Recognize Kidney Stone Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Recognize Kidney Stone Symptoms

Renal calculus or kidney stones technically aren’t stones because they are made of minerals and acid salts but they are stone-hard enough to cause severe pain. Although kidney stones often leave the body by themselves, sometimes they block the urinary tract. Unless they are removed by a doctor, kidney stones can cause severe internal damage. It is very rare for a kidney stone to become so large that medical intervention is needed.

Kidney stone symptoms are similar to other medical conditions such as pancreatitis or appendicitis. Anyone suffering from kidney stone symptoms needs to see a doctor immediately in order to be sure they are not suffering from a more severe illness. Common kidney stone symptoms include changes in urine, pain, nausea or a fever. Occasionally, stones take days or weeks to pass. During this time, a patient may not be able to sleep and may suffer from mood swings, lack of concentration, difficulties learning, inability to make decisions and paranoia.

Changes in Urine

The most common kidney stone symptoms are sudden noticeable changes in urine appearance or frequency. Urine may change drastically in color depending on how much blood is present and how concentrated the urine is. Healthy urine should be light yellow to transparent in color. Urine of a person with kidney stones can be pink, brown or red. Blood can be present in urine even if the urine is yellow.

A person with kidney stones often experiences a powerful and constant need to urinate, whether or not the person can actually produce urine. Urinating becomes a painful endeavor.


Intermittent pains that come in waves and moves down the body are other common kidney stone symptoms. Pain often starts in the back under the ribs but then spreads down to the genitals as the body tries to push out the kidney stones. Men often feel pain in the testicles. Pain can be intense and bring tears to the eyes. People may feel contractions, spasms or cramps. This type of pain is called renal colic.

Pain can become so intense that a person cannot find any position to get relief, whether it’s sitting, lying down or standing up. No matter how tired a patient might be, the pain will force the body to constantly move about in a vain attempt to find a less painful position.

Other Symptoms

Patients may experience a host of other symptoms, depending on how large their stones are or if they have other medical complications such as a urinary tract infection. Other common symptoms include experiencing a fever with uncontrollable shivering and sweating.

Because of the severe pain in the abdomen, many people become intensely nauseated and vomit or dry heave if their stomachs are empty. They need to drink water and clear fluids to help the body push out the stones. It can be difficult to convince a patient suffering from severe nausea to try and drink. Unless the pain is controlled, patients may not be able to keep down water or other fluids. Encourage the patient to drink one or two teaspoons of water every fifteen minutes to prevent dehydration and help the stone to pass.

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