Symptoms of kidney stones may vary according to the location and size of the stone. If kidney stones stay in the kidneys, they typically do not cause pain. Sometimes these symptoms are known as “silent” stones. Typically, the first symptom of kidney stones is extreme, excruciating pain. This begins when the stone moves from the kidney and into the ureter. Often, the kidney stone will block the flow of urine and the person will feel a sharp, cramping pain in the back, side, or lower abdomen. Changing positions does not alleviate the pain. The abdominal, back, or side pain will wax and wane in severity and will cause nausea and vomiting. Blood in the urine can also be visible by the naked eye or under a microscope due to the tearing of the urinary tract by the kidney stone.
There are many symptoms of kidney stones, however, the following symptoms are the most commonly reported: chills and fever (if infection is present), pus in the urine (pyuria), blood in the urine, pain during urination, persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urination upon passing the stone, and severe pain in parts of the body such as the genital organs or thighs that may last for a few minutes or hours depending on the time it takes to pass the kidney stone.
If the stone is too large, the pain you experience will continue to increase as the ureter muscles try to squeeze the stone back into the bladder. When the kidney stone moves through the ureter and the body tries to force it out, blood may appear in the urine, giving it a pinkish hue. If there is infection present or injury to the ureter, you will need to contact your doctor immediately. He or she may also want you to come in for a visit after you pass your kidney stone for a follow-up and education on prevention of future kidney stones.