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What can cause kidney stones?

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Quick Answer

Excess calcium oxalate in the blood, too high a concentration of uric acid, certain hereditary disorders and urinary tract infections can all cause kidney stones, says Mayo Clinic. There are several different types of kidney stone, and each has a different cause.

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Full Answer

There are several risk factors that make kidney stones more likely to occur, including obesity, gastric surgery, dehydration, family history and diets high in sodium, states Mayo Clinic. In addition, once a person has had a kidney stone, they are more likely to get another. Regardless of the cause, different types of kidney stones cause many of the same symptoms, which can include pain on urination, discolored urine, nausea, severe pain in the back or a persistent need to urinate. Other possible symptoms include foul-smelling urine, nausea, vomiting or cloudy urine.

Treatment depends on the size of the kidney stones and the severity of the symptoms they cause, says Mayo Clinic. With mild kidney stones, plenty of water, pain relievers and special medications to relax the ureter may be all that is needed to be able to pass the stone. For larger stones that cause more severe symptoms, sound waves may be used to break up the stone to allow it to pass, or surgery may be required to remove it.

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