6 Signs You May Have a Kidney Stone

Approximately one out of every 11 people experience kidney stones in their life. While some kidney stones can be as small as the dot on this “i”, others can be 6 millimeters in length or longer. Because kidney stones can get stuck in the kidneys or ureter, they can cause severe discomfort. Here at Preva Surgicare - Surgery Center Of The Woodlands, we eliminate kidney stones with shockwave therapy or surgery. 

But how do you know if you have a kidney stone? In this article, we discuss the six common signs of kidney stones and how we treat them.

1. Renal colic

Renal colic refers to severe pain in your side, back, or lower abdomen. The pain is so intense it prompts over one million visits to the emergency room each year. The pain is often compared to the pains of childbirth.

2. Pain that radiates and comes in waves

Renal colic isn’t consistent pain. It comes in waves. Kidney stones (which often are made of calcium deposits or uric acid) first develop inside your kidney. You might not even realize you have a kidney stone at this point.

The situation intensifies when the kidney stone moves from the kidney into the ureter. The ureter (which is the tube that carries urine from your kidney to your bladder) is much smaller than your kidney, and depending on the size of the stone, it can block your ureter. This causes pressure to build up in your kidney, leading to pain. 

So why does the pain come in waves? As the stone moves throughout the ureter or as your body tries to push it out, you might get a temporary reprieve from the pain. 

3. Pain during urination

As the stone gets closer to your bladder, you might feel pain when you urinate. You might even think you have a urinary tract infection.

4. Discolored urine

Another common symptom of kidney stones is blood in the urine. This can make your urine discolored red, pink, or even brown. 

Note: it’s possible to have blood cells in your urine without any visible color changes. When your urine sample is tested, we check for blood cells since hematuria (blood in the urine) even if it’s not red because blood cells can be a marker for kidney stones.

5. Nausea and vomiting

If nerves in your kidneys are irritated by the kidney stone, it can stimulate nerves in your gastrointestinal tract too. This can lead to nausea and vomiting.

6. Frequent need to use the restroom

Urine urgency is a symptom of urinary tract infections, but it’s also a symptom of kidney stones. You might feel a sudden urge to go, and you might find yourself constantly running to the restroom. Additionally, you might notice that your flow is diminished. This can happen if you  have a blockage. 

Note: if urine flow/output stops completely, it’s considered a medical emergency. 

Treating kidney stones

If you have kidney stones (or suspect you do), the Stone Relief Center can help. Here at the Stone Relief Center, which is housed at Preva Surgicare - Surgery Center Of The Woodlands, we offer treatments for kidney stones. We often see patients on the same day or within 48 hours.

Treatments for kidney stones include:

If you have questions about kidney stone management or want to explore your treatment options, call us at 281-377-3706. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online.

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