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Kidney Stone Symptoms and Treatments

Kidney stones may be a painful and uncomfortable condition.

Kidney stones may be a painful and uncomfortable condition. Therefore, it is vital to recognize kidney stone symptoms in order to seek proper treatment. There are many different symptoms associated with kidney stones, some of which are more common than others. Additionally, the size and type of kidney stone may also affect the treatment options. The Kidney and Hypertension Center (KHC) can provide expert care and advice for those suffering from kidney stones and other renal problems. If you notice any of the following kidney stone symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

The most common kidney stone symptom is a sharp, cramping pain in the back or side of your abdomen, below the ribs. The pain may occur suddenly and can range from mild to severe in intensity. Kidney stone pain may also radiate to the lower abdomen and groin. In addition to pain, there are several other symptoms associated with kidney stones, including:

  • Painful urination
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent need to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Fever and chills
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Feeling restless or unable to lie still

When to Seek Treatment for Kidney Stones

If you suspect you have kidney stones, seeking treatment as soon as possible is crucial. Leaving kidney stones untreated may lead to serious complications such as severe kidney damage, infection, or blockage in the urinary tract. Your doctor can confirm the size, location, and composition of the kidney stones to recommend the best treatment option. Furthermore, some kidney stone symptoms require immediate emergency medical care. For instance, if a kidney stone is blocking your urinary tract, and you cannot pass urine, you need to seek emergency treatment right away.

Treatment Options for Kidney Stones

If you have kidney stones, KHC offers comprehensive treatment options to eliminate your kidney stones and ease your symptoms. Depending on your diagnosis, treatment may include the following:


Medication for kidney stones may be an effective option for some patients. However, it is important to note that medication alone may not be sufficient to eliminate all types of kidney stones, particularly larger stones. One medication that may be prescribed for kidney stones is potassium citrate. This medication may help prevent kidney stones from growing larger or returning.

Urinary retention medication may also be prescribed to improve urine flow and make passing kidney stones easier. Moreover, thiazide diuretics may reduce the concentration of minerals in the urine, preventing kidney stones from forming. Lastly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce the pain associated with kidney stones.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a non-invasive procedure used to break up kidney stones into smaller fragments that can be more easily passed through the urinary tract. The procedure uses shock waves generated outside the body and directed toward the stone. During the procedure, a mild anesthetic will be used to numb the kidney area and decrease discomfort. The patient will then lie on a table, and an X-ray or ultrasound is used to locate the stone. The shock waves are directed toward the stone to break it up into smaller pieces that can be passed through the urinary tract.

It is essential to discuss the risks and benefits of ESWL with a healthcare professional. They can determine whether the procedure is appropriate for the individual patient’s needs. In some cases, other treatments, such as ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy, may be more effective for removing kidney stones.


A ureteroscopy uses a small camera on the end of a flexible tube called a ureteroscope to locate and remove stones in the urinary tract. A ureteroscope allows the physician to view the inside of the urinary tract, identify stones causing a blockage, and remove them if necessary. Once the stone is located, it can be removed or broken up into smaller pieces using laser energy, pneumatic energy, or ultrasound energy. If the stone is too large to be removed through the ureteroscope, a small basket or grasper may be used to grasp and remove the stone in pieces.

Ureteroscopy is typically performed under general anesthesia, but in some cases, local anesthesia may be used. The procedure can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient can return home the same day.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Sometimes kidney stones are too large and cannot pass through the urinary tract on their own. In these cases, percutaneous nephrolithotomy may be used to remove the stones. During this procedure, a surgeon will make a small incision in the back and use an endoscope to locate and remove the stone. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is done using anesthesia and is typically performed on an inpatient basis. You may need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several weeks following the procedure.

Treat Kidney Stone Symptoms at KHC

If you’re experiencing kidney stone symptoms, don’t suffer in silence. Contact the Kidney and Hypertension Center to schedule an appointment with our expert doctors. We offer a comprehensive range of treatment options to help you say goodbye to your kidney stones and get back to living your life to the fullest. Don’t wait to get the care you need – make an appointment with KHC today.

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