Symptoms and Diagnosis of Kidney Stones



Symptoms and Diagnosis

Types of Stones

Dietary Prevention

Xray/ CT Scan/ Ultrasound/ IVP

Surgical Removal/ Lithotripsy

Causes of Stones

Genetic Causes

Medical Diseases


Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes



Author Information



Symptoms: People with kidney stones experience a range of symptoms from none to severe pain.  When a small stone sits in the kidney without blocking urine flow, it usually causes no pain. However, if it passes into the ureter, which is the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder, severe crippling pain can occur.  As the stones moves from the kidney into the ureter (view image) towards the bladder, mild to severe pain can start in the back and move with the stone around to the side of the abdomen and then to the groin.  Sometimes people will also notice blood in their urine.  Sometimes the blood is only visible in the laboratory under a microscope. Passage of the stone in the urine leads to a dramatic improvement in the pain.  Less commonly people will experience dull back or flank pain.  Some people do not pass large stones, but instead "sand" with varying amounts of discomfort.  They will notice gritty material in their urine often with blood.

Diagnosis: Most people who experience the severe pain of passing a stone usually go to a hospital emergency room.  There they are usually given pain killers and intravenous fluids in hope that the stone will pass on its own.  Testing is also done to confirm that a stone is present.  These tests include a urine studies to look for blood.  In young otherwise healthy people with characteristic pain who should not otherwise have blood in their urine, this is often a good confirmatory test.  More precise testing is done with either ultrasound, computerized tomographic (CT or CAT) scanning, and/or intravenous pyelogram (IVP).