Kidney and Ureteral Stones

Kidney and ureteral stones are very common, but it is difficult to get an accurate figure for the number of sufferers in Europe.

A stone is a hard mass which develops from crystals which separate from the urine within the urinary tract. They can be found in the kidneys, or in the ureter (the tube leading from the kidney to the bladder).

Kidney or ureter stones often pass without any discomfort but this disease can be amongst the most painful experiences known.  In the past, this was seen as a “Cinderella disease”, a disease which was reasonably common but with little public visibility. Today, however, more people are likely to form stones because of the changes in the Western diet and lifestyle.

Facts about kidney stones

  • Stones are common: about 1 in 10 people will form a stone at some point.
  • You have a 5 to 10% chance of forming a stone during your life.
  • Men form stones more often than women, with a ratio of 3 to 1. This difference is now becoming smaller, perhaps due to the changes in lifestyle and diet.
  • You are most likely to form a stone between the age of 30 and 50.
  • Stone patients often form stones more than once in their life.

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