Hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys are called Kidney Stones. There can be several causes of kidney stones. They affect the urinary tract and system including kidneys to urinary bladder of the individual. Kidney stones generally form when the urine becomes very thick and concentrated and it allows the minerals to stick together and crystallize, forming stones. If diagnosed in time, they pose no major threat to the health of the individual.
For the initial stages of the disease, the patient just requires medication and is suggested to drink a lot of water and fluids. But in case there are complications with the disease like the stone gets lodged in the urinary tract, it may cause infections and lead to more complications. Surgical removal is required in such cases. In case the patient gets no relief with the medications and other precautions by the doctor, the doctor advises immediate surgery to prevent further complications.
Kidney stones are mostly very painful and can thus easy to diagnose. Kidney stones vary in size and type, some may be an inch in size or other may be of the size of the entire kidney! One should never avoid the symptoms of kidney stones.
Given below are the 8 signs and symptoms of kidney stones:
Intense pain in the middle abdomen
Pain during kidney stones is one of the most severe pain an individual can have or imagine. Pain due to kidney stones is sudden and spontaneous. The location and intensity of this pain increases as the stone changes its position. Stones larger in size cause more pain. Pain that kidney stones cause is almost like the pain during childbirth or being stabbed with a knife! According to surveys, there are more than 1 million patients in emergency rooms of hospitals each year due to pain that kidney stones cause. The intense pain usually arises when the stone moves from its place of origin. If a kidney stone moves to the ureter, it blocks the passage and builds up pressure in the kidneys.
Burning Sensation or Pain while urinating
The patient starts experiencing pain while urinating if the stone reaches or is located at the junction oft he ureter and the urinary bladder. This condition has been medically termed as Dysuria. This causes a sharp pain or burning sensation. Patients with Urinary Tract Infection also encounter similar pain.
Frequent urgent urges to Urinate
The patient feels the urge or need to urinate more frequently than usual in case the kidney stone has moved to the lower region of the urinary tract. The patient, in such a case, urinates frequently even during the night.
Blood in Urine
Patients with stones in the Urinary tract generally complain of blood in the urine. This condition of the presence of blood in urine is Hematuria. The blood in urine can vary in color from red to pink or brown. This symptom of kidney stone arises when the stone damages kidney or any other part of the urinary tract.
Smelly or Cloudy Urine is an alarming sign of kidney stones
In normal cases, the urine is clear and not very smelly. But in the case of kidney stones, urine can be cloudy or very foul-smelling. The foul smell of urine is due to the presence of harmful bacteria. More concentrated urine than the normal can also give a foul smell. The cloudiness of urine is due to the presence of pus or pyuria in the urine. This can be a sign of infection in the kidneys or other parts of the Urinary Tract or System.
It is a fact that about 8% of patients with acute kidney stones suffer from Urinary Tract Infections too.
Urinating lesser than the usual can indicate kidney stones
Kidney stones that are comparatively large in size can get stuck in the ureters. This blocks the ureters and slows the normal flow of urine. In this case, the patient urinates more frequently than usual but is unable to empty the bladder. In severe cases of kidney stones where a stone obstructs ureter or urethra, the urine flow can stop completely. It results in an emergency situation that requires urgent treatment of kidney stones.
Nausea and Vomiting comprise the early symptoms of kidney stones
The stomach can get upset as a result of intense pain or large kidneys stones. This results in nausea and vomiting.
Fever due to kidney stones
High fever and feeling cold are other common complaints of patients with kidney stones. Fever is more in the case of infections in the urinary tract or the kidneys. This condition can be harmful and complicate your condition of kidney stones. The person suffering from kidney stones may also feel cold and shivers frequently.
Also Read: Are you mistaking Back pain for Kidney pain?
Risk Factors of Kidney Stones
- Family History– Kidney Stones are common among people with the disease running in the family. If anyone in the family has kidney stones or has had them in the past, one is at high risk of getting them.
- Dehydration– Insufficient water consumption increases the risk of developing kidney stones. People living in places with warm or humid weather have a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
- Obesity- People with relatively high BMI have a comparatively high risk of kidney stones.
Previous Surgeries or Disease of Digestive System- Chronic Diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Gastric Bypass Surgery, etc can affect the digestive system. Such diseases or surgeries can affect the normal absorption of water and calcium and lead to the formation of stones in the kidneys.
Treatment for Kidney Stones
It is obvious that you cannot leave kidney stones untreated after confirming the symptoms. The treatment for kidney stones is not a major reason to worry about. There are effective medications available to pass them out of the body. If you have multiple or large kidney stones, the doctor suggests you undergo surgical treatment. The modern surgical treatment for kidney stones is quite effective. The shock waves used in the treatment crush the stones that ultimately pass out with the urine. This surgical treatment for kidney stones is Lithotripsy.