A kidney stone may not be as big as the stones in your garden, but can be quite a pain. Kidney stones are actually mineral crystals that are usually a combination of calcium and phosphates. The size of a kidney stone ranges from the size of a sugar crystal to a ping pong ball. While some kidney stones pass out of the body along with urine, others can block the urethra and become painful.
In addition to being painful, a kidney stone can cause permanent damage to your kidneys. Since large kidney stones are usually painful, they rarely go undiagnosed. However, if a kidney stone is left untreated, it could cause the kidney to atrophy and lower the functionality of the kidney. Kidney stones that are related to an infection can also lead to chronic urinary tract infections and damage the kidney through scarring and inflammation. This could eventually lead to kidney failure.
Not all kidney stones need to be treated with surgery. If the kidney stone is very small, your doctor may prescribe plenty of water and medication to treat the pain. With plenty of water, you should be able to pass the stone in your urine. Ideally, you should take plenty of rest until the stone is passed.
Larger kidney stones may need you to be hospitalized for treatment. These are: