Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Types of Kidney Stones
Committed to Safety: As we resume services, we are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe while we care for you. Limited visitation is now in place. Review all our visitor policies and precautions. Get more information on COVID-19.
There are four main types of kidney stones.
Most kidney stones are made of calcium compounds, especially calcium oxalate. Calcium phosphate and other minerals also may be present. Conditions that cause high calcium levels in the body, such as hyperparathyroidism, increase the risk of calcium stones. High levels of oxalate also increase the risk for calcium stones.
Certain medicines may prevent calcium stones.
Some kidney stones are made of uric acid, a waste product normally passed out of the body in the urine. You are more likely to have uric acid stones if you have:
Certain medicines may prevent or dissolve uric acid stones.
Some kidney stones are struvite stones. They can also be called infection stones if they occur with kidney or urinary tract infections (UTIs). These types of kidney stones sometimes are also called staghorn calculi if they grow large enough.
Struvite stones can be serious, because they are often large stones and may occur with an infection. Medical treatment, including antibiotics and removal of the stone, is usually needed for struvite stones. Women are affected more than men because of their higher risk of urinary tract infections.
Less common are kidney stones made of a chemical called cystine. Cystine stones are more likely to occur in people whose families have a condition that results in too much cystine in the urine (cystinuria).
Cystine stones may be prevented or dissolved with medicine. But this may be difficult and not very effective. If a stone causes blockage in the urinary tract or is too large, then it will need to be removed.
Current as of: August 12, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineTushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as of: August 12, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.