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Kidney stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that stick together to form small “pebbles.” They can be as small as grains of sand or as large as golf balls. They may stay in your kidneys or travel down the ureters, the tubes that conduct the urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
When a stone travels through a ureter, it may cause no pain. But in some cases it can cause severe pain and other symptoms.
Kidney stones form when a change occurs in the normal balance of water, salts, minerals or other things found in urine. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine clear. Some people are more likely to get kidney stones because of a medical condition or family history.
Kidney stones may also be an inherited disease. If other people in your family have had them, you may have them too.
Kidney stones often cause no pain while they are in the kidneys, but they can cause sudden, severe pain as they travel from the kidneys to the bladder.
These may be signs of a kidney stone that needs a doctor’s care.