What are the Signs of Kidney Stone in the Ureter?

K. Gierok

While kidney stones can occur as a result of physiologic dysfunction, studies have suggested that diets rich in fatty foods are more to blame. Some of the most common signs of a kidney stone in the ureter includes moderate to severe muscle aches that vary in location. Typically, these aches appear on the side of the body, though they can also rotate through the back and into the abdomen and groin. Other common symptoms include changes in urination, such as an increase in the need to urinate, or blood in the urine. Untreated kidney stones in the ureter can lead to nausea, vomiting, and a high grade fever.

A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.
A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.

One of the classic initial signs of a kidney stone in the ureter are muscle aches that are out of the ordinary. Typically, these aches begin in the side, and move towards the lower back. In addition, the pain may also radiate below the ribs in the back of the body, or may stay in the abdomen and move down towards the groin. While the pain associated with kidney stones in the ureter may have numerous points of origin, it most always produces a dull wave of pain that gradually increases in intensity as time goes on, lasting anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes at a time. These aches will not be able to be relieved through the use of over-the-counter painkillers, heating pads, or ice baths.

Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.

Another common sign of a kidney stone in the ureter is changes in urination. Typically, this includes an increased need to urinate, though some people may also experience pain during urination. In addition, other common changes in urination that may be experienced by those suffering from a kidney stone in the ureter may include blood in the urine, urine that has a cloudy appearance, and a very foul odor to the urine. In some severe cases, individuals suffering from the condition may experience a significantly decreased flow, or may not even be able to expel any urine at all.

In the most severe cases, when individuals suffering from a kidney stone in the ureter do not seek immediate medical assistance, nausea, vomiting, and a high fever may occur. In addition, while a kidney stone in the ureter is typically not considered to be life threatening, it can have serious implications when not treated properly. Research has found that untreated kidney stones can lead to chronic urinary tract infections, and even damage to the kidneys themselves.

A kidney before moving into the ureter.
A kidney before moving into the ureter.

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Discussion Comments


It's actually quite common for people to pass kidney stones and not even notice. It's just when the stones get too big that it becomes a problem. And in this case they are just small enough to pass into the ureter, but not small enough to get all the way out.

The best way to prevent this is to drink enough water all the time. I think, aside from all the little dietary changes you can make, preventing dehydration is your best shot.

And you should give it your best shot, because kidney stone pain has been compared to giving birth on the pain scale from people who have experienced both.


@Iluviaporos - It's very true, with those kind of symptoms you could be looking at any number of things. And I know so many people who have had pain in their stomachs and just kept quiet because they didn't want to bother anyone.

My grandmother didn't tell anyone for a long time that she had that kind of pain and she ended up with cancer that could possibly have been treated if she had had it diagnosed sooner.

I had another friend who did have kidney stones. They had become so large he had to have them broken up with a laser so that he could pass them, and he said it was one of the most painful experiences of his life.

So, yes, if you are having pain go and get it checked out. There's no reason to suffer and in the long run I think your loved ones would rather be bothered by a doctor visit than a hospital visit.


If you experience any differences in your urine at all (that are unexplained) you should go and get them checked out. But changes along with pain in your sides? Get thee to the emergency room!

Even if you don't think it's a kidney stone, it could be anything else, like appendicitis or cancer or any number of things.

Passing kidney stones quickly is the ideal but more often than not they are going to get stuck and you will need a doctor to sort it out. I mean, I've heard of kidney stones the size of your thumb nail. Those couldn't find their own way down through your ureter.

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