Although there are no signs present before kidney stones begin to travel through the urinary tract, the earliest signs include sharp pain under the ribs or on one side of the back, says WebMD. Other early signs include an urge to urinate and an inability to remain comfortable.
The pain associated with kidney stones is the earliest indicator. The pain typically occurs early in the morning, when the ureter is constricted, says Healthline. Aside from back or side pain, kidney stones can cause pain in the groin and abdomen. This condition also causes painful urination, foul-smelling urine and cloudy urine. Kidney stones are generally diagnosed with blood and urine tests. In some cases, imaging studies are required, according to WebMD.