Kidney Stones

Kidney Tissue

About Kidney Stones

The kidneys provide two critical functions, filtering waste from the body in the form of urine and regulating electrolytes in the blood. Kidney stones occur when chemicals in the urine crystalize forming a solid mass. Though kidney stones are small, they can grow over time to an inch or larger.  They can also become trapped in the ureter (the tubes that allows urine to travel from the kidneys to the bladder)—a condition referred to as urolithiasis.  Pain in the ureter is felt when pressure begins to back up into the kidney, which causes the kidney to swell. Typical symptoms of kidney stones include pain in the lower back or flank of body, nausea with or without vomiting, blood in the urine, pain when urinating, being unable to urinate, and feeling the need to urinate more often.