Most often patients connect kidney stones with back pain and pain in the hip, called kidney failure. In fact symptoms of kidney stones can be varied – from missing to a very sharp pain in renal crisis and they depend on a number of factors – size, shape, location in the urinary tract (kidney, ureter, bladder).
Kidney Stones Symptoms
1. Strong pain (renal colic / crisis)
Primary all stones are formed in the kidneys as the body tries to eliminate them through the urine. Small stones, called grit, can pass through the urinary tract imperceptibly. Upon entry of a large stone in the ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder), it is clogged and the proper drainage of urine is distorted. As a result the kidney starts to inflate. This increase in pressure in the kidney and ureter is the main reason for the very strong pain during renal crisis – described as one of the most painful experiences, compared to the pain of childbirth or heart attack. The pain is throbbing, cramping,it is not affected by the position of the body and spreads to the groin and inner thigh.
Pain in renal colic/ crisis is usually accompanied by:
– blood in urine
– pain, burning and frequent urination
– raising the temperature
Renal colic/crisis or kidney failure is considered an emergency situation and requires treatment that aims to relieve severe pain but also to ensure the normal drainage of urine from the obstructed kidney.
2. A dull ache or lack of symptoms
It is important to note that localized in the kidney, stones usually cause no symptoms or if there are symptoms they are weak – most often it is a constant, dull ache (feeling more like a weight) in the hip. Sometimes blood may appear in the urine (especially during intense physical activity or sport) or clouding of urine due to superimposed infection.
Often such stones are found incidentally on chest X-ray or ultrasound on the occasion of another disease.
Usually stones located in the kidney have no symptoms (pain) even if they are very large. The smaller stones hurt much more when they come into the ureter and cause kidney failure.
Kidney Stones Diagnosis
– Ultrasound – most often it is the first imaging study because it is fast, affordable, and safe, and can be safely used in pregnant women and children. Through it we can visualize the concretion, and also to assess the kidney (whether it is blocked or not) start and end of the urethra and bladder.
– X-ray Research – in addition to ultrasound it can be made additional X-ray research. In some cases where information from previous imaging is insufficient, it may be performed color photographs or scan with contrast; where besides information about the stone we receive important information about the functioning of the kidneys and the condition of the entire urinary tract.
2. Laboratory researches
In kidney failure, you may need urinalysis for the presence of blood and crystals in it and to detect bacteria suspected infection. In more severe condition it is examined the blood count, in combination with blood biochemical indicators to assess kidney function – creatinine, potassium, sodium and others.