A kidney stone is a hard, stone-like collection of crystals from urine. Kidney stones form in the urinary tract. The most common type of kidney stones is made of calcium and phosphate or oxalate. Other types of kidney stones are made from uric acid or products from a urinary tract infection. What do kidney stones feel like?
Kidney stones can be a painful condition. Small kidney stones may pass through the urinary tract without the person being aware of them. These are sometimes called silent stones. However, if the stone is large enough, it can block the flow of urine and cause excruciating pain.
The pain from a kidney stone is felt one the side where the kidney stone is lodged in the urinary tract. The person may feel sharp pain on their side, lower abdomen, or back. The person may experience cramping. Severe cramping can be caused by muscles contracting to try to squeeze the ureter and force the kidney stone into the bladder.
During a kidney stone attack, the person may experience nausea and vomiting. One of the later symptoms of kidney stones is pain in the groin. The person may develop blood in the urine which can tinge the urine to a pinkish color. The person may experience burning during urination and an increased urgency to urinate.
Kidney stones usually resolve by passing through the urinary tract. Though it may be a painful ordeal, there is usually no other treatment required other than drinking a large amount of water. People may want to take pain medication to make themselves more comfortable while the kidney stone passes.
Some people are more prone to kidney stones than others. Some people may not have effective hormones that normally keep stones from forming. Some lifestyle behavior like eating large quantities of food high in oxalate can make someone susceptible to kidney stones. If a person is prone to kidney stones, the physician may prescribe medication to help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
The person may be asked to save the kidney stone after it passes so that it can be tested in the medical laboratory. The physician should be notified immediately if the person develops a fever or chills. A fever often indicates that there is an infection. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a kidney stone if the kidney stone is lodged in the urinary tract and not passing on its own.