At the International Kidney Stone Institute, our goal is nothing less than the cure.


What are the symptoms of a kidney stone?

The first symptom of a kidney stone is usually pain.  The pain may begin suddenly and be felt as a sharp, stabbing in the back just under the rib cage.  This pain is often referred to as “colic” and usually occurs when a stone blocks the flow of urine out of the kidney.  The ureter is a long narrow tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.  Once a stone moves from the kidney into the ureter, it is more likely to produce symptoms.  As it makes its way towards the bladder, the pain may move into the lower abdomen or groin.  A patient may experience nausea and/or vomiting when the pain is present and may also feel the need to urinate more frequently or have burning upon urination.

The severity of symptoms does not necessarily correlate with the size of the stone.  While small stones can cause significant pain, some stones may not produce any symptoms, particularly those located in the kidney itself.  These kidney stones may be discovered if a trace of blood is found in the urine that is not visible to the naked eye.  While these stones may not cause discomfort, they are important to diagnose because they may grow too large to pass out of the urinary tract.

If infection in the urine accompanies a kidney stone, a patient may experience fever or chills.  This condition may be life threatening and medical attention should be sought immediately.

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