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What is a Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral deposit formed in the kidneys from substances normally found in urine. It is also called nephrolithiasis, renal calculi, or urolithiasis. These stones typically range from small pieces of sand-like material to larger pieces the size of golf balls.
What causes kidney stones?
The exact cause of kidney stones is still unknown, but certain factors may increase your risk of developing them. These include:
- eating too much calcium or oxalate-rich foods (such as spinach or nuts)
- having high levels of uric acid in your urine
- being overweight or obese
- having certain medical conditions like gout or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- family history of kidney stones
- taking certain medications such as diuretics or calcium supplements.
What Are The Early Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Most of the time, kidney stones don’t cause symptoms until they move around in the urinary tract and become stuck. When this happens, the following signs and symptoms may be experienced:
1. Pain in Your Back and Side
One of the first signs of kidney stones is a pain in your lower back region or side near your ribs that can be sharp or intense. This pain may come in waves and can last for minutes or hours at a time.
If you think you have a kidney stone, it’s best to seek medical attention right away, as this type of pain should not be ignored.
Learn More: How to Differentiate Kidney Pain from Back Pain
2. Pain When Urinating
Another symptom associated with kidney stones is pain when urinating. This condition is called dysuria. It usually occurs when there is an obstruction in the flow of urine from the bladder due to a stone blocking the ureter (the tube connecting the bladder to the kidneys).
This type of pain is often accompanied by a burning sensation during urination as well as frequent urges to go even when there is no need to do so.
Sometimes, this symptom can easily be mistaken for a urinary tract infection. Nevertheless, if these symptoms persist, it is best to consult a doctor.
3. Fever and Chills
A high fever (101°F – 104°F) accompanied by chills can also be an early sign of a kidney stone. Fever and chills are usually caused by infection.
But they can also indicate that an individual has developed a urinary tract infection due to a blockage related to the presence of a kidney stone.
4. Cloudy or Foul-smelling urine
When a kidney stone is present, you may also notice that your urine appears cloudy or has an unpleasant odor. This is usually caused by the presence of bacteria in your urinary tract due to a blockage from the stones.
It’s important to mention any changes in urine color and odor to your doctor so they can make a diagnosis.
5. Blood in Urine
Blood in the urine is known as hematuria and is another common symptom associated with kidney stones. Hematuria typically occurs when there are small pieces of broken-off stones that have been passed into your urine stream, causing irritation and bleeding along its path through your body.
It’s important if you see any blood in your urine that, you seek medical attention immediately since this could indicate something more serious than just having developed a kidney stone.
Kidney stones are serious medical issues that should never be ignored or taken lightly if they occur on their own or with other symptoms like fever and chills, cloudy urine, blood in urine, or sharp pains in your back or sides near your ribs.
Understanding these early signs will help you take action quickly so that you can treat any potential problems before they become more serious issues down the line!
If you experience any of these symptoms, please get in touch with your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment options available for dealing with kidney stones safely and effectively!
Further Reading: 7 Foods That Destroy Your Kidney