What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
For some people, a kidney stone may just stay in a kidney and cause no symptoms. Other kidney stones may travel out of your body in your urine without you knowing anything about it. If symptoms do occur, they include:
- Pain from a kidney. A stone that is stuck in a kidney may cause pain in the side of your abdomen (loin). This pain can be very severe and cause you to feel sweaty and be sick (vomit).
- Renal colic:
- This is a severe pain which is caused by a stone that passes into the tube (the ureter) draining urine from the kidney.
- The stone becomes stuck. The ureter squeezes the stone towards the bladder, which causes intense pain in the side of your tummy (abdomen).
- The pain caused by renal colic may last from a few minutes to a few hours. The pain comes in spasms and between these spasms there may be intervals of no pain or just a dull ache.
- The pain may spread down into the lower abdomen or groin. You may sweat, feel sick or even vomit because the pain can be very bad.
- Blood in your urine. You may see blood in your urine (the urine turns red). This is caused by a stone rubbing against the inside of your ureter.
- Urine infection. Urine infections are more common in people with kidney stones. Urine infections may cause high temperature (fever), pain on passing urine (dysuria) and a need to pass urine more often.
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Further reading & references
- Guidelines on Urolithiasis; European Association of Urology (2015)
- CUA guideline on the evaluation and medical management of the kidney stone patient; Canadian Urological Association (November 2016)
- Guidelines for acute management of first presentation of renal/ureteric lithiasis (excluding pregnancy); British Association of Urological Surgeons (February 2012)
- Renal or ureteric colic - acute; NICE CKS, April 2015 (UK access only)
- Macneil F, Bariol S; Urinary stone disease - assessment and management. Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Oct 40(10):772-5.
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