(Renal Colic; Renal Lithiasis; Nephrolithiasis; Renal Calculi)
- Calcium oxalate
- Calcium phosphate
- Uric acid
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- Calcium oxalate or phosphorus stones—These kidney stones form when the concentration of calcium or other minerals in the urine becomes too high.
- Struvite stones—These stones develop as a result of a urinary tract infection. The stones are composed of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate salts.
- Uric acid stones—These stones form when urine is acidic. This may also occur in people with gout or having chemotherapy.
- Cystine stones—Due to a rare genetic disorder that causes the kidneys to accumulate excess amounts of cystine, one of the amino acids that make up proteins.
- White adult male under 50 years old
- Personal history of kidney stones
- Family history of kidney stones
- Excess dietary sodium and oxalate. Oxalate can be found in green, leafy vegetables, chocolate, nuts, or tea.
- Low fluid intake, especially during warmer weather, which can lead to dehydration
- Overactive parathyroid gland
- Chronic bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Some diuretics
- Calcium-based antacids
- History of urinary infection
- More common in women
- Excess dietary red meat or poultry
- Sharp, stabbing pain in the mid-back that may occur every few minutes and last from 20 minutes to one hour
- Pain in the lower abdomen, groin, or genital areas
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning pain during urination
- Very large or growing larger
- Causing bleeding or damage to the kidney
- Causing infection
- Blocking the flow of urine
- Unable to pass on its own
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
- Talk to your doctor about what diet is right for you. Depending on the type of stone you have, you have to avoid certain food or drinks.
- Depending on what type of stone you have, certain medicines may be prescribed to keep stones from forming again.
American Urological Association Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://niddk.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Kidney Foundation of Canada http://www.kidney.ca
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Pearle MS, Lingemann JE, et al. Prospective, randomized controlled trial comparing shock wave lithotripsy and ureteroscopy for lower pole caliceal calculi 1 cm or less. J Urol. 2005;173:2005-2009.
Vitamin C. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthlibrary. Updated September 10, 2012. Accessed April 18, 2013.
1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Hollingsworth JM, Rogers MA, Kaufman SR, et al. Medical therapy to facilitate urinary stone passage: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2006;368:1171-1179.
1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Mora B, Giorni E, Dobrovits M, et al. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: an effective treatment for pain caused by renal colic in emergency care. J Urol. 2006;175:1737-1741; discussion 1741.
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013 -
- Update Date: 04/18/2013 -