Primary Symptoms of Kidney Stones That You Need to Know

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what are the symptoms of kidney problems

In India, 12% of the people are estimated to have kidney stones, out of which 50% may end up with the loss of kidney function or renal damage. The reasons behind such a high percentage occurrence of renal damage are many, including the fact that most of these cases go undiagnosed.

Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid — than the fluid in your urine can dilute. A kidney stone can be as tiny as a grain of sand, and you can pass it without ever knowing. But a bigger one can block your urine flow, and cause a lot of pain.

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Problems Like Stones?

So the main question is what are the symptoms of Kidney Problems? Here are the primary symptoms of kidney stones that will help you diagnose them in the early stages.

  • Severe, sharp pain in the belly, back, or side

The pain that arises from kidney stones, known as renal colic, is one of the most severe pains one can experience. The pain can sometimes be sharp, akin to getting stabbed with a knife. The kidney stones that are large enough, block the narrow ureter. The pain that occurs is the result of spasms triggered by a stone stuck in the ureter, coupled with pressure in the kidney from urine backup.

The pain is not stagnant at one place; it changes places as the kidney stone changes its location. There are also typical characteristics of the pain associated with kidney stones. The pain comes in recurring waves within certain intervals, and it radiates to the lower abdomen and groin region, as the stone moves down through your urinary tract.

Although very small stones might not cause pain, even relatively smaller stones that block your urine flow can cause an equally devastating pain.

  • Pain or burning sensation during urination

As the stone reaches the juncture between your ureter and urinary bladder, you will also start to experience pain, or a burning sensation while urinating. The burning sensation might also be because of a fungal or bacterial infection. Oftentimes, these symptoms are mistaken for a urinary tract infection (UTI). However, in a lot of cases, it has been seen that one has an infection along with a kidney stone.

  • Urinary urgency

Again, this is a symptom that is very similar to a urinary tract infection. When kidney stones are formed and your urine flow is blocked, pressure builds up in the bladder, but you feel unable to pass it. This gives people the urge to try and urinate multiple times. This is also another sign that the stone has moved into the lower part of your urinary tract.

  • Blood in the urine

This is an extremely common symptom in people with kidney stones. The color of the leaked blood might be red, pink or brown, and this phenomenon is medically termed as ‘haematuria’. Sometimes, doctors may also advise you to get tested for microscopic haematuria, because the blood cells are too small for the naked eye. 

  • Cloudy or smelly urine

Cloudy or foul-smelling urine is a symptom of a kidney stone. It usually implies a bacterial infection of the tract. The cloudiness is explained by the presence of pus in the urine.

  • Nausea and vomiting

People with kidney stones often vomit as a reaction to the intense pain. Stones in the kidneys can trigger nerves in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, causing an upset stomach.

Read Also: Neck Pain – Causes and Treatment

  • Chilly fever

Often, kidney stones cause fevers (at around 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) accompanied by chills and shivers. It signifies that there is an underlying infection in your kidney or another part of your urinary tract. There might also be underlying kidney problems.

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