“What causes kidney stones?”

Kidney stones are the result of calcium and oxalate and uric acid build up within urine. These substances build up over time and consolidate.

Because urine often lacks the chemicals to break up these substances, they stick together and form a literal stone within the kidney.

Your kidneys have no way to get rid of these stones, and so eventually they may begin to make their way down the ureters, which are the small tubes that connect your kidneys to your bladder. This often causes extreme back pain that comes in waves, nausea and vomiting, and possibly blood in your urine.

Kidney stones are diagnosed with a CT scan of your abdomen. It is important to know the size of the stones to be sure they will be able to pass and not cause a blockage. Often stones pass on their own, but can require medical intervention in certain cases.