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Renal lithiasis, also known as urolithiasis or nephrolithiasis, is a disease caused by the presence of calculi, or stones, inside the kidneys or urinary tract (ureter or bladder). A stone (calculus) can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pearl. Most kidney stones are eliminated naturally. Sometimes, a stone is not easy for the body to eliminate and medical or surgical treatment is required. During its elimination it may stay in the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and causing a great deal of pain and complications.

Renal lithiasis explained in first person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease
The most frequent way of presentation of renal lithiasis is through classic renal colic.

Urinary lithiasis is the presence of calculi, or stones, in the kidney and/or urinary tract (ureter or bladder). They form when there are high concentrations of substances that must be excreted in the urine after passing through the kidneys and urinary tract. Under certain circumstances, these substances precipitate and form what are referred to as stones. 

How many people are affected by Renal Lithiasis?

Renal lithiasis is a common disease affecting about 10% of the population in industrialised countries. It has become more prevalent over the past 50 years.

The risk of forming stones in your lifetime, for the general population, is 15% for men and 5-10% for women. It also has a very high recurrence rate (having another episode after the first): 50% of patients with kidney stones will have a further episode within 5 years; and 90% within 25 years.

Most of the individuals affected are young adults aged between 15 and 45. This problem is approximately twice as frequent in men as in women. 

A significant percentage of people with lithiasis have at least one first-degree relative who suffers the same condition. Hereditary lithiasis also exists. 

Substantiated information by:

Bárbara Romano Andrioni
Pilar Luque

Published: 16 November 2020
Updated: 16 November 2020

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