In medicine, a calculus is a stone-like hard mass that can form in various parts of the body, such as the kidneys, bladder, gallbladder, and salivary glands.
Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are one of the most common types of calculus. They form when minerals, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, in the urine become concentrated and crystallize. The crystals can then join together to form a stone that can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Kidney stones can cause intense pain and other symptoms, and may require medical intervention to remove.
Gallstones are another type of calculus that can form in the gallbladder, a small organ located beneath the liver. They are composed of cholesterol, bilirubin, and other substances, and can range in size from tiny grains to large stones. Gallstones can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and other symptoms, and may need to be removed if they cause problems.
Other types of calculi can form in the salivary glands, prostate gland, and other areas of the body. Treatment for calculi may depend on the size and location of the stone, as well as the symptoms it is causing. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help break down the stone, while in other cases surgery or other procedures may be necessary to remove it.