Kidney stones are mineral and salt deposits that form within the kidneys. They are also commonly referred to as renal calculi and the conditions nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis. Many factors contribute to the formation of kidney stones, including diet, body weight, certain pre-existing medical conditions, and side effects of some medications.
These stones can adversely affect any part of the urinary tract. When urine becomes concentrated in the kidneys, minerals therein have the chance to crystallize. When these stones pass through the urinary tract, they can cause severe pain. In most cases, there is no injury or other severe damage.
In some cases, the only required course of action is to increase fluid consumption to aid passing. However, the stones can become stuck in the urinary tract, which will lead to further complications. Kidney stones can be a recurring condition in some patients, and preventative measures are typically prescribed for these individuals.