Hard deposits of minerals and salts formed 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 are generally formed 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 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 advices immediate surgery to prevent further complications.
Kidney stones are mostly very painful and can thus easily be diagnosed. Kidney stones vary in size, 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. Below are mentioned 8 signs and symptoms of kidney stones:
- Pain- Pain during kidney stones is one of the most severe kinds of pain an individual can have or imagine. It is often compared to pain during childbirth or being stabbed with a knife! There are more than 1 million patients in Emergency rooms of hospitals each year due to pain during kidney stones. Pain is generally experienced when the stone moves to the ureter. This causes blockage in the narrow ureters and builds up pressure in the kidneys. 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.
- 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.
- Urgent need to Urinate- The patient feels the urge or need to urinate more frequently than the 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 symptom of kidney stones is called Hematuria. The blood in urine can vary in color from red to pink or brown.
- Smelly or Cloudy Urine- 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 is generally due to the presence of bacteria. Urine more concentrated 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. Approximately, about 8% of patients with acute kidney stones are diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infections along with it.
- Urinating lesser than the usual- Kidney stones large in size get stuck in the ureters. This blocks the ureters and slows the normal flow of urine. In this case, the patient urinates frequently but always a little each time. In severe cases, the urine flow can stop completely, requiring urgent medical assistance.
- Nausea and Vomiting- Due to intense pain or large kidney stones, the stomach gets upset, causing nausea and vomiting.
- Fever- High fever and feeling cold are other common complaints of patients with kidney stones. This is frequently observed in case of infections in the urinary tract or the kidneys. This condition can be harmful and complicate the condition of kidney stones. The patient may also feel cold and shivers frequently.
Risk Factors of Kidney Stones
- Family History- Kidney Stones is common among people with the disease running in the family. If anyone in the family has kidney stones or have had them in the past, one is on 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.
Also Read: 20 Home Remedies for Kidney Stones