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Kidney Stones

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are tiny, hard mineral and salt deposits that form inside the kidneys. Kidney stones develop when there isn’t enough liquid in your urine to keep crystal-forming substances (like calcium, uric acid and oxalate) from sticking together and forming stones. There are several types of kidney stones, including calcium stones, cystine stones, struvite stones and uric acid stones.

While passing a kidney stone through urination can be painful, the condition usually does not cause any permanent damage.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for kidney stones include:


The symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Fever and chills (if you have an infection)

  • Frequent urination

  • Nausea

  • Painful urination

  • Persistent urge to urinate

  • Radiating pain to the lower belly and groin area

  • Severe pain in your back and below your ribs

  • Urine that is pink, brown or red

  • Urine that is cloudy or has a strong odor

  • Vomiting

Treatment Options

The treatment options for kidney stones include:

  • Drinking water to help the stones pass during urination

  • Pain medications to alleviate discomfort

  • Medication to pass the stone, such as an alpha blocker to relax your ureter muscles

  • Ultrasound waves that break up the stones

  • Surgical (including robotic surgery) and/or endoscopic and laser removal in severe cases

  • Parathyroid gland surgery (for cases where stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands)

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of kidney stones, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat kidney stones.