Nephrolithiasis is another name for kidney stones. Kidney stones are also called renal calculi. Stones in other parts of the urinary system are called urinary calculi. Both are rock-like pieces that are about the size of a grain of sand. They form most often in the kidneys and get stuck in the ureter. This blocks the flow of urine and causes pain. You may have more than 1 stone. Men get kidney stones more often than women. Kidney stones occur mostly in people 20 to 30 years old. But they can happen to anyone at any age.
Kidney stones can be caused by a build up of uric acid, calcium, or phosphate in your urine. If you have gout, you may be more likely to have kidney stones. You may get kidney stones if you do not drink enough water.
The most common sign is pain in your side that comes on suddenly. The pain may come and go and may be severe. You may see blood in your urine, which will look pink or red. You may hurt when you pass your urine (urinate). You may feel sick to your stomach (nausea) and throwing up (vomiting). If your stone has caused an infection, you may have fever and chills.
Often you can be treated at home and the stone will pass on its own. If the stone does not pass, you may need to have surgery to remove it. Or you may need to have lithotripsy to break it apart. Your urine and maybe your blood will need to be tested. You may need an x-ray, called an IVP, to look for the stone. You may need a test called an ultrasound to look for the stone Other tests may also be needed to find what is causing your stones.