Roughly one out of every ten people are affected by kidney stones and they are actually quite common. Chances are you know someone or perhaps you yourself have suffered from a kidney stone sometime throughout life with or without realizing symptoms of kidney stones when they started.
The chance of developing a kidney stone is greater in the U.S. than anywhere else on the planet and has continued to increase over the last few decades.
Despite these high numbers in the U.S., it is a disorder that affects people all over the world and has for thousands of years. Kidney and bladder stones both have been discovered among the ancient mummies in Egypt.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
In several cases, kidney stones are sometimes undetected or never present symptoms for those who have them. However, that quickly changes if a stone gets lodged in the ureter (the thin tube that connects the kidney to the bladder), thus the symptoms become quite apparent. Typically, the symptoms will vary based on the location of the stone and its development.
Most kidney stone attacks occur in the early morning hours or late at night, possibly due to the small amount of urine secreted or the ureter constriction during those particular times. Attacks are least likely to occur in the late afternoon. Symptoms include: The sufferer often has a difficult time getting into a comfortable position and therefore usually reclines, walks, sits, or stands in an attempt to find some relief. Kidney stone pain often starts suddenly on one side, and then persists as relentless, severe pain. Many times the pain lasts just a few minutes, fades away, and then returns approximately 10 minutes later. Nausea and vomiting may arise in some cases. If the stone is located in the kidney itself or upper urinary tract, the pain will generally begin on one side near the waist to the side of the back. As the stone continues to travel downward, it usually moves toward the groin. As the kidney stone moves down through the ureter near the bladder, the sufferer may feel as if they need to urinate more frequently or experience a burning sensation while urinating. Pain will follow the muscular contractions in the walls of the small ureter as they struggle to squeeze the stone down into the bladder if the stone is too big to just easily pass through. If a fever and/or chills are present along with any or all of these symptoms, an infection is likely present. The urine may contain blood.
The size of the kidney stone doesnt always correspond to the degree of pain a person is experiencing.
For instance, a very small sharp-edged crystal can generate a great deal of pain, while a much larger, rounder, and smoother stone may pass almost unnoticed. Struvite stones can typically occur without presenting any symptoms at all.
Risk Factors of Developing Kidney Stones
Consuming too much sugar (especially fructose), protein, or salt
People over the age of 40
Not enough water consumption
Men are more at risk than women
Weight loss surgery
Not enough exercise
Family history of developing kidney stones
Furthermore, if youve experienced kidney stones once, you automatically have a greater risk of developing more stones in the future.