Kidney stones are a painful condition that is difficult to spot unless you know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Those who have had kidney stones will often describe it as incredibly painful and will compare it to giving birth – which is a lofty comparison indeed.
This will mean that you get painful stabbing and shooting pains which can be powerful enough to literally force you to your knees and can be enough to make it unsafe to drive. Of course at this stage you will need medical attention and most people will be wise enough to realise this at that point. The sooner you get this medical attention however, the sooner you can get intravenous fluid treatment and potential surgery in order to alleviate the pain. At the same time the sooner they are seen too, the less time they will have to grow meaning that they can be more easily treated.
So what are the earlier warning signs of kidney stones before you reach this point? Here we will address a few potential 'red flags' that might mean you want to get medical attention sooner rather than later and that you may be likely to suffer from kidney stones.
1. Family history and gender
The majority of sufferers of kidney stones are male, and if you have a history of kidney stones in the family then this might mean you are more likely to suffer from it. If this is the case, then you should aim to put extra effort into avoiding possible kidney stones and this is possible through a range of lifestyle and diet changes.
2. Back ache
A dull bone ache in your lower spine or in the pelvis is often an early sign of kidney stones and for many people it may be the first indication. This might be a continuous ache, or might come in waves.
Some patients report an early 'tension' in their kidney area before they get any actual pain. This may feel as though they have a blockage. Some also report this more as a 'squirting' sensation which feels internal and occurs as fluids try to get past.
4. Fever, disorientation or malaise
Feeling of lethargy and general illness can be a sign of many infections or illnesses, but coupled with the other symptoms they might start to point towards kidney stones more definitely.
5. Blood in the urine
This of course is a sign of potential kidney problems which might include stones. If you have traces of blood in the urine and this is coupled with darker coloured urine, then this will be a serious warning sign. You should also aim to increase your intake of water and fluids as dark urine is a sign of dehydration.