Stones in the kidneys are made up of minerals and salts that harden into rocks.

Despite their size they cause pain and complications. Sometimes these may even damage the kidney. The size of these stones can be from tiny sand grains to bigger, more dangerous stones that are sometimes as big as a golf ball.

Types of Kidney Stones

Calcium Stones – the most prevalent type, made of calcium oxalate.

Uric Acid Stones – formed when urine is consistently acidic.

Struvite Stones – linked to urinary tract problems.

Treatment depends on what the stone’s composition is. Diagnosing kidney stones needs CT scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays to identify their size and location.

Passing Kidney Stones

Different factors influence the process of passing kidney stones, like:

  • the patient’s hydration level
  • the stone’s size and location
  • any existing medical conditions

Small stones, usually less than 5mm, may pass naturally within days to weeks. But larger stones usually call for medical intervention. Even small stones can sometimes necessitate medical help. Only a healthcare provider can determine the course of action in any case.

Recognizing Symptoms

The warning signs are:

Severe Pain: Usually felt in the side and back, from lower abdomen to groin.

Urination: Difficulty passing urine with burning sensation.

Color or Smell: Blood in the urine or foul-smelling urine.

Frequency: An increased need to urinate.

Nausea and Vomiting: Persistent discomfort and digestive issues.

Fever and Chills: Showing a possible infection that needs immediate medical attention.


Kidney stones may cause severe pain and block the urinary tract, leading to urinary tract infections.

Large or untreated stones can damage the kidneys, potentially causing chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.

Obstructed urine flow can result in swelling and damage to the kidneys and other organs. Those who have already had kidney stones before are considered more likely to form them again.

Complications can also arise from treatment procedures such as lithotripsy or surgery.

Treatment Options

Diagnosing and treating kidney stones will need talking to a medical professional. There are different ways to treat stones. This will all be based on their size, location, type, and the patient’s general health and medical history.

1. Pain Management: During an episode of renal colic, painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are generally used.

2. Medical Expulsive Therapy: With the help of an alpha-blocker, the stone can pass more easily.

3. Non-Invasive Procedures: Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) breaks the stone into smaller pieces for natural expulsion.

4. Invasive Procedures: For percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) or ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy, the stone is found and broken up by making a small cut or using a scope.

5. Surgery: In severe cases, you may need to get rid of the stone.

Preventing Future Stones

Major changes in lifestyle are needed to stop kidney stones from forming again. The most commonly recommended are:

1. More water intake: Drinking plenty of water to dilute urine and prevent stone formation.

2. Dietary changes: Reducing foods high in oxalates, salt, and animal protein and having more of fruits and vegetables.

3. Medications: For those with recurrent stones, medications like thiazide diuretics, allopurinol, or citrate may be prescribed to reduce stone formation.

Final Thoughts

Kidney stones can become a reason for severe pain and health complications very fast. You may find yourself dealing with infections and acute kidney injuries (AKI) if you ignore your kidney stone pain.

Knowing above symptoms and getting timely medical advice can put you on the right track to deal with your condition and manage it. Your doctor knows the best treatment plan for you so consulting a healthcare provider will ensure the most effective approach is followed.

For more information, visit Canadian Pharmacy