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Kidney Stones Health Center

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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 -- Treatment

If you've had a kidney stone once, you're at an increased risk for another one. A urologist is frequently involved in deciding whether you'll need an extensive medical evaluation, including testing the amounts of various minerals in your urine, to assess further risks of stone formation. If your kidney stone is small, it may pass out of your body on its own within a few days or weeks. Your health care provider will likely ask you to drink lots of water -- 2 to 3 quarts a day -- and prescribe a pain...

Read the Understanding Kidney Stones -- Treatment article > >

  • 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:

  • CT scan
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) 
  • Ultrasound

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 Kimball Johnson, MD on March 20, 2013

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