A kidney stone is a solid mass of material that forms in one or both kidneys due to high levels of certain minerals that are present in the urine.
As the MedlinePlus webpage indicates, most kidney stones are eliminated from the body without medical assistance. Sometimes, however, they can be difficult to eliminate when they get stuck in the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and causing great pain. If this happens, a procedure that sends out shock waves from outside body to break them up, or another strategy may be used, inserting a tool in the body either through the urinary tract or directly to the kidney through surgery. Once the stone is located, it can be broken up into smaller pieces.
Common warning signs of kidney stones include extreme pain in the back or on one side that doesn’t go away, blood in your urine, urine that smells bad or looks cloudy, fever or chills, vomiting and a burning sensation when you go to the bathroom.
If a person receives this diagnosis, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests drinking enough water to help prevent them from forming in the future, as well as balancing portions of foods that are high in sodium, animal protein and calcium.
Kidney stones can appear at any age, but are more frequent between ages 40 and 70.
Keep in mind:
A kidney stone can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pearl.
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