Kidney stones can happen to adults of any age and can be extremely inconvenient. If diagnosed early, stones can be treated more quickly. About 11% of men and 7% of women in the United States will experience a kidney stone at some point, and approximately half of those who experience kidney stones will get them again. It’s important to know what the symptoms are, and when to see a urologist.
Kidney stones can be debilitating and painful (sometimes very painful). While a stone forms in the kidney, there may be no signs or symptoms. Most people start experiencing symptoms once the stone is formed and passes into the ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder). The most common kidney stone symptoms include:
- Pain in the side and/or back
- Pain in the lower abdomen and/or groin
- Painful urination
- Discoloration of urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
You may be experiencing one or more of the above symptoms and think, “Should I see a doctor? Are my symptoms that bad?” You should make an appointment with a urologist when you experience any of the above symptoms for an extended period of time. If you are worried about your symptoms and think you may have kidney stones, don’t hesitate to call and make an appointment. You should especially seek a urologist if you experience:
- Pain so extreme that it’s hard to move or get up
- Blood in the urine
- Consistent nausea and vomiting in combination with urination symptoms
Your urologist will conduct an imaging test to diagnose your kidney stones if they think your symptoms warrant it. This can be done early on and can help treat the stone(s) sooner. It’s better to get an appointment early on rather than wait until the last minute.