Kidney stones are small salt crystals that form from several different substances in the urine. They can cause severe pain, kidney infection, and other damage. Because 1 in 11 people will develop kidney stones in their lifetime, you should know when to rush to the ER or when to schedule an appointment with a urologist.
Common, Non-immediate Symptoms:
- Side, pelvic, or lower back pain
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Persistent or painful urination
These symptoms are concerning, but not urgent. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with a urologist to receive an evaluation in case you need treatment.
Here are the kidney stone symptoms that usually require a visit to the emergency room:
- Severe, persistent pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Urine blockage
- Foul smelling or cloudy urine
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms related to kidney stones you should promptly visit the emergency room. Doctors will be able to perform an evaluation and determine if the kidney stone needs to be removed surgically or allowed to pass naturally, or if your kidney stones have caused a more serious underlying condition.
Remember to research your symptoms and be able to recognize the signs. If you or a loved one has indications that kidney stones are present, call your doctor to take the first step in your recovery.