Kidney stones are tiny pieces of minerals, like calcium, that collect in the kidneys and are too large to pass easily along the ureter, to the bladder, and out through the urethra. Symptoms of kidney stones, called nephrolithiasis, include extreme localized pain, perspiration, and often an associated infection. The most common symptom of kidney stones is a debilitating, shooting, intense pain anywhere in the abdomen. A kidney stone still lodged in the kidney would cause pain on one side, near your lower back. If it has moved partly down your ureter, the passage connecting the kidneys to the bladder, the pain might originate in your lower abdomen, side, or groin. A strong, continuous pain might indicate that the kidney stone is stuck permanently and will not be passed without a doctor's intervention. Other symptoms of kidney stones include clammy, cold, hot, or sweaty skin accompanying a fever or chills. Fever usually means the stone has caused a blockage, and your kidneys and urination cannot function normally. This kind of infection must be treated with antibiotics, as well as by removing the kidney stone. You might also be tired, nauseated, not hungry, or experience diarrhea or constipation. Some symptoms of kidney stones are very similar to the symptoms of a urinary tract infection or cystitis, especially in women. These have to do with urination. You might notice discolored or cloudy urine and pain, smarting, or burning during urination. A frequent or urgent need to urinate is usually a false alarm, as it may be difficult to actually urinate more than a tiny amount. Given these warning symptoms, a doctor can diagnose kidney stones by doing a blood or urine test, conducting an ultrasound, or taking an X-ray with or without dye. Then a medical professional can eliminate the kidney stone by a variety of methods, ranging from non-invasive flushing with lots of liquid, to minor surgery under general anaesthetic.
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