Your kidneys are two small organs found on either side of your back. They’re part of your urinary system, and their job is to filter your blood and move waste products out of your body through urine.
Most of the time, your kidneys effectively filter and eliminate waste products like salts and minerals. But sometimes, an excess of certain minerals builds up — and kidney stones form.
About 10% of Americans will develop kidney stones during their lifetimes. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that develop in kidneys and exit your body through your urinary tract. Because the ureter is narrow, passing a kidney stone can be very painful.
The intensity of kidney stone pain and its other symptoms can come as a surprise, especially if you’ve never had a kidney stone before. The good news is that treatment is available to relieve symptoms and prevent more stones from forming.
Eric K. Seaman, MD, and our team specialize in kidney stone treatment in Millburn, New Jersey. Learn to recognize some of the most common symptoms of kidney stones so you can get the care you need.
Kidney stone pain symptoms
Kidney stones aren’t painful when they form, and it’s possible for very small stones to pass without any symptoms. However, larger stones often get stuck in ureters and cause significant pain.
Kidney stone pain can vary in intensity or come in waves. For some people, the pain is so severe that it causes nausea or vomiting.
1. Lower back pain
Your kidneys are at the back of your abdomen, near your spine. Kidney stones can cause severe lower back pain when they move inside your kidneys or when they move from your kidneys to your ureter.
2. Groin pain
As the kidney stone moves from your kidneys through your urinary tract, the pain typically moves with it. Another common symptom of kidney stones is radiating pain in your lower abdomen, pelvis, or groin area.
3. Pain with urination
Kidney stones can also make urination painful. If you have a kidney stone, you might notice pain or a burning sensation when you use the toilet.
Kidney stone urinary symptoms
Along with painful urination, kidney stones can also change the way your urine looks and smells. These symptoms are often caused by urinary tract infection, which is a common side effect of kidney stones.
4. Odd-colored urine
Healthy urine is typically a shade of light yellow. But if you have kidney stones, your urine may be pink, red, or brown. These colors could indicate blood in your urine.
5. Cloudy urine
There are many possible causes of cloudy urine, and a kidney stone is one of them. Urine may get cloudy due to a high level of minerals in kidney stones or from infection.
6. Foul-smelling urine
Kidney stones can change the composition of your urine, resulting in unusually foul-smelling urine. These changes in smell may be due to increased salt or ammonia content caused by kidney stones. A urinary tract infection may also make your urine smell worse.
7. Persistent urge to urinate
Another sign of kidney stones and urinary tract infection is the persistent urge to urinate. You may feel the urge to urinate shortly after using the toilet, even if you only lose small amounts of urine each time.
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? You could have kidney stones. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Seaman to find out what’s causing your pain and how you can get relief from your symptoms. Call our office at 973-259-6695 or request an appointment online.