Are you suffering from excruciating pain in either side of your lower back? Are you experiencing pain or burning sensation while passing the urine? If yes, you might be suffering from a kidney stone. And, if you are wondering what exactly kidney stone is and what its symptoms are, get answers to all your questions by reading this post below.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits which are formed in the kidneys. They occur when the waste excretion by kidneys is hampered due to the lack of fluids. This results in the accumulation of the mineral waste which forms hard deposits within the kidney that can also pass on to the ureter and urethra at times. Sometimes, they also pass out of the body through urine.
Kidney stones can recur even if treated once. Hence, proper care needs to be taken.
But, how to identify it the first time it occurs? This is a common question which most individuals may have.
Here we will share 6 most common signs of kidney stones in women.
1. Burning Or Pain When Passing The Urine
One of the most common signs of kidney stones is the burning sensation which you may experience when you pass urine out of your body. This is one of the first symptoms which we come across in the patients of kidney stones. The pain during urination is usually experienced when the kidney stones are stuck between the ureter and bladder. This is also known as dysuria. Certain UTIs can also cause this symptom and hence it needs proper examination by an experienced physician.
2. Pain In The Back, Belly, or On The Side
The kidney stone pain (also called renal colic) is a sharp shooting pain which you may experience in the back, belly, or on the sides of the body. This pain occurs when the stones are moving into the ureter causing pressure. This pain can also radiate to the other parts, such as the lower abdomen and thighs, as the stones keep moving towards the urinary tract. The pain, at times, can be so worse that people compare it to getting stabbed or the one you may have experienced during childbirth.
3. Urine Appearance
The change in the appearance and smell of the urine is one of the key signs of kidney stones. Normal urine is clear colored with no odor.
4. Strong pungent odor
In people with kidney stones, as there is a chemical buildup in the body, there tends to be a strong pungent odor while urinating. The smell can also occur in the cases of UTI when there is a bacterial infection. Hence, the cause needs to be differentiated properly.
5. Changes in the colour of urine
Cloudy urine occurs as a result of excessive pus cells in the urine. Also, it is known as pyuria. The normal clear urine looks like whitish in colour in such cases.
6. Blood in urine
Bleeding in the urine is observed seen in the cases of UTI or prostatitis. There can be red, pink, or brownish discolouration seen in the urine. This mostly occurs as a result of the stones causing irritation to the inner tissues leading to blood being expelled out in the urine.
- Dribbling Urine/ Urgency
Urine may be passed out in drops (dribbles) in patients with kidney stones. This is due to the stone obstructing the urinary pathway making it difficult to pass the urine in the normal stream flow. This results in a few drops of urine being passed at a time. As the urine is passed in drops, there is also a sense of urgency due to a lack of satisfactory urination. The patient feels the need to go again and again to urinate with no satisfaction of urination. Complete urine stoppage is a medical emergency and needs immediate attention.
- Fever And Chills
High fever and chills, when accompanied by other signs of kidney stones, can be a sign of infection within the body. This can be caused as a complication of kidney stone or also due to other conditions, such as UTI or prostatitis.
9. Nausea And Vomiting
Due to the shared nerve between kidney and intestinal tract, there can be gastric issues in the people suffering from kidney stones. Nausea and vomiting accompanied by the other signs mentioned above can be indicative of kidney stones.
It is highly advisable to visit a physician if any one of these signs or combined signs are experienced by you.
Necessary lifestyle measures and dietary changes to prevent it’s the recurrence is also necessary in treating the cases of kidney stones. Here, we list some of them.
1. Good Hydration:
Fluids help in cleansing or flushing out the smaller kidney stones as well as help in preventing or minimizing the recurrence of the stones. So, drink plenty of water daily
2. Follow Proper Diet:
Dietary measures, such as reduced intake of animal proteins, reduced salt intake, increased calcium-intake, increased magnesium-intake, oxalate-controlled diet, and reduced intake of vitamin C can be helpful.
Now that you know these common signs of kidney stones, make sure you visit a physician as soon as possible if you happen to experience any of these symptoms. Follow proper lifestyle and diet tips to minimize the risk of suffering from kidney stones.
– Written by Dr. Neethu Krishnan, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah