8 Warning Symptoms That You Could Have Kidney Stones

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The kidneys play an incredibly essential role in the human body, which is to remove the unnecessary waste and fluid that comes from the bloodstream through urine. Kidney stones, on the other hand, occur when the deposits of salts, minerals, and calcium oxalate crystalize and bind together inside the kidneys.
When urine becomes concentrated and crystalized, it causes kidney stones to form, which can create a number of issues within the body. They can form different sizes, and tend to cause intense pain, more so when stones are naturally passed through the urinary tract. But in cases when the stones are too big, they can only be removed via surgery. While some stones are just a fraction of an inch, in extreme cases, some can grow so large that they take up the entire kidney.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, ‘more than half a million people go to the emergency room for kidney stone problems.’ At the same, it’s estimated that at least one in 10 people will end up with a kidney stone at one point in their lives. Moreover, the percentage of individuals suffering from kidney stones has increased from 3.8% in the late 1970s to 8.8% in the late 2000s.
Getting kidney stones is more common in people that are obese or have diabetes, or also due to a genetic condition known as cystinuria, albeit rare. While smaller sized stones have the ability to pass on their own, others can cause major damage and complications if left untreated. While some are so small that people don’t even notice them, and they pass it naturally, there are other times when the stone is bigger in size, and you will likely feel some symptoms.
Here are 8 warning signs that you may have a kidney stone.

1. Pain In Your Back, Side, or Belly

One of the most common signs that you may be suffering from kidney stones is feeling pain in your back, side, or belly. In fact, some cases of kidney stone pain, called renal colic, is so intense that people compare it to getting stabbed with a knife or the same pain that comes with childbirth. This type of pain causes over half a million visits to the ER each year. While bigger sized stones can be more painful, even little ones can cause extreme pain or blockage.
Usually, the pain begins when the kidney stone moves into the ureter, which is quite narrow. It ends up causing a blockage, which then ends up causing pressure build up within the kidney. This same pressure also activates nerve fibers, which are what signal the brain to the pain. This pain has a tendency to start quickly and even change in intensity and location as it moves.
In addition, the pain associated with kidney stones is said to come in waves, usually worsening when the ureter contracts and tries to push the stone out. While these waves of pain can last for a few minutes, they usually disappear then comes back again. Most people complain that they feel the pain in their back, along their side, and below the ribs, but there are also times when the pain radiates towards the belly and groin area as the stone moves downward through the urinary tract.