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Kidney stones also known as Renal Calculi are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract In the US alone over one million people suffer from kidney stones each year A kidney stone is a solid lump from as small as a grain of sand to as large as the size of a golf ball made up of crystals that separate from urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney Between 70 and 90 of crystals remain tiny enough so that they can travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body without being noticed When they cause symptoms however kidney stones have been described as one of the most painful disorders to afflict human beings A kidney stone normally begins as a tiny speck of solid material deposited in the middle of the kidney where urine collects before flowing into the ureter As more material clings to the first speck it gradually builds into a solid object This process can occur in one or both kidneys Kidney stones can be composed of a variety of substances The most common types of kidney stones include calcium stones uric acid stones and struvite stones About 70 to 80 of all kidney stones are comprised of calcium and phosphate or calcium and oxalate About 7 of stones are made up of uric acid Uric acid is a crystal that is the end product of purine metabolism Another 5 of stones are made of magnesium ammonium phosphate and are referred to as struvite stones There are many potential causes of kidney stone formation In general they are all a result of a super concentration of chemicals in the urine that results in crystals being formed This may be brought on by one or more of the following h a family genetic predisposition to form stones h an access of calcium or certain other minerals in the diet h excessive
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