Kidney stone or renal stone is a serious medical condition of the kidney also known as nephrolithiasis, in which stones are formed within the kidney. The stones are made up of hard deposits of minerals or crystals in either one or both kidneys.
Urolithiasis is another medical condition, where the stones are formed anywhere within the urinary tract.
A kidney stone is an alarming urological disease of human health, affecting about 12% of the people globally. Usually, it is associated with chronic kidney disease and may subsequently lead to the risk of end-stage renal failure or kidney failure.
There are different kinds of kidney stones but the most common stones formed are due to calcium oxalate, which forms a mass in the papillary surface of the kidneys.
The formation of kidney stones involves a complex process, results from several physicochemical changes like supersaturation, nucleation, growth, and aggregation of the urinary stone constituents within tubular cells of kidneys.
There is no specific age factor for Kidney stone formation, it can occur at any age but more likely in the age of 20–49 years. Among the genders, the condition is more prevalent in males than females.
Kidney stones are associated with many painful symptoms and discomforts. The severity of the symptoms are mainly associated with the size of the stone, the size varies and ranges from one inch to few inches, while in some case it may become too large and take up the whole kidney.
Other medical conditions can also lead to a high risk of developing kidney stones. These conditions include:
- Gout ( Increased level of uric acid in the blood)
- Hypercalciuria ( High level of calcium in the urine)
- People with inflammatory bowel diseases
- People underwent through ostomy surgery (Intestinal bypass)
Some medications can also increase the risk of kidney stones such as:
- Calcium containing antacids
- Drugs used to treat HIV infections such as Indinavir 
Types of kidney stones
The composition of kidney stones vary as they are formed from different crystals of different elements, it includes the following:
- Calcium: Calcium stones are the most common cause of kidney stones, they are consist of calcium oxalate or calcium malate.
- Uric acids: These kinds of kidney stones are more common in men than women. Acidic urine favors the formation of uric acid stones.
- Struvite: This kind of stone are mostly occurs in women than men. Usually, these stones are large and can also cause urinary obstruction or blockade.
- Cysteine: The cysteine-containing stone are less common kidney stones, it mostly occurs with a genetic medical condition known as Cystinuria, in both males and females.
10 Symptoms of kidney stones
The pain due to Kidney stones is also known as renal colic, it is one of the most severe types of pain felt in the back, belly or to a side just like stabbing. People sometimes compare this pain to the pain associated with childbirth or getting a sharp cut with a knife.
The Kidney pain is too severe that it accounts for more than one million people visits to the emergency department per year. The pain does not depends upon the size of the stone as often a smaller stone can trigger a severe kind of pain.
Usually, the kidney pain starts and aggravate as the stone starts moving downward from the kidney through the narrow ureter, where it may block the ureter and develops pressure in the kidney.
Apart from the generation of localized pain, the pressure developed also activates the pain receptors there and transmit the pain to the brain.
The pain usually starts suddenly, and the severity of the pain changes as the stone moves along the ureter or urinary tract.
The kidney stones patient experience this pain in the form of waves, which comes back and forth and then disappears for a period. The patient feels the pain along its side and back below the ribs. The pain then radiates to the lower abdominal region and groin area due to the movement of the stone through the urinary tract.
The kidney stone pain is unbearable and it takes some time to resolve.