Kidney stones one of the most common kidney problems, and a frequent cause of urinary tract infections. There are several types of kidney stones, but the most common are formed with two main components: calcium and oxalate. In some cases, kidney stones may have a strong genetic component, but the diet and our daily liquid intake are very important factors contributing to the sedimentation and consolidation of kidney stones.
An individual may suffer from kidney stones without displaying any specific symptom. They usually appear after kidney stones move their way through the urinary tract, which is often accompanied by additional symptoms when it gets infected.
The most common signs and symptoms of kidney stones are as follows:
1- Pain symptoms
The most common symptom of kidney stones is pain. As mentioned earlier, they remain asymptomatic in many cases, and pain only ensues when kidney stones move and start going down in the urinary tract. The pain that comes from kidney stones is not always in the same area. Some patients describe pain in their lower back, in their flanks or groin. However, it is very common to have radiation to another area of the body, usually a lower area corresponding to the primary source of pain.
The pain from kidney stones results from an injury to the urinary tract. However, it is important to note that this tissue does not receive sensory impulses the same way our skin does. Instead of specific nerve terminals, the urinary tract receives a group of nerve terminals coming from the same neuron. Thus, whenever there’s an injury to a determined area of the urinary tract, we may not be able to locate the injured area precisely. Instead, the patient reports a dull and poorly localized pain that often moves or irradiates to another area.
The most common type of pain is back pain that radiates down to the groin area. Sometimes, male patients describe an intense pain in their testicles, and female patients may feel pain in their labia majora. This is because pain follows the same trajectory as the nerve that innervates all of this area.