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Non-Obstructive Kidney stone pain?

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I'm a 23 year old male with some terrible problems lately. So, for the past month and a half I have had flank pain in my right side. Right underneath my last rib, it extends around to my back, down my back and into my lower abdomen. I also get Nausea and horrible bloating.

I have had chest x-rays, a Gall Bladder ultrasound which showed my Gall bladder to be within normal function however, confirmed a Kidney stone in my right Kidney. Then I had a CT scan which confirmed a few stones in my right Kidney. Afterwards, the pain got much better. Now come a couple weeks later the pain is back worse then ever. I am missing work, pain all day everyday. It kind of waxes and wains, gets better, then gets immensly painful. I was into the ER on Tuesday, the doc felt no need to do anymore tests. Told me the usual, strain my urine. He also gave me vicodin.

Well, Friday once again. I was back in the ER with immense pain. This doc decided it was best to run blood work, urine test and a CT scan. Blood work was good, Urine was good. No blood present in urine nor infection.

However, the CT scan showed that my stones have had very little movement since my last scan, all else checked out good. The stones are located in my upper right kidney. The Doc said it is not unheard of to have pain from kidney stones when they are non obstructive. But he could not confirm this to be the cause of my pain. I'm suppose to see my primary Doctor on Monday and ask for a referal to a Urologist.
The Doctor today also said my Kidney seemed a bit backed up and the CT scan showed some irritation, or Inflamation or something along them lines, not sure what he was talking about there. Question
He also said that he tells his patients that stones that do not pass within 14-days require a referal to a urologist... Also that of course having stones for this long can't be good for the Kidney. However, he said again.. He can't conclude this is the cause of my problems but thinks it most likely is.

So I guess I'm just looking for some advice, experiences. This is my third time having Kidney stones. Usually they pass in due time but. Why am I getting pain when my stones aren't moving and has anybody ever had pain with Non-Obstructive stones? I feel like doctors think I am losing my mind and I'm making stuff up. Rolling Eyes
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replied January 19th, 2012
Hello and welcome to e health forum.

Though Renal stones cause severe disturbances of life due to the pain, they are not that serious to ‎affect the ‎‎alround health. But on the long term, presence of urinary obstruction due to stones in ‎strategic locations can end up ‎‎damaging the kidneys.

Most kidney stones less than 6mm in size that is 70-80% of stones can be treated conservatively. ‎If pain, nausea ‎‎and vomiting, infection can be controlled, most of these stones will pass ‎spontaneously. Adequate hydration is ‎‎needed while trying to pass a kidney stone.‎

In cases, (such as in your case) where the stone is 7mm or larger in diameter, or fixed in position, and producing symptoms ultimately treatment measures ‎‎including lithotripsy or cystoscopic retrieval of stone may be required.

A variety of dietary modifications and drug therapies can reduce the likelihood of recurrence of ‎‎stones. ‎
Dietary modification — From the viewpoint of diet, increasing the intake of fluid, dietary calcium, potassium and ‎‎phytate and decreasing the intake of oxalate, animal protein, sucrose, fructose, sodium, supplemental calcium and ‎‎supplemental vitamin C may be beneficial.

Medications like thiazide diuretics can be prescribed in selected cases dependent on the urine calcium excretion ‎‎rates.

You might need a consultation with a nephrologist for proper evaluation of the cause of renal stones in your ‎case ‎and provide specific treatment for the same.‎

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replied February 7th, 2012
Non-Obstructive Kidney stone pain?
I am having the same issues that you are having. I have a 2mm non obstructive stone in kidney that is causing me pain and nausea for almost two weeks. There were two days where the pain almost ceased completely then last night it started again. Now instead of waves of pain and nausea the pain wont stop. Its a heavy aching with some stinging. Called doctors last week and they said wait it out. Finally today I made an appt with my urologist again but he cant see me for a week. I called my regular doctor and said i want another ct scan because my pain is really bad and I think the stone is not even out of my kidney! Im going to the docs in the morning then hopefully off to the ct scan where i may ask for the contrast bc i think there must be some kind of obstruction within my kidney to have this much pain. Im going on two weeks here and im done with my antibiotics and this pain will not cease! let me know how everything goes for you, I am curious. I'll keep you updated on my "tiny painless stone".
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replied February 7th, 2012
I also sent you this message. But I got a cure! Here is my story! Thank you guys for the support!

I insist you keep going back to the doctors! For two months they were blaming my problem on Non-Obstructive kidney stones that were causing my flank pain. Yet telling me at the same time they should not be.

I was getting Flank pain in my right side, tenderness in my right side underneath my ribcage. Back pain by my right shoulder blade, nausea, bloating. Well I was into the emergency room twice last month (january), Both times they sent me home with Vicodin and said CT only showed some small non-obstructive kidney stones, strain my urine. Well, I did as told but my problems continued. I was getting so tired of not being able to live my life so I went back to my GP. Told him, I need help with these kidney stones or find out what my real problem is!.. he referred me to a urologist. Well, come to my surprise I had a severe attack a couple days later. I couldn't keep food down, severe abdominal and back pain. Vomiting. I went back to my GP. Told him find my problem now! He emitted me to the hospital.. I was pissed I got emitted, didn't want to be there.

Anyways, to my surprise that night, a surgeon showed up. I was confused. Why did they refer me to a surgeon? He told me to still see the urologist the next day, they were just going to keep me overnight for some IV pain meds and fluids. He then told me what shocked me. They didn't think my pain was coming from my Kidney stones. But rather Gallbladder. I was surprised. I seen the urologist the next day, he said my Ureter from my kidney was dilated but I should not be getting pain from kidney stones that are not moving. So, he said to Continue with the Gallbladder theory cause that seems most possible.

Anyways, I was released from the hospital on a lowfat diet. I spent the next couple days on only soda crackers, graham crackers and gatorade. I was scheduled for a HIDA scan. I did the scan which confirmed abnormailities in my gallbladder function. So, I was scheduled for surgery. I was scared to death to have surgery. I never have had a surgery in my life and never been put under. Anyways, I had my gallbladder removed on January 25th. Now I am feeling great! occasional issues with diarrhea and what not from not having a gallbladder but nothing compared to what I was dealing with before. The surgeron say my gallbladder had severe inflammation. He had to carve away to just get to my gallbladder. So the surgery lasted an extra hour due to all the inflammation and also my gallbladder ruptured as they were taking it out.. I was released the same day. The first couple days were crappy after surgery. Hurt to move, but today. I am feeling much better and glad I did it.

So I don't know if you have ever had gallbladder problems or if you have a gallbladder. I don't know if your problems are similar to mine but please. Look into what ever your problem is and force them to look further! I never seemed to have problems eating like most people due to my attacks being so sparatic and hours apart from times that I ate. Just push your doctors to find your problem whether it be kidney stones or not. I still have my stones but they are not causing my any pain as my pain was coming from my gallbladder. Anyways, keep me informed. Don't let doctors push you away without finding a cause and a cure for your problem.

Good luck.
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replied February 29th, 2012
Chronic stones for nearly a decade
Sorry to hear that you're in the same boat as me. I'm 28 years old and have been having chronic kidney stones since my19th birthday. After a lot of searching my urologist and I came to the conclusion that I was constantly creating and passing small stones. Both my grandfather and my uncle had the same problem. It has been almost a decade of several stones a month and it is getting really old. Maybe you should see if the same thing is happening for you. I would suggest you ask for a 24 hour urine study from a company called litholink. They are very good at determining what if any insights your body chemistry holds into why you make stones. I can also say that after much research and experience on the topic non-obstructing stones must be able to cause pain. There are literally thousands of patient testimonials online that support this idea, but medical school only teaches that obstruction (and inflammation specifically) cause pain (no obstruction= no reason that they can think of for inflammation.)
Sorry for the bad news. I would like to know what if anything you've found that helps with the pain/nausea? Post on here if you could, I'm so sick of pain meds I'll try anything.
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replied March 2nd, 2012
I had an ER doctor tell me once that he has had many patients feel pain from non-obstructive stones in the kidney but there isn't much that can be done about it. When I seen a urologist he told me flat out.

"That can't happen. It happens only when they move."

So I have no idea. But I think a urine study could do me wonders, my urologist suggested seeing somebody for that exact same thing. Since it doesn't seem like I am passing anything. I have been straining my Urine for the past 4-6 months. Still, the stones remain in the kidney, or they just vanish supposedly and I don't even notice it. I think it's cause I drink lots of Water and Lemon Juice, I think that disolves them before they are able to come out. For that reason I come up empty handed on finding any stones and don't know what is causing them.
The Doctors have me off and on with Vicodin and Toradol for pain. I hate being on pain killers, so typically I don't take them unless I am in a severe situation with pain. Problem is they give me horrible headaches, dizziness and seem to make nausea worse, thats one reason I avoid them. I don't get nausea typically from the stones unless my pain is extremelly severe. Just out of curiosity have you ever had your gallbladder fuction checkd with a HIDA Scan if you still have your gallbladder? Turns out I got a double hitter dealing with both stones and bad gallbladder, got one problem fixed hopefully the other resolves in due time.

As for pain and nausea I have no idea what could help you out that is not prescription medication Unfortunately. But I'll keep you up to date if anything else goes on. Kidney stones are tricky. Especially since all 5-6 of mine are only 2-3mm and aren't moving. Their not entirely treatable for the fact that supposedly they shouldn't be causing me pain and they should come out fine.

good luck
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replied March 2nd, 2012
Just a quick update. After gallbladder surgery, I was doing great. No pain what so ever. Then, one evening. I had a severe onset of pain in my right back. Went to the ER buckled over in extreme pain. Turns out I had a 3mm stone that just dropped down from the oxalates in the kidney and was making it's journey out..

Now, I have continued to have back pains, side pains, stomach pains that extends from my right back, right lower side of my chest all the way down my abdomen to my pelvic and hip area. it's not a constant pain, nor extremelly painful though it can hurt a lot. It's more of a colicky type of pain.
I mentioned this to my surgeon who removed my Gallbladder. He said it's probably just healing pains from the inside as my Gallbladder was just removed on the 25th of January. Or it's kidney stones irritating the area where my surgery was. His only response was
"give it time."

I'm fine with that, I'm just getting irritated having this right flank pain. Had a horribly inflammed gallbladder removed, I have kidney stones but they don't seem to be moving for the most part. It gets better then comes back.. If I find out anything else about these damn stones I'll let you guys know what happends. For now lately I've been on a rough diet of Water and Lemon juice to try desolve these stones.
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replied March 3rd, 2012
Thanks for your quick reply. I haven't head an HIDA scan but I have heard at some point that my gallbladder seemed normal. f it made that big of a difference for you then it def sounds like a worthwhile thing to ask my gp about.
The fact that you also have smaller stones probably puts you in the same boat as me in terms of the rate at which you create (and pass) them. Lemon definitely makes a big difference for this since the citrate in it selectively bonds to the oxalate blocking calcium-oxalate crystal formation. I wish I liked lemon but I absolutely hate it. I tried drinking a huge glass of it everyday for a while but just ended up with heartburn and more nausea. How do you take it everyday?
Thanks anyway on the pain management front. I recently saw a pain doctor that told me pain from the lower abdomen is "visceral" pain and is not affected by injections, biofeedback, or over the counter analgesics. In spite of this I've been trying things other than narcotics to help but outside of a heating pad nothing even makes a dent. That sucks that you get sick from taking vicodin. Have you tried percocet? hahaha, that makes me sound like a drug dealer. It is def stronger than vicodin and I find that I also get sick on vicodin but have no problems with percocet. I wish narcotics weren't in the news everyday for being overprescribed. It adds a whole layer of suspicion from doctors (as you said) and people making you feel like a drug seeker. One time in college I went to a city hospital to get relief from a stone and the admitting nurse thought I was hungover or faking it. She literally put me in a closet with an IV to sit while I waited for a doctor. When the ct scan came back and it showed a stone lodged in my ureter she was too embarrassed to talk to me. Funny now but I was so pissed then. It really sucks to have to fight to be taken seriously when you're in overwhelming pain...
Glad to hear you got relief from your gallbladder removal. Keep up the lemon if you can!
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replied March 4th, 2012
Yes. It sucks when doctors don't take you seriously. I've had a doctor tell me before that he didn't believe there is anything clinically wrong with me and even recommended a Psychologist. It drives me crazy, cause they do not know what we feel like. I just straight out told the doctor, I hate doctors just as much as the next guy. I won't go in unless I feel there is something really wrong. He just labeled me as a hypochondriac and I never went back to him.

Yea. For my Gallbladder I had several CT scans, Ultrasounda. Chest X-Rays. Everything came back normal, all they kept finding was non-obstructive kidney stones, until I got to the point where I'd get sick a couple hours after eating, sometimes for no reason or even from just water. Then I got to the point where I kept vomiting, horrible nausea and pain in my right flank area, to the right of my stomach and side. Went to the doctor and told him I don't think all my problems are from kidney stones. They admitted me to the hospital, had a night of IV fluids (cause I couldn't keep anything down real well). Next morning I had the HIDA Scan, seen the surgeon that same day who said my results were abnormal.
I found that shocking almost, I always thought that Ultrasounda, CT scans and such could pick up on Gallbladder problems like Inflammation. I guess their no good unless you got Gallstones apparently. When I had my gallbladder removed the Surgeon said it was so horribly inflammed it ruptured as they were taking it out. He said there was a lot of old and chronic inflammation, he had to scrap my Gallbladder off my intestines or Liver, don't remember which it was. I was high as hell from the Anesthesia so I can't really recall which it was. I guess the inflammation was so bad it was spread out and around my esophagus. So maybe that could explain why I am still having side pains, from all the scraping and fun stuff he had to do while he was in there. So I guess I'll give it time. It just irritates me cause at 23, I should be as healthy as ever. I shouldn't have to deal with these damn stomach problems.

I have mentioned to doctors before about the Vicodin, it didn't seem to faze them. Whenever I'd go in for pain it was like.

"Yea, vicoding helps with pain, but I just feel completely out of it and get horrible rebound headaches, dizziniess and just makes Nausea worse."

The doctors respone

"Well. You need it to help with all your pain. How many do you have left? I can prescribe you another bottle of 5-500's?"

Anyways. Yea, do not drink Lemon juice straight. It burns. I just fill a bottle full of water and ice and put just a little bit in there to give it a little bite to it, enough to taste it. Sometimes I'll put a little more if I feel I'm passing something and want to dissolve it. But I never drink it straight.
I also hear Olive Oil and Lemon Juice works wonders, I just can't see myself stomaching that very well.

There's also this old story I keep hearing, not sure if it is true. Doesn't sound legit to me. But supposedly another way to help disolve stones is to lay in a hot tub and drink a twelve pack of beer as fast as you can. I haven't tried it of course, but anything is worth a try if your in pain.. I guess if it didn't drown out the stones you might pass out and drown. I guess that's one way of curing a problem lol.

Anyways, good luck with them stones. I'll keep you up to date if I figure anything else out or get any new news. I've had every test out there but a Endoscopy and colonoscopy. I guess doctor's say thats the next step possibly for me if these stomach problems don't go away. If those come back clear, then well.. I have to see the urologist once again. But until then my doc just wants me to give it time.
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replied November 18th, 2012

Hope you're feeling better mate....

Just curious, but do you mind sharing your blood test with us?

Also, what is/was your weight at the time of surgery?

I think I'm suffering from a Gallbladder issue, but not sure. My issue seems to be focused in the back & flank. I have an pain (more like an ache) that's right on the flank, and I have a very tender spot (in the back, over the last two ribs as if someone has punched me). I can eat whatever I want, with no issues. I feel it most when I bend over or try to stretch it out. It does go into my groin, but the ache mostly hugs the hip as it goes down. I do experience a pressure, of sorts, just right of my naval, but nothing else.
I have had most of the scans, blood workup, but nothing major shows up. The only thing seen was "several small common cyst's no larger then 5cm" are seen in my right Kidney.

I'm a male

I've gone in for urine test's, and nothing is coming back for UTI.
Last, I'm scared to death of surgery and I myself have never been under as well.
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replied November 20th, 2012
Around the time of surgery I was about 165, due to months of antidepressants it brought me up to like 220, since quitting them I am down to 200..
I am also 5'11". As for the gallbladder issue, CT scans showed I had non obstructive Kidney stones in my right kidney and a dilated ureter, blood tests showed nothing,everything was normal in all my blood tests and urine tests every time I went in, my pain was located right under my ribs on the right side and was tender to the touch, though I have heard others say the pain was located mostly in the back, I had pain in the back too but it was mostly in the front. Tender to the touch. Pain also spread up to my right shoulder blade, my right shoulder blade always hurt. A strange pain that went away once my gallbladder was removed.

The only Scan that showed my gallbladder was the issue was a HIDA scan, it showed my gallbladder was not functioning.
I'm not familiar with how cysts feel, but you mention that you can eat whatever you want with no issues? See, when I had gallbladder attacks it would be horrible and cramping in my right flank, but it would happen several hours after eating.
I've had familiar pain, along the hip bone and the navel that runs down the right side. My doctor(s) feel like it was a irritated ureter from passing kidney stones. If you have problems urinating, or bowel movements, cramping, anything, pay attention to it and notify your doctor, keep a journal of when your pains start, what your doing at the time and what you did previously that may have caused it. Do you have lots of gas? diarrhea? etc. The reason I'm asking is cause it may be something like IBS, however, I would get everything ruled out first, I assume you've already had CAT Scans done and what not, it could be something as simple as sore muscles. The only tests I'd recommend if you have not gotten them already is a Colonoscopy and a Endoscopy, to make sure there is no ulcers, or anything of that nature, and if your doctors assume it may be a gallbladder issue, I'd hope they get you scheduled for a HIDA scan.
As for the surgery, it was my first surgery ever, it was scary going in, I went under fine, just woke up with terrible nausea, vomiting, etc. But it is so much better the days following then dealing with a bad gallbladder.
Hope I could help you out. Let me know if you have anymore questions.
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replied December 28th, 2012

I'm a 28 yer old male and I've been suffering with Kidney Stones for years now! I've had loads of stones over the years, ranging from 2mm to 6mm, and a couple of them have been obstructive. I have had a number of surgeries to remove stones and its always the same story, by the time the pain from the surgery/stents finally subside I have made more stones and then the constant pain starts again. I currently have 2 non obstructive stones in my right kidney (5mm & 3mm) & one in my left (2mm) and I tell you what I am so bloody sick of being told that non obstructive stones do not cause pain!!!

I am in pain most of the time! I've been signed off work for nearly 6 months now, I don't do anything as any form of physical exertion increases the pain! Most of the time te pain is manageable, when doing nothing, however sometimes the pain is horrible out of no where. I take Tramadol for the pain but I hate the way it makes me feel like a zombie.

Kidney stones are literally ruining my life and if I carries on much longer I may even lose my home?!

I am going to go back to the docs and ask for a second opinion as something needs to be done! The medical community's viewpoint on non obstructive stones is ridiculous!

6 months of daily differencing and I am no better?!

I am constantly tested for infections but due to the amount of water I drink my urine is always diluted, even though it constantly burns and smells disgusting?! I dribble after every urintion which only adds to the embarrassment of the whole situation?!

It's horrible to know people think I'm faking, why the hell would I chose to ruin my own life?!
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replied December 31st, 2012
Yea. I was in the ER again on Friday night with a kidney stone in my left kidney that got stuck, caused me horrible lower left abdominal pain. They gave me two shots in my hip of Toradal and something else for nausea plus IV fluids and Morphine. I also left with Tramadol.
I have the same issues with irritation and pain still in my abdominal area when I am not passing stones, it is strange cause whenever I have a CT my ureter's are always dilated. I have had a doctor who told me once that for people who frequently pass stones it is not uncommon to see them continue to have pain due to the Ureter's being scarred up and irritated even when the stones are not obstructing cause it is a foreign object in the kidney that can without a doubt cause pain, as for what can be done that is a different story.
I just wish I could stop them.
Do you know what kind yours are?
Mine are calcium oxalate. The doc's best advice to me was to drink water with pure lemon added to it to help desolve forming stones and to of course drink plenty of fluids and avoid Oxalates.
But from what I hear, once your body starts making them, it gets into a habit of it.
I'm just hoping maybe one day our bodies can start producing Diamond or Gold Kidney stones Razz
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replied June 9th, 2013
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replied June 9th, 2013
U r 2 funny u crack me up, makin smethin so painful funny
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replied January 7th, 2013
pain for non-obstructing kidney stone
This same thing is happening to my son, he got his first kidney stone when he was 6, since then he has had them on and off, currently he was two the are non-obstructing, he says hes in so much pain he doesn't go to work anymore, takes pain pills, He's at the point to where he thinks this is ruining his life. If you find anything to help. please let me know.
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replied February 21st, 2013
So my name is jay. I've had similar issues for a year and a half now. It started with the passing of three stones. I captured two they were sent for diagnostics and they were said to be to small for testing. They were each the size of a match head I say they were lost as we didn't get a report.

I have seen three urologist now and about four different doctors. ER just treat me as a junkie there to get my FIX of Endone. I have been told that they won't be the cause of the problem and when it gets to hard they pass me on to someone else.

The pain has been constant for about a year I have had other symptoms. I've got a PSA score of around 2.2 and there seems to be a dark patch on my prostate. Been told that as I'm only 32 that they won't biopsy it and they will garentee this is not the cause of the pain. I also had a twisted appendage of the testical and have constant testies pain.

I am on Tremal 200 mg a day, Endone about 3 to 5 5mg tablets a day as required and also a anti-depressant and a mood stabliser as the doctor got a bit fearful when I said if they don't fix the pain soon I'll fix it for good.

I have two 4-5mm stones and a small sist in my right and one 4mm in my left. I get throughy days thanks to the endone and I have a high passed job that I just push through the pain. Problem is when I stop or on days off. It is effecting my wife and son two. I would have spent about 12 grand on traveling around trying to get help. But people still can't seem to help me out.

Any suggestions. Anyone in Qld Australia.
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replied April 27th, 2013
Kidney stone pain that aren't obstructing
Hello, I'm 31 yrs. old & have delt with kidney stones since the age of 6 that was misdiagnosed till the age of 11 which caused me to have a kidney shutdown, kidney infection, & they said my ureter was the size of a sausage from the stone becoming so large & obstructing my ureter & unable from me to pass, they even thought I was going to lose my left kidney. Good news is that they ended up saving it & removed the stone. Unfortunately I've been dealing with kidney stones my whole life & I can feel all of your pain, worst pain ever. Well now I've been dealing with left side abdominal & flank pain wich started oct of 2012. I've been to many doctors and to different ER's which they've done catscans & found multiple stones & they have all said the same thing including my urologist "you shouldn't be feeling any pain because its not obstructing". They are making me feel like I'm going crazy because its ruining my life. I've been out of work many weeks which like everyone else I have bills to pay & not being able to enjoy life. I actually just went to the ER today from being in so much pain & needed pain meds to help & the doc said the same as all of them "you shouldn't be feeling pain from the kidney stones they aren't obstructing". My urine come clean & my blood & literally had the nerve to say "I think it's back pain". Now coming from me "you know your own body" it's not back pain, I've dealt w/kidney stones my whole life, I know what it feels like. I feel like doctors don't care because they aren't the ones going through it. Well I contacted a urologist in Boston which I see in a couple of weeks and she told me most doctors say that but she said kidney stones can cause pain even if they are not obstructing. I can't wait to see her & will fill you's all in w/my results. I was to the point where I was going to demand surgery for them to remove the stones in my left kidney to then see how I feel because I can't deal w/this any longer. But just to let you's all know your not alone & doctors should be informed to do something about it because kidney stones that are not obstructing can cause pain and its not fair for us to endure this horrific pain, I would love to see them go through it.
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replied October 24th, 2013
Hi Kckc187

Did you ever get any answers regarding your NOKS? My son is having same issues with the same responses from the doctors. Very frustrating.

I hope you were able to find relief and please share if so.

Thank you.
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