A kidney stone is a hard deposit that forms in the kidneys when there is an accumulation of certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus. These substances can crystallize and bind together to form a solid mass. Kidney stones can vary in size and shape and may cause severe pain when they pass through the urinary tract.
Common symptoms of kidney stones include:
- Pain: The most common symptom is severe pain in the back or side, often radiating to the lower abdomen and groin. The pain can come and go and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Blood in the urine: Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is another common symptom. The urine may appear pink, red, or brown.
- Frequent urination: You may feel the need to urinate more frequently, and the urge may be stronger.
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine: The presence of kidney stones can cause changes in the appearance and odor of urine.
- Urinary urgency: You may feel a sense of urgency to urinate.
If you suspect you have a kidney stone or are experiencing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. Diagnosis typically involves a combination of a medical history, physical examination, and imaging studies such as X-rays or CT scans. Treatment options depend on the size and type of the kidney stone but may include: