There are many different symptoms that a person can have which may indicate that they have a kidney stone.

Kidney stone symptoms include:

  • Sharp pain in the abdomen below the ribcage on the side, back, and possibly the groin area
  • Frequent urination or having urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation or pain while urinating
  • Color change in urine; blood, darker brown, cloudy or foul-smelling
  • Chills or fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Depending on the nature of the patient’s kidney stone, the severity and feeling of these kidney stone attacks will vary. Kidney stone attacks are often a very painful and discomforting feeling for patients, lasting for minutes or hours. These sharp pains begin suddenly and rapidly without much warning, may come and go, and vary in intensity, becoming very debilitating over the course of the attack. When a patient first experiences a kidney stone attack, they may be able to tolerate it initially. Many people find themselves restless. They are unable to sit still or comfortably, continuously tossing and turning in order to find a comfortable position that will help subside their pain. The sudden pain increases over a short period of time often causes the patient to report to the emergency room or seek medical attention.


The most common pain patients encounter can be best described as a severe, cramping-like sharp pain in the abdomen below the ribcage on the side, back, and possible the groin area of their body. The location of the pain may vary depending on where the stone is located inside the body. The pain can begin as a dull sensation in the abdomen but will quickly transform into something much more extreme. This is called renal colic and is considered one of the most intense pains that an individual can suffer. Patients describe the pain as being intolerable and excruciating, with some women having compared the pain to being as bad as childbirth. Renal colic is caused by a blockage from the kidney stone that can affect the flow of urine. This can cause a build-up of pressure and induce pain in the patient.


Other common symptoms of kidney stones include frequent urination or low urine volume. This can be often attributed to a blockage in the patient’s urinary pathway. If a stone causes a blockage in a patient, this can result in abnormal urinary patterns. In addition to this, during urination, the patient may experience a burning sensation or notice that the color of their urine will change. In some cases, kidney stones can cause blood in the urine to appear or urine may appear a darker brown color or be cloudy or foul-smelling. In severe cases of kidney stones, if the stone has been infected, it can cause nausea, vomiting, chills, or fever.

It is difficult for doctors and patients to predict when these attacks will occur as well as the duration of them. In general, it is important that patients seek help from medical professionals when experiencing symptoms, or if their symptoms suddenly change or become severe, as it can prevent the patient’s kidney from undergoing any significant damage from the kidney stone.


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