Kidney stones are essentially salts in the urine that have formed into solid crystals, and it’s safe to say they are usually not a pleasant thing to experience.
There are several types of kidney stones. Calcium stones – formed when calcium combines with either oxalate or phosphate – are the most common. Symptoms can range from none at all, to illness, fever and severe pain that requires hospitalisation. Complications can include urinary tract and kidney infection, and permanent kidney damage.
Kidney stones are more than three times more common in men than women, and once a person has had one, they have a relatively high chance of experiencing another. An accurate diagnosis of kidney stones is therefore important for determining the right treatment and for avoiding recurrence.
So what can be done?
Kidney stone treatment:
The majority of stones will pass naturally and the best treatment in most cases is likely to be analgesics where pain is present. For larger stones or those that do not pass, there are several treatment options available, including: