Many kidney stones cause no symptoms at all. When kidney stones do cause symptoms they usually include:
- Pain. A person may feel pain across the back or pain that starts in the back or kidney area. The pain goes along the line of the vessel that carries urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body. A person may also feel pain in the genital region and inner thigh. This pain is typically very severe and comes and goes. Stones in the bladder may cause pain in the pubic region.
- A block in the urinary system
- Nausea, vomiting, a bloated stomach may disguise what is actually kidney stones
- Chills, fever, hematuria and a need to go to the bathroom often may also be experienced. This happens especially if the stones are moving down the ureter.
The affected kidney may stop working for a while because of a stone, even after it has passed out the body by itself.
Causes and Risk Factors
Kidney stones develop when the urine is supersaturated with salts that can form into stones. This includes overexcretion of salt, having acid urine or having a low volume of urine.
A tendency to develop kidney stones tends to run in some families. It is the primary risk factor for developing kidney stones of calcium.
Kidney stones can develop as a result of:
- Hyperoxaluria, which can be caused by eating too many foods that contain oxalate. This includes rhubarb, spinach, cocoa, nuts, pepper or tea. Absorbing too much oxalate into the body as a result of various enteric diseases including chronic pancreatic or biliary disease or ileojejunal surgery can also cause it.
- Hyperuricosuria, which is almost always a result of eating too much purine. Purine is is found in meat, fish and poultry.
In rare cases, the kidney stones may be a result of hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, multiple Myeloma, sarcoidosis, vitamin D intoxication, cancer that has spread or hyperoxaluria.