Have you ever suffered a sudden, excruciating pain in your lower back or abdomen? If so, you may have had the misfortune of experiencing symptoms of kidney stones.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are crystals that form in the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. The crystals are made of minerals like calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. Once formed, a kidney stone can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Several factors can contribute to the formation of kidney stones, including:
- Dehydration. Not drinking enough water can lead to a buildup of minerals in the kidneys and heighten the risk of stone formation.
- Diet. The likelihood of developing kidney stones increases by eating a diet high in salt, sugar, and animal protein.
- Medical conditions. Several conditions, such as gout and inflammatory bowel disease, can increase the likelihood of kidney stone formation.
- Genetics. Some people are more prone to developing kidney stones due to their genetics.
- Medications. Certain medications like diuretics and antacids can increase kidney stone formation.
Top 10 Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones
When kidney stones start to move through the urinary tract, they can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Here are the top 10 signs and symptoms of kidney stones.
- Pain in the back, side, or lower abdomen. This pain can come on suddenly and be intense, often causing people to seek medical attention.
- Painful urination. Kidney stones can cause pain and discomfort when urinating, and you may feel burning when you void.
- Blood in the urine. If you notice blood in your urine, this could be a sign of kidney stones. The blood may be visible or only show up on a urine test.
- Nausea and vomiting. Kidney stones can cause nausea and vomiting, especially if the pain is severe.
- Fever and chills. Kidney stones can sometimes cause a fever and chills, which are signs of an infection.
- Difficulty passing urine. If you have a kidney stone, you may have trouble passing urine or feel the urge to urinate more often.
- Foul-smelling urine. Kidney stones can cause urine to smell foul, especially if an infection is present.
- Cloudy or discolored urine. In addition to blood, kidney stones can cause urine to be cloudy or have a strange color.
- Pain during intercourse. If there is a kidney stone in the lower part of the urinary tract, it can cause pain during intercourse.
- Urinary incontinence. Kidney stones can sometimes cause the involuntary release of urine.
What To Do if You Think You Have Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be painful and uncomfortable, but with early detection and treatment, you can prevent them from causing long-term damage to your urinary system. Don’t wait to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing any signs and symptoms of kidney stones. Contact your doctor right away to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
And if you haven’t already, take steps to prevent kidney stones by staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and talking to your doctor about any risk factors you may have. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of kidney stones and seeking prompt treatment, you can help keep your urinary system healthy and pain-free. Call today (843) 347-2450 to schedule an appointment.