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Understanding Kidney Stones -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?

Often there are no symptoms of a kidney stone until it starts to move and blocks the flow of urine.

When this happens, symptoms may include:

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Understanding Kidney Stones -- Prevention

You can do many things to help prevent a recurrence of kidney stones. Knowing the stone's specific mineral composition can help determine which preventive steps are most likely to reduce your risk of getting another kidney stone. Check with your health care provider before making any major changes in your diet, but these general guidelines may help. Drink 2 to 3 quarts of liquid every day. Drinking plenty of fluid is probably the most important way to prevent future stones since this will...

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  • Waves of sharp pain in your back and side or lower abdomen. The pain may move toward the groin or testicles.
  • Inability to find a comfortable position. People with kidney stones often pace the floor.
  • Nausea and vomiting with ongoing flank pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • The frequent urge to urinate

Sometimes an infection is also present, and may cause these additional symptoms:

  • Fever and chills
  • Painful urination
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?

Because the symptoms of kidney stones can also be signs of other urinary problems, your health care provider will confirm that you have a kidney stone with blood and urine tests. Imaging studies may also be used to examine your kidneys and urinary system including:

  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) 
  • X-ray called a "KUB" for kidney-ureter-bladder X-Ray

 

Call Your Doctor About Kidney Stones If:

  • You suspect that you have a kidney stone
  • You're experiencing waves of sharp pain in your back, side, abdomen, or groin
  • You're experiencing any pain or difficulty with urination
  • You notice blood in your urine

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 31, 2014

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