Kidney stones are a common problem that can cause severe pain. Kidney stones can usually be diagnosed quickly through scans and haematuria investigations and various treatment options are available if they can’t be passed naturally.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are small crystals that can sometimes form from the waste products that are being processed by the kidneys. Approximately 3 in 20 men and 2 in 20 women will develop kidney stones at some point, most often between the ages of 30 and 60.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones are so small that they won’t cause any problems. You will simply pass them in your urine. However, if the stones get big enough they can cause problems. If a kidney stone gets stuck then it can be very painful and may put you at risk of infection. You may experience symptoms such as backache, abdominal pain, nausea, and pain when you urinate. You might feel like you need to pee more often and you could even spot some blood in your urine, which will require urgent haematuria investigations to rule out potentially serious causes. If you develop an infection, you could also have other symptoms such as a fever.
What to Do If You’re Affected
If you are experiencing any kind of pain or you have symptoms that could be caused by kidney stones, it is a good idea to consult a doctor. It is particularly important to seek help if you see blood in your urine as haematuria investigations will be required to rule out conditions such as bladder cancer. The doctor may perform blood and urine tests to check on your kidneys. An imaging test may also be used to locate the stones. If the diagnosis is confirmed as a kidney stone, you may be given medication to help with the pain or the urologist may perform a procedure to break up or remove the stone.