What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys and affect the urinary tract.
They form when the urine contains more crystal-forming substances (eg, calcium, oxalate and uric acid) than can be dilated by the fluid in the urine and/or when the urine does not have the substances that prevent crystals from sticking together.
It is possible to never know one has had a kidney stone, especially if it is small and passes easily through the urinary tract. In these cases, there may be no obvious signs.
However, symptoms to keep in mind include:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Severe pain below the ribs in the side or back;
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin;
- Pain that fluctuates in intensity;
- Pain when urinating;
- Discolored urine;
- Urinating more frequently than usual;
- Urinating small amounts; and
- Fever and chills.
Medical attention should be sought immediately if one experiences severe pain that is accompanied by nausea and vomiting and/or fever and chills, blood in the urine or difficulty passing urine.
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