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Kidney Stones 

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A kidney stone is a hard mass developed from crystals that separate from the urine within the urinary tract. Normally, the urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. When small crystals form, they will travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body in the urine without being noticed. However, when the crystals aggregate into larger masses, they can obstruct urine flow and result in significant pain as back pressure is transferred to the kidney. A stone as small as a grain of sand can cause significant pain. Stones may grow to the size of small marbles.

Possible signs of kidney stones include:

 Extreme pain
When a stone moves in the urinary tract and blocks the flow of urine, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Nausea and vomiting may occur. Pain may also spread to the groin.

 Blood in urine
As the stone moves and the body tries to push it out, blood may appear in the urine.

 Burning sensation
As the stone moves down the ureter, closer to the bladder, a person may feel the need to urinate more often or feel a burning sensation during urination.

If fever and chills accompany any of the symptoms, an infection may be present. This condition requires immediate care by a urologist who should be contacted through your primary care physician or the emergency room.

Kidney Stones Resources
 Diagnostic Tools

This information was compiled with help from the following Web sites. Please see them for more information on kidney transplantation and kidney stones.
National Library of Medicine
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

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