U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kidney Stones in Adults

​​Definition and Facts for Kidney Stones in Adults
A kidney stone is a solid, pebble-like piece of material that can form in one or both of your kidneys when high levels of certain minerals are in your urine. Kidney stones rarely cause permanent damage if treated by a health care professional.​
Symptoms and Causes of Kidney Stones in Adults
You may have a kidney stone if you feel a sharp pain in your back, side, lower abdomen, or groin; or have blood in your urine. If you have a small stone that easily passes through your urinary tract, you may not have symptoms at all.
​​​​Diagnosis of Kidney Stones in Adults
Health care professionals use your medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose kidney stones. The tests may also be able to show problems that caused a kidney stone to form.
​​​​​Treatment for Kidney Stones in Adults
Health care professionals may treat your kidney stones by removing the kidney stone or breaking it into small pieces. You may be able to prevent kidney stones by drinking enough water, changing the way you eat, or taking medicines.
Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Kidney Stones in Adults
If you have a kidney stones, drink lots of water unless otherwise directed by a health care professional. You may be able to prevent future kidney stones by making changes in how much sodium, animal protein, calcium, and oxalate you consume.
​​​Clinical Trials for Kidney Stones​ in Adults
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.
The Urinary Tract and How it Works

The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.​

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