Kidney stones, a common health condition, can be incredibly painful and disruptive to daily life. These hard deposits made of minerals and salts often form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and bind together.
Recognizing the signs early can make a significant difference in managing the pain and treating the condition. In this article, we’ll explore six tell-tale signs that may indicate you have kidney stones and discuss what steps to take if you suspect you’re affected.
Signs to Look For:
Pain in the Abdomen or Side:
One of the most common symptoms of kidney stones is a severe, sharp pain that starts suddenly and may gradually move to the lower abdomen or side. The pain usually occurs when a stone passes from the kidney to the outside of your body. This pain can sometimes be confused with appendicitis, but kidney stones are different in the aspect that they can move around your body, causing the pain to disperse and return to different areas.
Nausea or Vomiting:
Nausea or vomiting is another common symptom associated with kidney stones. This feeling of nausea can be accompanied by a general uneasiness and may become so severe that it leads to vomiting. If you do experience vomiting, it’s a good idea to seek immediate medical help since dehydration can be a side effect of this symptom.
Fever or Chills:
Fever and chills are another sign that something is amiss in your body and should not be ignored. If you find yourself with an elevated temperature then there may be an infection somewhere in your system, which could be the result of a kidney stone irritating your urinary tract.
The pain associated with passing a kidney stone can cause discomfort when urinating. You may find that you have difficulty initiating urination, and experience an intense burning or stinging sensation while doing so. In some cases, urine may also appear cloudy or contain traces of blood.
Difficulty Passing Urine:
Having difficulty passing urine is also a key symptom that something could be wrong. This can be due to the presence of a kidney stone blocking the urinary tract, causing an obstruction and making it harder to void your bladder. You may also find yourself going to the bathroom more often than usual, but only releasing a small amount of urine at a time.
Feeling the Need to Urinate More Frequently:
If you find yourself needing to go more often than usual, it could be that your body is trying to pass out an obstructive kidney stone. Smaller stones can also make their way into the bladder and irritate the walls, leading to frequent urination.
When to Seek Medical Help
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above and feel that they may be related to kidney stones then it’s important to seek medical help immediately. Your doctor can help diagnose the condition accurately and provide advice on appropriate treatment options. They can also refer you for imaging tests such as CT scans to confirm the presence of kidney stones.
In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water and fluids throughout the day as this will help flush out any stones that may be present in your system. You should also consider avoiding foods high in oxalates such as spinach and rhubarb, as these can increase your risk of developing kidney stones.