Lakeview Health System
Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones 101:  - Thomas J. Stormont, MD

What are kidney stones?
Kidneys are fist-sized organs located in the back of the body that remove waste products from the blood. These waste products mix with water and leave the body as urine. A kidney stone occurs when there is an accumulation of mineral waste products (usually calcium and oxalate) which form a stone. Most stones are under five millimeters in width and pass in a few days.

What makes a kidney stone so painful?
If the stone stays in the kidney, it usually will not cause a problem. When a stone moves and tries to travel to the bladder, it can cause severe pain, infection and/or blood in the urine.

How is a kidney stone diagnosed?
A computerized tomography (CT scan) is usually needed to diagnose a kidney stone. 

How many people are diagnosed with kidney stones?
It is estimated 1in 10 people will have a stone 'episode' in their lifetime.

How do you treat kidney stones?
If the stone is “stuck” minimally invasive methods of treatments may be used. A common treatment is an ureteroscopy using a laser or sound waves (ESWL) to help the stone pass. If stones reoccur, there are further tests and treatments available.

How can I prevent a kidney stone?
Drink the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses or more of water a day. Minimize animal protein, salt and oxalate (found in chocolate nuts and coffee) and try citrus-flavored liquids to prevent stone formation.