Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones don’t always cause symptoms. When they’re small, they may pass on their own without pain. However, large stones may block urine flow, which can cause a number of painful symptoms that can be severe. This can happen when a kidney stone becomes stuck in the ureter, which is the tube that connects your bladder to your kidneys. However, the size of the stone doesn’t always correspond to the severity of the pain. Sometimes, a kidney stone can lodge in a certain area in your kidney and cause discomfort. The pain a kidney stone causes can vary as it moves around in your kidney and down the ureter.
The location of the stone and its progress through your urinary tract can affect the type of symptoms you experience. Many people describe the feeling of kidney stones as a sharp pain on one side of their back or lower abdomen. The pain often starts abruptly and then lingers, becoming more intense over time. The affected area can also spread to include the groin area and lower abdomen.
You may experience constant pain, or the pain may come and go in waves, sometimes lasting for a few minutes and then disappearing, only to resurface again about 10 minutes later. In some cases, the pain may last for a longer time while fluctuating in intensity. A change in the level of intensity may occur as the stone moves to a different position in your urinary tract.
In addition to feeling severe pain in your back or side below your ribs, a number of other symptoms may also occur with kidney stones. One of the most common is problems with urination. This can include:
pain while urinating
urine that appears cloudy
urine that smells differently than it normally does
an urge to urinate more often than usual
Blood present in the urine due to kidney stones can also cause urine to appear brown, pink, or red.
You should see your doctor if you have pain with any of the following symptoms:
These symptoms may indicate that you have an infection.
You should also seek medical help if you have:
pain that becomes so severe you can’t sit, stand, or lie down comfortably
blood in your urine
If you’re uncertain whether your symptoms might be related to kidney stones, the clock may provide you with clues. Pain from kidney stones usually starts either late at night or early in the morning. This is because people generally urinate less frequently at night or in the early morning, and the ureter is usually constricted in the morning.