13 Kidney Stone Symptoms that Every Woman Ignores (And How to Prevent Them)

13 Kidney Stone Symptoms that Every Woman Ignores (And How to Prevent Them)

This article was originally published by Idealist 4 Ever.

About 13 percent of US men and 7 percent of women will get kidney stones at some point during their lifetime.1 If you’ve had one, it’s an experience you probably don’t want to repeat.

The pain associated with kidney stones can be excruciating and in some cases may send you to the emergency room seeking treatment. Although most kidney stones do pass on their own without causing lasting damage, if you don’t make any changes they may occur again within five years in up to 50 percent of people.

What Exactly Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are masses of minerals, typically calcium and oxalate, that become lodged in your urinary tract. Usually, compounds in your urine inhibit these crystals from forming.

Some people form stones when their urine contains more crystal-forming substances, such as calcium and uric acid, than the available fluid can dilute. If the stone is large enough to cause irritation or blockage, severe pain will typically result. The pain may shift to different locations and change in intensity as the stones move about. Other symptoms of kidney stones include:2

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