The best way of preventing kidney stones is to make sure you drink plenty of water each day to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Keeping your urine diluted helps to stop waste products getting too concentrated and forming stones.
You can tell how diluted your urine is by looking at its colour. The darker your urine is, the more concentrated it is.
Your urine is usually a dark yellow colour in the morning because it contains a build-up of waste products that your body has produced overnight.
Drinks such as tea, coffee and fruit juice can count towards your fluid intake, but water is the healthiest option and is best for preventing kidney stones developing.
You should also make sure you drink more when it's hot or when you're exercising, to replenish fluids lost through sweating.
Oxalates prevent calcium being absorbed by your body, and can accumulate in your kidney to form a stone.
Foods that contain oxalates include:
Don't reduce the amount of calcium in your diet unless your GP advises you to. This is because calcium is very important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
To avoid developing a uric acid stone, you should reduce the amount of meat, poultry and fish in your diet. You may also be prescribed medication to change the levels of acid or alkaline in your urine.
If you have a kidney stone, medication will usually be prescribed for pain relief or to prevent infections developing.
However, some medication may need to be reviewed by your GP if it's thought to be causing your kidney stone.
The type of medication your GP prescribes will depend on the type of kidney stone you have.
For example, if you have:
Herbal and green teas generally have lower amounts of oxalate than black tea. High amounts of oxalate can cause kidney stones, and the dietary recommendations for you would depend on the type of kidney stone that you have.
Symptoms of kidney stones include localized pain depending on the positioning of the stone, pain during urination, cloudy urine, odd-smelling urine, etc.
Methods to diagnose kidney stones are: abdominal ultra sound, blood tests to check for excess uric acid or calcium, CT-scan or X-ray, pyelography.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are usually used to treat and alleviate the pain, and in cases of severe pain, tramadol may be used. In the case of infection, antibiotics may be used.
Kidney stones can develop in one or both kidneys and most often affect people aged 30 to 60. They're quite common, with around three in 20 men and up to two in 20 women developing them at some stage of their lives.
Read about the symptoms of kidney stones, which usually only occur if a stone gets stuck in your kidney, if it starts to travel down the ureter, or if it causes an infection.
Find out what causes kidney stones. They're usually the result of a build-up of a substance such as calcium, ammonia or uric acid in the body.
Find out how kidney stones are diagnosed. Imaging tests, such as a computerised tomography (CT) scan, can be used to help confirm the diagnosis or locate a kidney stone.
Find out how kidney stones are treated. The treatment you'll need will depend on the size and type of kidney stone you have.