Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a solid mass of tiny crystals that forms inside the kidney. The crystals are primarily comprised of calcium, oxalate and uric acid. Approximately 80 percent of the time, kidney stones form in men but are possible in women. Dehydration, obesity, high-sodium diets and some diseases can increase a person’s risk of developing kidney stones. Typically, the mass will pass through the urinary tract on its own. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Kidney stones can pass without any pain or discomfort, but more often they will obstruct the ureter or renal pelvis and cause pain that can be followed by urinary urgency, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms include:

  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain on urination
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Fever and chills if an infection is present

If you have blood in the urine, difficulty passing urine, or pain associated with vomiting, talk to your doctor or find the ER closest to you.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

BayCare offers the following surgical treatments for kidney stones:

  • Lithotripsy
  • Percutaneous lithotripsy
  • Percutaneous nephrostolithotomy (PCNL)
  • Stone extraction

Further Information

BayCare offers a variety of services to help diagnose, treat, and prevent urological conditions such as kidney stones. Find a urologist near you or call (855) 245-7765.