Pressure Or Pain In The Lower Back
In some cases, a stone may become stuck in the ureter. The ureter is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. A blockage here causes urine to back up in the kidney, resulting in pressure and pain sensations in the lower back. These symptoms may occur on the left or right side, depending on which kidney is affected.
According to the University of Chicago, pain or pressure are usually the first signs of a kidney stone. In some cases, the symptoms may be very subtle and build up slowly. In other cases, they may come on suddenly, with no early warning signs. This pain can be severe and may lead to nausea or vomiting, or both. People often experience sharp, stabbing pain, and common measures such as rest or lying down do not relieve it.
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What Exactly Are Kidney Stones Anyway
A kidney stone is basically exactly what it sounds like: a hard object that forms in your kidney.
It starts out when certain chemicals in your urine start to crystallize. As they form, they attract more elements, growing larger and larger. These stones tend to be sharp and spiky, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball.
Tiny ones may pass out through your urine without you even noticing but larger ones can get stuck, causing a backup of pee, which in turn causes swelling and pain.
But not all kidney stones are the same, and there are four kinds that women need to be aware of, per the NKF:
Calcium oxalate: These are the most common type, forming when calcium binds to oxalate, a chemical compound, in your urine. There may be a genetic component, especially in people who get them repeatedly, but most of them can be attributed to dehydration or a diet high in foods containing oxalates, like leafy greens and coffee, says Ramin.
Uric acid: The second most common type, these stones happen when your body doesn’t process all the monosodium urate in your kidneys and it clumps together. These definitely have a genetic component and tend to run in families.
Struvite: These stones are less common and are the result of an upper urinary tract infection, according to the NKF.
Cystine: Caused by a rare genetic disorder called cystinuria, these stones form when a high amounts of the amino acid cystine leaks into your urine.
Nope Thats Not Just A Uti
Odds are, you take your ability to pee normally for granted. You just head to the bathroom when you have to go, do your thing, flush, and go about your life. So its understandable, then, that you wouldnt give it much thought beyond that until things start to go wrong and you develop kidney stones symptoms.
But, if youre not familiar with the symptoms of kidney stones, you can easily confuse them with other things, like a urinary tract infection or appendicitis. Clearly, the treatments are very different, which is why its so important to be aware of the most common kidney stones symptoms. Make sure to visit your GP for a health check if you are experiencing the following:
1. PAIN IN YOUR BACK, BELLY, OR SIDE
This happens because your ureter, the small tube that passes urine from your kidney to your bladder, is blocked with stonesand it doesnt feel good. This can cause severe pain around your kidneys , but that pain can radiate to your lower abdomen or thighs.
2. PAIN OR BURNING WHEN YOU PEE
This usually happens when a stone is about to leave your ureter and enter your bladder. The action stimulates your bladder and irritates the heck out of it, making it uncomfortable to go No.1.
3. BLOODY URINE
Like the inside of your mouth, the lining inside your kidney and bladder are sensitive. The stone either scratches the tissue or irritates it, causing the bleeding, which shows up in your pee.
4. ONLY PEEING A SMALL AMOUNT AT A TIME
5. NAUSEA AND VOMITING
6. FEVER AND CHILLS
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Blocked Ureter And Kidney Infection
A kidney stone that blocks the ureter can lead to a kidney infection. This is because waste products cant get past the blockage. This may cause a build-up of bacteria.
The symptoms of a kidney infection are similar to symptoms of kidney stones, but may also include:
- a high temperature of 38C or over
- chills and shivering
Your GP will usually be able to diagnose kidney stones from your symptoms and medical history.
You may be given tests, including:
- urine tests to check for infections and pieces of stones
- an examination of any stones that you pass in your urine
- blood tests to check that your kidneys are working properly, and to also check the levels of substances that could cause kidney stones, such as calcium
Your GP will want to diagnose and treat any infection. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, your GP may simply treat you to relieve the pain.
How To Prevent Kidney Stones
What you can do to prevent future kidney stones depends on the type of stone and your medical history, so youll want to speak with your doctor about your options, Simon says. Prevention strategies might involve drinking plenty of water, making dietary adjustments , or taking various medications to help moderate the levels of certain minerals in your urine, the Mayo Clinic explains.
Additional reporting by Claire Gillespie.
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Follow These Top Warning Signs Indicating You May Have Kidney Stones
About one out of every ten people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives, according to the National Kidney Foundation, with stones occurring about twice as often in men. Kidney stones have become more common during the past couple of decades. That increase could be due to the concurrent rise in obesity, which is a potential risk factor for kidney stones.
Kidney stones form when minerals and salts in your blood create hard concretions inside your kidneys. Normally, your kidneys filter out these materials, but when concentrations are high or when your kidneys are overworked or arent working normally, the substances can collect and clump together, forming sharp crystals. Very small stones may be excreted on their own when you urinate. But sometimes, the crystals get stuck and thats typically when most symptoms begin.
Larger kidney stones usually cause significant symptoms almost right away. With smaller stones, the symptoms can be less obvious and more difficult to discern. If you have a kidney stone, getting prompt medical care is essential for preventing complications. Heres a list of some of the most common kidney stone symptoms to watch out for.
Can Kidney Stones Cause Nausea And Dizziness
Learn about what causes stomach pains and dizziness and how to treat or.
Lower right abdominal pain can be a sign of kidney stones,
Some lifestyle changes can be made to prevent kidney stones, however if.
When a stone moves into the ureter, it causes a blockage, creating.
When you know the symptoms of chronic kidney disease , you can get treatment and feel your best.
This can lead to feeling faint, dizzy, or weak.
If you take too much topiramate you may experience headache, dizziness.
cause kidney stones and drinking water may help prevent this. Keep all of your doctors appointments so that your.
This can lessen symptoms.
effects of this drug, such as kidney stones. Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially dizziness and water/mineral loss.
Topamax to treat alcohol dependenceBut it causes troublesome.
are taking or plan to take. Kidney stones. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to reduce your chances of getting these, which can be excruciatingly painful.
Symptoms of a kidney stone and an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be very.
Paul Weeks, 30, is complaining of severe left flank pain that.
Dizziness. * Altered mental status. * Poor capillary refill. * Pale appearance.
Once in your bladder, the kidney stone may pass through the urethra while you are urinating.
There is no way to predict how long it will be before it breaks free and causes any symptoms.
Weakness, dizziness, or fainting.
This can lessen symptoms.
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Pain Or Burning During Urination
Once the stone reaches the junction between your ureter and bladder, youll start to feel pain when you urinate. Your doctor might call this dysuria.
The pain can feel sharp or burning. If you dont know you have a kidney stone, you might mistake it for a UTI. Sometimes you can have an infection along with the stone.
How Do You Get Kidney Infection
Many times, it occurs when bacteria enter the opening of tube that carries urine from the bladder. They can multiply and move upward. First, the bladder gets infected and then the kidneys. Many times, these bacteria are a type called E. coli.
The kidneys are important to help keep normal, healthy-balanced blood. They are responsible of what to keep and what to remove in the blood. And therefore, any bad things in the blood may also affect your kidneys.
In less common cases, fungi or bacteria can spread to the kidneys through bloodstream. Many infections in other parts of the body can go into the bloodstream. And kidney infection can occur through this route, though its unusual.
For instances, bacteria that infect the skin can spread to the bloodstream which then may eventually go to the kidneys. In rare cases, the infection occurs after a kidney surgery. The use of artificial heart valve or joint may also increase the risk of infection.
*Image credit to Mayo
Furthermore, the problem can also be attributed by a number of different factors. Generally, the risk of getting kidney infection is high in people with:
Infection in another organ of urinary system
Urinary tract obstruction
If you use a urinary catheter
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Telltale Signs You Have A Kidney Stone
Most people have two kidneys located behind their abdominal organs along the middle of their back. The purpose of your kidneys is to filter blood and send any waste thats collected into your urine.
Sometimes, these waste products build up and form small, hard deposits called kidney stones. Stones develop inside kidneys, but they exit the body through the urinary tract.
Because the ureter is small, passing a stone can cause complications inside the urinary tract, as well as a range of unpleasant symptoms from abdominal pain to nausea. About 1 in 10 Americans will experience at least one kidney stone in their lifetime, but learning to recognize the telltale signs of a kidney stone isnt always easy especially if youve never had one.
Our team at Advanced Urology in Redondo Beach, Culver City, and Los Angeles, California, is here to help. While small stones might pass without your knowledge, larger stones can cause excruciating pain. Make an appointment at Advanced Urology if you have
How Do They Affect The Body
Kidney stones can affect any part of your urinary tract from your kidneys to your bladder and form when your urine creates more minerals and other substances than your urine can dilute. This can result in different types of kidney stones including calcium , uric acid, struvite, and cystine stones.
Symptoms dont show until the stones start to move around in your kidneys or pass through your ureter, which connects your kidneys and bladder. The stones can then become lodged in your ureters, which can lead to blocking urine flow and swelling in the kidneys. This leads to directly lower abdominal pain, bloody urine and other symptoms.
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Theres Blood In Your Urine
Hematuria is enough to send anyone to a trip to the doctor, where you could be diagnosed with a variety of things including a kidney stone, kidney infection, cystic kidney disease, a tumor, or a kidney injury.
But blood in your urine isnât always a sign of a major kidney issue. There are also more benign causes of hematuria, including extreme exercise or the commonly misdiagnosed excessive consumption of beets, labeled as âbeeturia.â
Swollen Or Puffy Face
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys donât remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the face.
What patients said:
My sister, her hair started to fall out, she was losing weight, but her face was really puffy, you know, and everything like that, before she found out what was going on with her.
My checks were always puffy and tight. Sometimes they would even hurt.
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Swelling In Hands Or Feet
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys donât remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and/or hands.
What patients said:
I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldnât get my shoes on.
Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.
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Signs Of Acute Kidney Injury
Acute kidney injury is a rapid or abrupt decline in kidney function and is considered a medical emergency. It occurs when there is direct injury to one or both kidneys, a blockage in the ureter or another condition causing insufficient blood flow to the kidneys.
In adults, kidney failure can be caused by:
- Low blood pressure that occurs very suddenly and/or is severely low
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How Does Chronic Kidney Disease Cause Anemia
Anybody can develop anemia, but it is very common in people with CKD. People with CKD may start to have anemia in the early stages of CKD, but it is most common in stages 3-5. Anemia usually gets worse as CKD gets worse. If your kidneys are not working as well as they should, you are more likely to get anemia.
If you think you might have CKD, talk to your doctor about getting tested. Management of anemia and its symptoms may help you feel better.
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How Do You Get Flu
Among the symptoms you can get from kidney stones not related to urination are nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. A bad enough case can cause nausea and vomiting, while an infection in the kidney or bladder can cause fever and chills.
Many of these symptoms are also closely associated with bad cases of the flu, which can create confusion over what condition you have. When you have these symptoms in addition to abdominal pain and urinary problems, they may be the sign of an infection, so you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor can treats the infection in addition to helping you pass the stone.
A blood or urine test can determine if youre dealing with kidney stones. Treatments are available, including anti inflammatory drugs, allopurinol to reduce uric acid levels, shock wave lithotripsy to break up larger stones, ureteroscope , or surgery.
Kidney stones can be painful, but many treatment options are available. If youre dealing with kidney stones and need treatment, make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester and Urology Center of Florida today.
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What Women Who’ve Had Kidney Stones Want You To Know:
“I never even thought about kidney stones until one morning I woke up at 5 a.m. in terrible pain. It hurt so bad it made me throw up. I made my boyfriend take me to the hospital because I seriously thought my appendix had burst. At first they thought I was an addict just trying to score some pain pills and tried to tell me to leave! But I insisted and after a CT scan, the doctors found a six millimeter stone lodged up there. They said it would pass on its own and sent me home with a prescription for morphine and some disposable strainers to pee in to catch the stone when it passed. It finally did two days later. They were the worst two days of my life. Ironically, when the stone actually came out, it barely hurt at all.”-Jennifer M.
“A year ago, I saw the doctor about a UTI and he ordered a scan. They didn’t find a stone causing the infection but they did find a small 2 mm stone in my left kidney. I got antibiotics for the UTI and they just told me to drink more water to get the stone to move. Two weeks ago I suddenly started experiencing random bursts of intense pain on my left side. Apparently the stone has grown bigger, to over 5 mm, and gotten lodged at the top of my ureter. They gave me a prescription for Percocet but I’ve almost run out and it still hasn’t come out. I’m just trying to tough it out to avoid asking for more meds, but my God, this is the worst.” -Laura P.
Where Is Kidney Stone Pain Located
The sharp pain associated with a kidney stone moves as the stone progresses through your urinary tract. The most common places to feel pain are in your:
- Lower abdomen or groin
- Along one side of your body, below your ribs
However, while pain is certainly the most noticeable symptoms of kidney stones, its not always the earliest sign or even the most telling sign, for that matter.
The pain associated with a kidney stone typically isnt felt until after its already formed and is passing through your urinary tract, explains Dr. Kannady. In addition, due to differences in anatomy, men and women describe kidney stone pain slightly differently. Not to mention that pain itself is relative and everyone has a different threshold for it.
Plus, the intensity of the pain isnt necessarily a measure of how problematic the kidney stone might be or become. Smaller stones that are likely to pass on their own can still be very painful. And not every kidney stone that requires medical intervention comes with gut-wrenching pain.
Any time youre experiencing pain, its important to see your doctor. But if youre experiencing pain, even if its only mind, in combination with the kidney stone symptoms above and, in particular, if you have a fever or severe trouble urinating its definitely important to see your doctor, warns Dr. Kannady.
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