The Kidney Stones

As the kidneys filter waste from the blood, they create urine. Sometimes, salts and other minerals in urine stick together to form small kidney stones. These range from the size of a sugar crystal to a ping pong ball or more, but they are rarely noticed unless they cause a blockage. They may cause intense pain if they break loose and push into the ureters, the narrow ducts leading to the bladder.

When kidney stones move through the urinary tract, they may cause:

  • Severe pain in the back, belly, or groin
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea and vomiting

Small stones may pass without causing symptoms.

How Small is the Stones?
The smaller the kidney stone, the more likely it will pass on its own. If it is smaller than 5 mm (1/5 inch), there is a 90% chance it will pass without further intervention. If the stone is between 5 mm and 10 mm, the odds are 50%. But, if a stone is too large to pass on its own, several treatment options are available.

Kidney Stone or Something Else?

If you have sudden, severe pain in the area of back or belly, it’s best to seek medical care right away. It could be renal colic. Abdominal pain is associated with many other conditions, including emergencies like appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy. Painful urination is also a common symptom of a urinary tract infection or an STD.

(to be continued)