Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones develop in the kidneys and are made from the buildup of minerals trapped in it. Usually, if the kidney stones remain in the kidney they don’t cause any pain. However, when they travel out of the body via the urinary tract, the ureters or urethra, the movement can cause sudden, severe pain. However, sometimes you may not experience and symptoms if the stones are small enough to pass through.
At that point when the kidney stone passes and moves around, you may begin experiencing the signs and symptoms of kidney stones. It is especially painful when the kidney stones are irregularly shaped and large in size. If they are small enough, you will hardly feel any signs and symptoms of kidney stones and the stones will just pass in your urine.
Facts about Kidney Stones
A kidney stone is a crystalline mineral that’s formed in within the kidney or in the urinary tract. The medical term for kidney stones is Nephrolithiasis and there said to be one in 20 people who suffer from kidney stones in their lifetime. It is not only adults who can develop kidney stones but even children as young as five years old.
They are formed if the urine volume decreases or when there is high presence of stone-forming substances in urine. Some of the substances that can cause the formation of kidney stones are sodium, calcium and oxalate. But dehydration is also a major risk factor that can cause for your body to develop kidney stones. Drinking a lot of water is crucial to preventing stones from forming.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Two of the most common signs and symptoms of kidney stones is pain on your side or back and blood in the urine. When you have witnessed these symptoms, it is important that you become extra attentive to any other signs and symptoms you might see. As such, it is best for you to know these signs and symptoms of kidney stones to be more aware:
- Severe pain – sharp, stabbing pain – usually in the side or the back, just below the ribs
- Pain that extends to your lower abdomen and groin
- Pain when urinating
- Pain which usually comes in waves then suddenly becomes intense
- Foul-smelling or cloudy urine
- Pink, reddish or brown urine
- Frequent need or urinating more than the usual
- Urinating but only in small amounts
- Fever and chills, usually when there’s infection
- Blood in the urine called hematuria
- Painful urination
Some of these signs and symptoms may also appear in several medical conditions such as urinary tract infection, hernias, prostatitis, appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy. One of the distinct symptoms that most people suffering from kidney stones would say that the pain is probably the worst pain they ever felt.
The pain caused by kidney stones might also change as they can either increase in intensity or shift to different location. This is because the stone moves through the urinary tract and thus the symptoms can slightly change. So, these are the most common signs and symptoms of kidney stones you need to be wary about.
When It Is Time to See a Doctor
When you noticed that you’ve been having some of the signs and symptoms above and it is worrying you, then it is best that you see a doctor as soon as possible. It is especially important that you seek medical attention when you experience the following symptoms:
- Extreme pain to the point you can’t be comfortable
- Pain with fever and chills
- Pain that comes with nausea and vomiting
- When there is blood in your urine
- Difficult for you to pass urine
When you experience these symptoms, don’t waste time anymore and seek medical attention immediately or your condition could get worse. When you feel uncomfortable and in unbearable pain, it is important that you don’t let it pass and seek for professional help as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Kidney Stones
As for the causes of kidney stones, there isn’t a definite or single cause but several factors that increase the risk of a person developing them. The usual case is that they are formed when the urine contains more of the substances that form to crystals such as uric acid, calcium and oxalate. When there are more of them than the fluid in urine that can dilute, kidney stones are formed.
Another factor that contributes to kidney stone formation is when the urine lacks any of the substances that prevent the crystal-forming substances from sticking together. When the urine lacks those substances, it creates an ideal environment that allow for kidney stones to form. In that case, in order to prevent kidney stones from forming, you have to make sure that the kidney is at its best condition.
Types of Kidney Stones
Also, it is good to know the different types of kidney stones. When you know the type, it is easier to determine its cause. At the same time, it can give clues as to how you can reduce the chances of getting more of these kidney stones. The types of kidney stones include calcium stones, uric acid stones, struvite stones, cystine stones and other types of stones.
Calcium stones are the most common and are usually formed from calcium oxalate. This substance can be found naturally in food such as chocolate and nuts while the liver produces them as well. When there is high concentration of oxalate and calcium in your urine, it can lead to kidney stones, especially when there isn’t anything to stop them from binding together.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of kidney stones can truly help you as you can be aware of what you feel and what could be causing it. This way, you can prevent anything else serious from happening and immediately get medical attention. When you have an idea of what could be causing the stones, then it’s much simpler for you prevent them.