Every year, more than 500,000 people will end up in the emergency room because of kidney stone problems. It is estimated that 10 percent of the population will end up with a kidney stone at least once in their lives, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Kidney stones are known to cause extreme pain and discomfort, mainly when the warning signs are ignored. Kidney stones may develop when there are changes in the normal balance of water, minerals, salts, and other substances that are found in the urine. If you've never experienced a kidney stone, here are the signs and symptoms that you should never ignore.
Frequent and Painful Urination
One of the most common symptoms that indicate you might have a kidney stone is a sudden increase in the frequency of urination. You may experience an intense need to urinate, only to find that your urine output is minimal. This can be accompanied by severe pain while urinating.
Spreading Back Pain
Kidney stones are often accompanied by localized, indescribable pain. Patients report that it tends to develop in their sides and back, just below the rib cage. As the condition develops, the pain can travel into the groin area and lower back. According to United Kidney Stone Research Council, someone who is suffering from kidney stones will continuously shift positions to attempt to relieve the pain.
Blood in Urine
If you have developed kidney stones, you may notice changes in the color of your urine. One of the most notable changes is that the color of your urine may range from pink to light or dark brown. You may even notice that your urine is tinged with a little blood. This is a result of the kidney stones blocking off your urethra.
Nausea and Vomiting
Some people report feeling nauseous when they are suffering from kidney stones. Sometimes, nausea can be so severe that it will induce vomiting, which can create a host of other medical complications from dehydration to nutritional deficits. The intense pain that you experience when you've developed a kidney stone is one reason why you may experience vomiting.
Fever and Chills
For many, kidney stones mimic the symptoms of the flu. Kidney stones increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection, due to it scratching up against surfaces and creating small internal wounds that can become infected. If you develop an infection as a result of the kidney stones, you will experience fever and chills. If your temperature reaches high levels, you could potentially be put in danger.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is critical that you see a doctor. Not only can they determine whether or not you have kidney stones, but they can help you manage the pain. To help reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends increasing your water intake and adjusting your diet. Kidney stones can temporarily wreak havoc on your life, so if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them.