What helps against kidney stones

What are the causes of kidney stones, what symptoms can be recognized by them, how to treat and prevent them

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Kidney stones - briefly explained

  • Kidney stones are formed when components of the urine crystallize out.
  • Stones can be found anywhere in the urinary tract. If there is a stone in the kidney, it is called a kidney stone. In the ureter it is called the ureteral stone, in the bladder it is called a bladder stone. The generic term for all forms is urinary stone.
  • The stones are often as small as grains of rice, some are several centimeters in size.
  • Urinary stones can go unnoticed or cause problems, for example renal colic with pain, nausea and vomiting.
  • The therapy depends on the size, type and location of the stone: Small stones often come off by themselves with the urine. Larger stones can be removed in a small operation or crushed with external pressure waves. Some stones can be dissolved with medication.
  • A urinary stone analysis helps prevent further stones.

How common are kidney stones?

Kidney stone or urinary stone disease (technically nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis) is widespread. Statistically speaking, around five percent of adults in this country have to expect to develop kidney or ureter stones at least once in their life. Overall, more men than women are affected. People between the ages of 30 and 60 are most likely to get sick.

Urinary stones can enter the ureter from the kidney

© mauritius images / BSIP

The incidence of urinary stones has increased in the western industrialized nations. One cause is an unhealthy lifestyle, which can lead to obesity and secondary diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

This guide provides information about kidney and ureter stones. Information specifically on bladder stones can be found here: