The intense pain aspect of kidney stones symptoms is probably all you’ve heard about them. Unfortunately, the rumors are true: Of all the symptoms kidney stones can cause, pain is frequently the most obvious.
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It’s a good idea to become familiar with the specifics of how that exquisite pain manifests as well as the few other kidney stone symptoms you might encounter. I hope the following information on kidney stone symptoms is fascinating to you, but that it never personally helps you.
What Is a Kidney Stone?
According to Roger Sur, M.D., the director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center at UC San Diego Health, kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts that develop on the inner surface of the kidneys.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, kidney stones resemble little pebbles and can range in size from a grain of sand to a pea and can be any color, generally yellow or brown. They can also be smooth or jagged (NIDDK). Occasionally, they can even grow to the size of a golf ball (no words).
The NIDDK says that kidney stones are made of minerals that are typically present in urine, such as calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus, which are safe at low concentrations. The Mayo Clinic notes that this can happen when the urine gets more concentrated, which can happen as a result of things like dehydration, and that this is when the minerals start to aggregate and crystalize.
Kidney Stone Symptoms
I’ve got some awesome news for you guys: It’s entirely possible to have a kidney stone and not even be aware of it. According to Sur, this is frequently the case with little kidney stones since they can exit the body undetected. James Simon, M.D., a nephrologist at Cleveland Clinic, told Ghananewsaid.net that “a lot of them out there are never detected, or we find them inadvertently when we’re looking for other things.”
Naturally, kidney stone symptoms can often be rather unpleasant. To find out what you’re dealing with and how to seek help, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible if you encounter any of these kidney stone symptoms.
1. Sharp pain in your side and below your ribs
About that horrible agony now. The typical beginning point is when the kidney stone escapes and enters the ureter, the little tube connecting the kidneys and bladder. According to Simon, if the stone is large enough to block the ureter, it may cause the urine to flow back into the kidney, resulting in severe discomfort and edema near the damaged kidney.
According to Simon, the pain would be strong, sudden, and acute. It is typically felt at the base of the rib cage in your side and back, in the flank region. The greater the stone, Simon continues, the more difficult and unpleasant it is to pass. But even little stones can cause harm.
According to Simon, it is an indication that you should seek emergency care if the pain is so severe that you are unable to sit still or find relief.
2. Pain that comes and goes
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s also common for the pain to occur in waves or change severity. Simon notes that the condition might come and go, growing a bit worse and a little better as the ureter’s muscles attempt to move the stone. This could lead you to believe or hope that the pain was simply a brief, strange blip, only for the pain to recur and prove that there may be a more serious issue at hand.
3. Pain in the stomach or groin
According to Simon, the pain near the kidney may extend down into the lower abdomen or groin. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is because the pain may change location as it travels through the urinary tract. Although it may seem perplexing, your discomfort moving about is a common kidney stone symptom.
4. Nausea and vomiting
Some people experience so terrible pain that they begin to vomit, according to Simon. Whatever further kidney stone symptoms you may be experiencing, this is a very strong indication that something extremely dangerous is occurring within your body. It can also make the pain and other kidney stone symptoms feel even more depressing.
5. Fever and chills
This suggests that you might also be infected, according to the Mayo Clinic. According to the Mayo Clinic, certain stones can develop as a result of a urinary tract infection. Fever is a typical symptom of a UTI that has reached the kidney (the upper section of the urinary canal).
6. Pee that is cloudy or smells bad
According to the NIDDK, these are also typical symptoms of a kidney infection, so depending on what’s happening, they might possibly show up along with your kidney stones.
7. Red, pink, or brown urine
According to Simon, this is an indication of blood in the urine as a result of a passing stone nicking blood vessels in the tissue along your urinary system. (But, Simon notes, frequently the amount of blood is so minute that it would only be detected by a urinalysis test to look at your urine.)
8. Frequent urination and/or only passing a little amount of urine at a time
According to Simon, these urination symptoms frequently start when the stone is irritating the bladder or restricting the passage of urine. As these concerns might also be symptoms of other medical conditions, such as UTIs, it may be difficult to determine exactly what you’re experiencing.
Causes of Kidney Stones
The type of kidney stone you have will determine its likely etiology. There may be a clear and immediate cause in some situations, such as a urinary tract obstruction or a specific medical condition. But, it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of kidney stones in certain people.
We frequently don’t know the precise cause,” adds Simon. According to Simon, it’s often believed to be a combination of dietary factors, medical conditions, or hereditary predispositions.
For instance, according to the NIDDK, not drinking enough water and having a personal or family history of kidney stones may both be risk factors for developing kidney stones. It might also be a mix of a number of different renal problems, recurrent UTIs, chronic intestinal inflammation, or other potential risk factors.
According to the substance they are formed of and the reason they form, there are four primary types of kidney stones. Following are some of the proximal causes of the four different forms of kidney stones.
1. Calcium stones
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this is by far the most typical type, making up to 75% of kidney stones. The additional calcium that is not utilized by your bones and muscles normally travels to the kidneys to be eliminated through urine. The NIDDK notes that when calcium begins to accumulate and bond with other waste products in the kidney, it may form a tiny stone.
According to the NIDDK, sometimes this merely happens for reasons we don’t understand, and other times it arises as a result of a medical disease that results in too much calcium in the blood or urine (such hyperparathyroidism and hyperoxaluria).
2. Uric acid stones
They may develop if your urine contains too much acid. According to the NIDDK and the Mayo Clinic, this can occasionally be caused by consuming specific proteins like fish, shellfish, and meat (particularly organ meat). It can also be caused by dehydration. The Mayo Clinic states that certain hereditary factors and gout can both enhance your risk of developing uric acid stones.
3. Struvite stones
According to the NIDDK, these are the ones that can grow quickly and are more likely to occur after a UTI. They can also get rather large very suddenly, in which case the symptoms of a kidney stone may completely catch you off guard.
4. Cystine stones
According to the NIDDK, cystine stones are caused by a hereditary condition called cystinuria, which causes the amino acid cystine to leak out of the kidneys and into the urine.
How to Detect Kidney Stones
According to the NIDDK, clinicians can diagnose kidney stones using a variety of methods. Your doctor may also request the following tests after speaking with you about your symptoms and performing a physical examination:
Urinalysis: This urine test can reveal whether your urine has excessive concentrations of minerals that can cause kidney stones. Moreover, a urinalysis can determine whether your urine contains white blood cells, germs, or blood (the last two could indicate that you have a UTI).
Blood tests: To check for excessive amounts of specific minerals that can cause kidney stones, your doctor may ask for a sample of your blood.
Abodminal X -Ray:A image of your abdomen taken with an abdominal X-ray may be able to pinpoint where kidney stones may be located in your urinary system. One major caveat, though: Not all kidney stones can be seen on X-ray.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: CT scans produce images of your urinary tract using a combination of X-rays and computer technologies. You may occasionally receive an injection of contrast media, a dye, or another material to help imaging tests detect specific objects inside your body more clearly.
Kidney Stone Treatment
According to Simon, the type of stone, the underlying cause, the location, and the symptoms you’re dealing with all play a role in determining your treatment plan.
According to the Mayo Clinic, tiny stones can frequently be passed with time, enough liquids, and over-the-counter painkillers to dull the discomfort. An alpha blocker, which helps to relax the ureter to make passing the stone easier, may also be recommended by your doctor.
According to the NIDDK, larger stones that are causing incapacitating pain and/or clogging your urinary tract may require more comprehensive therapy. This can need a treatment to break up or remove the stone in addition to painkillers and IV fluids to treat the pain and dehydration (from vomiting). The Mayo Clinic notes that doctors can do surgery to remove the stones or utilize sound waves to break them apart.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones
You should discuss your options with your doctor because what you can do to prevent kidney stones in the future depends on the type of stone and your medical history, according to Simon. The Mayo Clinic notes that prevention methods may include drinking lots of water, changing your diet (such as consuming less salt or animal protein), or using different drugs to assist control the amounts of specific minerals in your urine.