Kidney stones (renal calculi) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. They start as microscopic particles and develop into stones over time. Kidney stones may be as small as a grain of sand and as large as a small pebble.
There are many causes, including diet, some medical conditions, overweight and certain supplements/medications.
There are four main types of kidney stones, which affect three times more men than women.
Kidney stones can block the flow of urine and cause infection, kidney damage and kidney failure. They can cause great pain known as renal colic.
Treatment begins with a full medical assessment. Tests ordered may include urine test, blood test, CT scan, xray and/or renal ultrasound. A kidney stone may be teated with various interventions including breaking up the stones using ultrasound waves or surgical removal.
Avoiding recurrence of kidney stones may involve changing medications, reducing salt in your diet and drinking plenty of water.
For more information see this Better Health Victoria Kidney Stones page.