)

kidney stonesA kidney stone is, as the name implies, a rock-like collection of substances that build up in the urinary system of the body. Many people never get them. Others get them many times during their lives. A kidney stone often causes severe pain in the lower back or "flank" region. The pain can last for hours. Some women who have experienced kidney stones say it can be as sharp and intense as having a baby. 

Even large kidney stones are not generally life-threatening, though some people who get them will say, "they make you feel like you want to die."

Sizes of kidney stones can vary greatly. A kidney stone can be as small as a grain of sand, but large kidney stones can be as big as a golf ball. A kidney stone of any size can trigger severe discomfort.

Renal calculi and renal lethiasis are terms used by medical professionals to describe a kidney stone.

Here's what causes kidney stones and how kidney stones form.

There are crystals in the urine that can be made of of a number of different minerals. In most people, these crystals are flushed out of the body during urination. But for reasons that aren't completely understood, this doesn't happen in certain individuals. The crystals separate from the urine and collect into small masses on the inner surfaces of the kidneys. For more information, click on kidney stone causes.

There are several medical terms for describing how kidney stones form and what causes kidney stones, including urolithiasis and nephrolithiasis.

Your diet may contribute to kidney stones.

Learn more about how to cope with kidney stones by clicking here or on the book cover below.