Symptoms and Causes of Kidney Stones

The kidneys are located at the rear of the abdominal cavity and lie in a retroperitoneal position at a slightly oblique angle. There are two kidneys, one on each side of the spine. The right kidney is slightly smaller than the left kidney. An adult kidney weighs between 115 and 155 grams in females and 125 and 170 grams in males.

They are essential in the urinary system, serve as a natural filter of the blood, and remove wastes. They also produce hormones including calcitriol, erythropoietin, and the enzyme renin.

Many people suffer from the pain of kidney stones. Know details on the signs & kidney stone symptom, and its picture and causes. Note that all people do not develop stones. A person with a family history of kidney stones is more likely to develop them.

Warning nSigns of Kidney Stones

Small tiny kidney stones do not cause any symptoms and there are no warning signs. Larger size stones may produce following symptoms or signs:

Green colored area shows location of kidney stone pain

Kidney stone location and pain location
  1. Severe pain at the location of kidneys when a stone blocks the flow of urine.
  2. A sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney.
  3. Pain in the lower abdomen and/or groin. The pain usually begins in lower back and later, moves to your side or groin. The pain can either be on the left side or right side, depending upon the location of the kidney stone.
  4. Burning sensation on urination as the stone moves down the ureter.
  5. Need to urinate more often
  6. Blood in the urine
  7. Nausea and vomiting

If you have fever and chills with any of the above symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately as it may be due to infection in kidney or urinary tract.


  1. X ray or sonogram/ultrasound examination during a general health check up may show stones. These examinations give information about the stone's size and its location.

  2. Computed tomography scan or intravenous pyelogram can detect stones.
  3. Blood and urine tests can detect any unwanted substance that can promote stone formation.

What Are Kidney Stones

What are Kidney Stones | Kidney Stones Causes | Symptoms of Kidney Stones | Home remedies for kidney stones

Picture of 2 mm size kidney stone

Kidney stones image

A kidney stone is a hard solid mass of material that forms in the kidney from the substances in the urine. In most cases, the stone contains calcium and either oxalate or phosphate. Urine contains chemicals that prevent the formation of crystals. In some people, however, these chemicals do not work properly, so they form stones.

Tiny stones can travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body in the urine. Larger stones may not pass through ureter (the tube connecting kidneys and bladder), the bladder or the urethra (the tube from which urine leaves). A large stone can block the flow of urine causing too much pain.

The different medical names of stones are urolithiasis, nephrolithiasis, kidney stones, struvite or infection stone, uric acid stones, cystine stones, etc.

For unknown reasons, the stones occur more frequently in men after the age of 40.

Note that gallstones and kidney stones are not the same, they are not related as they form in different areas of the body. If you have a gallstone, you may not necessarily likely to develop kidney stones.


The causes of kidney stones are not exactly known.

Kidney disease patients must limit their phosphorous intake, as its high levels can lead to heart disease and death.

A study reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (2012) has suggested that a vegetarian diet can help kidney disease patients avoid accumulating toxic levels of phosphorous in their bodies.

The amount of acid or alkali in the urine is the main cause in stone formation. Stones are formed when the urine becomes highly concentrated due to insufficient intake of fluids. Our kidneys remove wastes like uric acid, urea, and lactic acid dissolved in water. When the amount of water you drink is low, these wastes are not removed effectively and kidney damage may result. As a general rule, an adult should drink about 35ml of water per kilogram of his body weight.

The following may be the possible reasons for the formation of kidney stones:

  1. Calcium stone which is composed primarily of calcium oxalate, is common. They can be caused by too much salt in diet (high sodium foods).
  2. Certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible to stones. Excessive intake of acid forming foods and foods with simple carbohydrates such as white flour, sugar, etc.
  3. Certain kidney disorders such as cystic kidney diseases. Cystine stones develop in families with an inherited condition that leads to an excess of the chemical cystine in the urine.
  4. Certain metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism, cystinuria, hyperoxaluria. Check for the defects in the general metabolism.
  5. A rare hereditary disease called renal tubular acidosis.
  6. Uric acid stones may be caused by a high protein diet.

The content on this website is reviewed regularly and is updated when new information is made available. The information provided is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your Doctor.

Also Read The Following

Warning signs of diseases | Blood in urine during pregnancy | Brain tumor symptoms | Cancer Symptoms | Types of Cancers | Cancer fighting foods | Liver Cancer Symptoms | What is Mesothelioma cancer | Heart attack warning signs |Warning signs of Stroke | Prostate cancer symptoms | Kidney stones warning signs |Thyroid levels | Thyroid treatment | Urinary incontinence treatment | Urinary tract infection symptoms