Kidney stones form when the normal balance of water, minerals and salts in the urine changes, explains WebMD. Insufficient fluid intake and certain medical conditions such as gout, Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease are common causes of kidney stones. Kidney stones may also be hereditary or form when the parathyroid gland produces excess hormones, leading to higher calcium levels in the urine and the development of calcium kidney stones.
All kidney stones form in the kidneys, and some remain there, causing no pain, notes WebMD. However, if the kidney stone travels through the urinary tract tubes and into the urethra or bladder, symptoms of kidney stones may develop if the stone is large enough.
Movement of kidney stones may cause severe pain with a sudden onset that intensifies in waves, reports WebMD. The pain may occur in the genitals, groin, abdomen, side or back. Additional symptoms include nausea and vomiting, blood in the urine, and frequent and painful urination, especially if the stone moves into the urethra or ureter.
Treatment for kidney stones depends on the size of the stone and whether the doctor believes the patient can pass it, according to WebMD. Many times, the doctor advises the patient to increase fluid intake and use nonprescription pain medications until the stone passes. If the stone blocks the urinary tract or if the patient has an infection, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove the stone.