When it comes to your health and wellbeing you know yourself better than anyone and while your body might not come with a ‘check engine’ light like your car, it does thankfully give warning signs if you’re paying attention. Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. Furthermore, it is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives.
What are kidney stones?
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine.
It’s hard to imagine that something as tiny as a grain of sand can cause extreme discomfort. While stones vary in size from a grain of salt to a pebble and some even larger, they can be extremely painful and disruptive to your life. Most likely, when you have a larger kidney stone, the symptoms are more noticeable. Here are some general symptoms you may have a kidney stone, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Kidney stone symptoms:
- severe pain on either side of your lower back
- more vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
- blood in the urine
- nausea or vomiting
- fever and chills
- urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.
Kidney stones can be extremely disruptive to your life and very painful, that’s why it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you suspect you may have them. The Michigan Institute of Urology is one of the longest standing and largest sub-specialty Urology practices in the State of Michigan, we are dedicated to providing our patients the most up to date, state of the art urologic care. Our specialists have been recruited from the most sophisticated university centers in the nation.