Know Early Symptoms of Kidney Stones, Causes & Available Treatments

In March 2020, it was stated on the National Health Portal of India that 1 in 10 people suffer from kidney disease globally. Kidney stones are hard accumulations of salt and calcium-based minerals in the kidneys. Some may be created from uric acid. Forming inside the kidney, they can move to the urinary tract. Stones can be of any size.


Some can be as miniscule as the period that ends this sentence, which is just a fraction of an inch. Others are large. Some are so big that they take up almost all the space in the given kidney. When this happens, you may feel immense pain, or have other symptoms. If you’re asking yourself “what are the symptoms of kidney problems?”, you will get an idea here.


Why Stones Form


One in ten people are affected by stones at any given time. According to Dr. Raman Tanwar, MS (Urology) at Jyoti Hospital in Gurugram, an expert, the chances of forming kidney stones are above 50% in 10 years, if you have had them before. According to Dr. Tanwar, people may be predisposed to them because of permanent biochemical bodily changes. Treatment for stones may be expensive, but you can avail health card benefits. There is no definite cause, but several risk factors exist:


  • When urine contains more substances that are crystal-forming, such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid, stones may form. Cysteine and xanthine stones are rare. The urine may not be enough to dilute these crystals.
  • Urine may lack substances that separate crystals, so they tend to stick together.


Medical practitioners suggest that people who don’t drink enough water, or have an excess of salt in their diets (this causes high blood pressure too, and leads to chronic kidney disease), may be more prone to kidney stones. Medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, gout, and cystic fibrosis increase risk of developing stones.


Early Symptoms


Kidney stones often start small, and they may remain so, passing out in urine sometimes. Alternatively, they can grow, and you may notice something amiss when the stone moves into the ureter, the tube that urine goes through, connecting the kidney to the bladder. Your doctor may detect it in a sonography, in a routine medical check-up. Typically, stones are very painful. So what are the symptoms of kidney problems, particularly stones? Here they are:

  • Back pain – Kidney stone pain, called renal colic, feels like a knife being stabbed into your lower back. You may get pain in your lower abdomen, or your side. When a stone moves into the narrow ureter, a blockage is caused. This builds pressure in the kidney, stimulating nerve fibres, and pain signals reach the brain. The pain will likely have a sudden onset. The severity isn’t related to stone size. Even small stones may cause excessive pain.
  • Pain/Burning sensation while urinating – When the stone arrives at the ureter and bladder junction, you experience pain while passing urine.
  • Urgency to go – Urgently needing to pass urine or passing it more frequently than usual could be a sign.
  • Urine components – There may be blood in urine, or urine could smell foul, having a cloudy consistency, though this may signal chronic kidney disease too.


Other symptoms include passing less urine, and nausea and vomiting sensations. Fever may occur with pain.




If the stone is small, it will pass out by itself. It may cause pain, but over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen may be prescribed for relief. When the stone is big, doctors may recommend surgical removal by shock wave lithotripsy, in which high-energy sound waves are aimed at the stone from outside the body. This breaks the stone into little pieces that can be flushed out of the body. For oversized stones, doctors may suggest open surgery.


You don’t have to worry about surgical costs with health card benefits that you can avail with the Bajaj Finserv Health EMI Card, dividing the cost of hospital, medication and diagnostic expenses into convenient EMIs, payable in flexible tenors of up to 2 years. A huge range of treatments is covered, spanning 5,500+ partners in 1,000+ cities across the country.

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