What are kidney stones and how do we get them?
Stones are minerals that collect in the urine and get deposited either as gravel or as stones themselves that block the tubes, the plumbing, that comes down from the kidneys into the bladder and then beyond. And they can be various sizes, and they can be made up of various things, but most commonly it’s, calcium is at its core.
Why do we get kidney stones?
The commonest reason for having kidney stones is we don’t know. There’s probably a genetic risk of kidney stones, could be that you go through a period of dehydration with a little bit of risk, and the stones precipitate out of your urine, but it’s not really known fully. If you’re obese and you go through rapid weight loss then you can be at risk of kidney stones, and indeed gallstones as well. So there are various conditions which increase the risk, but most of the time they come out of the blue, very painful when they do occur.
Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist
Last Reviewed: 14/09/2020