Kidney stones generally leave the body through the urine stream and are usually not a problem. If a stone manages to grow to a certain size, usually 3 millimeters, they can cause great pain.
This pain is often felt in the abdomen or flank (lower back area).
Pain in the groin also called renal colic is another symptom. This can be paired with nausea, fever, vomiting, blood or pus in the urine and painful urination. These waves of renal colic come in 20 to 60 minute periods.
Diagnosis is generally by blood tests, urinalysis, examination and maybe ultrasounds.
Once diagnosed pain management is the first step, using an anti-inflammatory drug. If the stone is too big or there is no progress, a surgical option may be explored. Surgery can sometimes involve using extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy where a stone is shattered and allowed to pass as a type of smaller gravel. In some cases a tube is inserted to bypass the obstruction and alleviate the issue.
To lower the risk, drinking lots of water and eliminating dehydration goes a long way. A high intake of sugars, sodium and animal protein increase your risk factor. There are other metabolic issues involved that can be diagnosed by your doctor if you have persistence with these stones.