Have you been experiencing discomfort when urinating? You probably haven’t been drinking enough water. More so, if this has been a recurring condition for you, you must have acquired kidney stones already. Based on the information from Mayo Clinic, kidney stones “are hard deposits made of salts and materials forming inside the kidneys.

Many causes are impacting any part of a human’s urinary tract–from his kidneys to his bladder. Frequently, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, letting the minerals to stick together and crystallize.

11 Symptoms of Kidney Stone You Should Be Aware Of

Depending on the situation or condition, a person may need nothing else than to take a pain reliever and drink plenty of water for the kidney stone to pass. In certain circumstances, for instance, if the stones become lodged inside the urinary tract, they become associated with an infection in the urinary tract or result in complications. If this happens, there may be a need for surgery. 

There is a need for treatment if these 11 symptoms become evident: 

  1. Severe back pain, in the side, or underneath the ribs
  2. Too much pain radiating to the groin and lower abdomen 
  3. Pain comes in waves and fluctuating in intensity 
  4. Severe pain when urinating urination
  5. Brownish, reddish or pinkish urine 
  6. Foul-smelling or cloudy urine 
  7. Vomiting and nausea
  8. The persistent need for urinating
  9. Urinating quite more often than the normal
  10. Chills and fevers in the presence of infection
  11. Frequently urinating and in small amounts

Kidney Stone Infographics

When to see a doctor

Symptoms of kidney stones may be a lot, even more than the 11 signs above. However, they should not be that alarming. Should you feel any or all of those above, it is ideal to see your doctor. More so, consult your doctor if you experience the following.

  • Too much pain that you can no longer sit still or comfortably
  • Intense pain with vomiting and nausea
  • Severe pain with chills and fever
  • Blood in the urine
  • Finding it difficult to pass urine

Kidney stones frequently do not have definite, single cause, even though several factors may become too risky. The kidney stones buildup when the urine has more substances that are crystal-forming. These substances, including oxalate, uric acid, and calcium, are more than the liquid your urine can dilute. Simultaneously, the substances may not exist in urine and these substances, so the crystals don’t stick and give the kidney stones the chance to form.

Types of Kidney Stones

Knowing the kidney stone type can help identify the cause, not to mention, give clues on the manner of reducing the risk of allowing more kidney stones buildup. Below are the types of kidney stones you need to know:

  • Calcium Stones
    • The majority of kidney stones are calcium stones, typically in calcium oxalate form. Oxalate is a naturally occurring element which the food contains and made every day by the liver. Vegetables, fruits, and even chocolates and nuts are high in oxalate content.
  • Struvite Stones
    • These stones form responding to an infection like the urinary tract infection, for one. Struvite stones can develop and grow more significant fast and become large stones. Sometimes, they show some symptoms or a small warning.
  • Uric Acid Stones
    • They can form in an individual who does not drink adequate fluids or someone who loses too much liquid; those who are into a high-protein diet, and people suffering from gout. Certain hereditary factors may increase the risk of uric acid stones, as well.
  • Cystine stones
    • Cystine stones form in individuals with a genetic disorder that lead the kidneys to expel or eliminate lots of specific amino acids called cystinuria.

Treating the Disorder

Kidney stones treatment is dependent on the stone size, its composition, and if it is causing pain or blocking the urinary tract. To address such conditions and to identify the proper treatment for you, there may be a chance that your doctor will ask you to undergo a urine test, a CT scan and/or x-ray test, or blood test. 

If the results show that the kidney stone is just small, your doctor may only recommend for a pain reliever intake or drink enough fluids so these fluids can help push the small stone through your urinary tract. However, if the kidney stone comes out large in the test result, or, if it is already blocking your urinary tract, there may be a need for additional treatment.

One treatment for this is the shock wave lithotripsy, which utilizes shock waves in order to break the stones into smaller pieces. Following the procedure, these small pieces of kidney stones pass through your urinary tract, then, out of your body along with the urine.

Another form of treatment to prevent kidney stones is the ureteroscopy. This therapy is also administered under the effect of general anesthesia. For small stone, its removal is one form of treatment, and for the large stone, there may be a need to break it into smaller pieces. With this condition, the doctor uses a laser to break the said stones, small enough to pass through the urinary tract.

In rare conditions, there is a need for an operation also known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy for kidney stone’s removal. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a tube directly into the kidney to take out the stone. You need to be in the hospital for up to 3 days so you can recover from such a treatment.

Risk factors

Several factors can increase the risk of an individual to develop kidney stones. Some of the risks include: 

  • Personal or family background or history – This means that someone in the family as kidney stones and you are more likely to develop them, as well.
  • Dehydration – You must not have been drinking sufficient water every day, and this can increase the risk of the disorder. Relatively, people living in warm climates, as well as those sweating too much may have a higher risk of developing kidney stones than the others.
  • Specific Diets – high-protein diet, as well as salty and sugary foods,  give you big chances of developing a type of kidney stones. Substantially, too much consumption of salt in your regular meals certainly increases the amount of calcium the kidneys need to filter. This then increases the risk.
  • Obesity – Having a high BMI or high body mass index, large-sized waist, and consistent weight gain all have something to do with the risks of kidney stones.