Kidney Ureteral Stones


Causes Kidney Stones

What is a stone?

A stone is a hard, solid mass that can form in the gallbladder, bladder, and kidneys. These types of stones have different causes and are treated in different ways.

This section discusses kidney and ureteral stones. These develop in the kidney and either stay there or move to the ureter (Fig. 1).

Kidney stones form when minerals or acid salts in your urine crystalize. Most stones leave your body while you urinate. However, sometimes stones get stuck in the ureter, block the normal flow of urine, and cause symptoms. Stones can also be too big to leave the kidney. In both cases you may need treatment to remove the stone.

Fig. 1: The urinary tract
Fig. 1: The urinary tract.

What are the causes of kidney stones?

Anyone may develop a kidney stone during his or her lifetime. Stones can form if there is an imbalance in the way your body produces urine. This may be connected to how much you drink and whether there are substances in your urine which trigger stone formation.

The terms your doctor may use:

  • Calculi: stones
  • Ureteral calculi: stones in your ureter
  • Renal calculi: stones in your kidney
  • Urolithiasis: stone disease
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Stones can also have other causes. Read which medical conditions increase the risk of forming stones.