Kidney stones are small calcifications made up of acid salts and minerals that form inside of the kidney. Stones usually come about when urine becomes concentrated forming sharp solid crystals. Studies have shown that the leading cause of stone formation is lack of water. Not enough water can lead to a drop on the kidney’s pH level, allowing an acidic atmosphere. Excessive acidic levels contribute to the development of stones. It has also been found that calcium and vitamin D may help contribute to stone accumulation as well, raising the calcium levels in urine. Some stones may be small and pass through the ureters (the tube connecting the kidney and the urinary bladder) without notice. However, deposits can gradually grow to the size of a walnut, causing extreme pain on exit. If left untreated, stones may cause many issues including pain and even complete blockage of ureters. Most often symptoms usually go unnoticed until the stone makes its way down to the ureter preparing for exit. Symptoms include blood in urine, extreme pain, burning sensation, frequent and painful urination, nausea and vomiting. If experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to see your doctor. The best method to diagnose kidney stones would be via ultrasound or a CT scan.