Ureteral stones are when minerals crystalize in the kidney to form hardened stones, and the stones subsequently pass down the ureters. When these stones become stuck in the ureteral pathway, negative health affects often take place and require proper treatment by a professional.
The causes of ureteral stones mimic those of kidney stones since the stones themselves originate in the kidney. Causes include genetics, certain diseases/conditions, obesity, diet, and lack of proper hydration.
Symptoms of ureteral stones include pain and discomfort in the flank, upper back, and upper abdomen, blood in the urine, nausea/vomiting, and potential fever if infection is present.
Similarly to kidney stones, ureteral stones are typically diagnosed with CT scans, x-rays, and ultrasounds that give the urologist a precise image of the location and size of the stone, or stones.
Efforts to help the stone pass naturally can be attempted, but once the stone becomes lodged in the narrow ureters, surgical removal will most often be required.