Symptoms of kidney stones
Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms and pass through the body without being noticed. But sometimes stones can cause great pain. Back or side pain that won't go away is the primary symptom of a kidney stone. The pain typically starts just below your ribs on the back side of the body and radiates to the lower abdomen and/or groin. You may also have pinkish or foul-smelling urine, fever or painful urination.
Until a kidney stone moves into the ureter - the tube connecting the kidney and bladder - you may not be aware of any problem. When a stone is passing through the ureter, these signs and symptoms may occur:
Kidney stones that don't cause symptoms may be veiwed on X-rays when you seek medical care for other problems, such as blood in your urine or recurring urinary tract infections.
If a kidney stone remains inside a kidney, it usually doesn't cause a problem unless it becomes so large that it blocks the flow of urine. This can cause pressure and pain, along with the risk of kidney damage, bleeding and infection. Smaller stones may partially block the thin tubes that connect each kidney to your bladder or the outlet from the bladder itself. These stones may cause ongoing urinary tract infections or kidney damage if left untreated.
When to seek help
If you have ever experienced a kidney stone, you may already know how painful it can be. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without help from a doctor. But sometimes a stone will not pass. It may even get larger. Your doctor can help. You should call your doctor if you experience any of the following. These may be signs of a kidney stone that needs a doctor's care.
If you notice that you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate kidney stones, see your doctor. The sooner that you see your doctor, then the sooner you can be diagnosed and begin treatment. Also, by seeing your doctor, you'll be able to determine if you have kidney stones or if another condition is causing symptoms. For information on how doctors diagnose kidney stones and how doctors evaluate what do kidney stones feel like , read the Kidney Stone Diagnosis section that follows.
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