Sharp pain in the back, side and abdomen is the first major symptom of a kidney stone, according to WebMD. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, bloody urine, and the frequent need to urinate. Signs of infection include fever, chills, painful urination and smelly urine.
If any of these problems arise, patients should immediately contact a doctor, advises WebMD. Blood and urine tests and imaging procedures, such as ultrasound, are used to confirm the existence of a kidney stone and find any other urinary problems.
A kidney stone, known as nephrolithiasis in the medical community, is a hard, crystalline mineral material that forms in the urinary tract that form when there is a decrease in urine volume or too much stone-forming substance found in the urine, according to MedicineNet.com. Dehydration is one of the major risk factors for developing a kidney stone. People with certain medical conditions, such as gout, and those who take certain medications are at high risk for developing a kidney stone, with diet and heredity also playing key roles as well.
There are four major types of kidney stones: calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine, explains Mayo Clinic. Calcium stones are the most common and form due to diet, high doses of vitamin D, intestinal bypass surgery and certain metabolic disorders. Struvite stones often form due to a urinary tract infection, usually with little warning. Uric acid stones form in people who do not stay hydrated, consume too much protein or have gout. Cystine stones form in people with hereditary disorders where their bodies produce too much of certain amino acids.