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Kidney Stones

Also called: Nephrolithiasis

Summary

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. It may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without help from a doctor. But sometimes a stone will not go away. It may get stuck in the urinary tract, block the flow of urine and cause great pain.

The following may be signs of kidney stones that need a doctor's help:

  • Extreme pain in your back or side that will not go away
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
  • A burning feeling when you urinate

Your doctor will diagnose a kidney stone with urine, blood, and imaging tests.

If you have a stone that won't pass on its own, you may need treatment. It can be done with shock waves; with a scope inserted through the tube that carries urine out of the body, called the urethra; or with surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Symptoms

  • (National Kidney Foundation)

Diagnosis and Tests

Treatments and Therapies

  • (National Kidney Foundation)
  • (National Kidney Foundation)
  • (National Kidney Foundation)

Living With

  • (National Kidney Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Specifics

  • (Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Videos and Tutorials

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (Urology Care Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse)
  • (UpToDate)
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Patient Handouts

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