BeforeThe Urinary System and How It Works

The ureters carry waste, as urine, from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder, located in the lower abdomen, is a balloon-like organ that stores urine. A bladder can hold over a pint of urine. During urination, the urethra carries urine from the bottom of the bladder out of the body.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
What Does a Kidney Stone Look Like?
Can Kidney Stones Damage The Kidney?
Who Gets Kidney Stones?
Some physicians believe that our rich diet in the U.S. may promote the development of kidney stones. Experts note that the incidence of kidney stones has tripled in Japan since World War II – at the same time the Japanese diet has become more like our own.
A variety of other conditions are linked with kidney stone development. These include urinary tract blockage, urinary infections that recur, bowel disease, and certain inherited disorders. People who are paralyzed or who have to rest in bed for long periods of time are also at increased risk for kidney stones, as are men and women who fly long space missions.
Types of Stones and Their Causes
Hypercalciuria (too much calcium in the urine) often causes calcium oxalate stones to develop. Almost 40% of patients with calcium oxalate stones have an inherited metabolic disorder that causes a build-up of calcium in the urine. Certain drugs, such as furosemide (a diuretic), antacids, and steroids, also may cause an overload of calcium in the urine. Other factors associated with hypercalciuria include overactive parathyroid glands, too much vitamin A or D, and a diet high in purine from meat, fish, and poultry.
Another cause of calcium oxalate stones is too much oxalate in the urine. This can result from too much oxalate production by the body or not enough calcium in your diet. Large doses of vitamin C or not enough vitamin B can also lead to excess oxalate in the urine.
Five Common Types of Kidney Stones