Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones Cause Symptoms Through Two Mechanisms:
1. Stones cause mechanical obstruction of the kidneys or ureter and obstruct urine flow. Increased pressure in the kidney causes pain.
2. Stones predispose to urinary tract infection which causes symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Kidney Stones
It is important to recognize that many people have kidney stones without having any obvious symptoms for a long time. Some people can have large obstructing stones in the ureter with only mild vague abdominal or back discomfort.
Kidney stones typically cause symptoms only when they obstruct the ureter (tube that connects the bladder to the kidney); kidney stones often do not cause symptoms or only mild vague pain unless they start moving down the ureter or get infected.
- Pain (often severe in nature). The onset of pain is usually sudden, typically felt on the side of the abdomen and in back, and can radiate to the groin and genitalia.
- Vague back discomfort or abdominal discomfort
- Renal tenderness
- Hematuria (blood in urine) – usually invisible to the eye and detectable only through urine test; occasionally visible.
- Digestive symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea).
When Kidney Stones Cause an Emergency
Infection in the presence of kidney stones is a dangerous combination and usually requires prompt urological treatment. A ureteral stent is typically inserted and definitive treatment is delayed until infection is completely treated.
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist. He treats men and women with kidney and ureteral stones. He is among the most experienced specialists when it comes to treatment of large kidney stones and ureteral stones.
Dr. Shteynshlyuger has performed hundreds of ureteroscopy and lithotripsy procedures for large kidney stones, in addition to ESWL procedures. He is among a select number of urologists in the United States who performs PCNL for large kidney stones.