The urinary tract is composed of the kidneys, where urine is formed, the ureters (2 tubes channeling urine from the kidneys to bladder), the bladder and the urethra. Stones can form anywhere and/or move along this tract. There are 4 common types of these stones depending on what they are composed of. They are: Calcium, struvite, cysteine and uric acid stones

These are some symptoms suggestive of urinary tract stone disease:

Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs

  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain on urination that may come in waves and fluctuates in its intensity
  • Pink, red or brown urine due to blood
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Continuous need to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Fever and chills if an infection is present (complication of stone disease)
  • Urinating small amounts

However, it should be noted that not all cases of urinary stones can cause symptoms. Some cases are in fact diagnosed incidentally after performing imaging tests on the urinary tract system for other reasons

Factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones include:

  • Family or personal history. If someone in your family has kidney stones, you’re more likely to develop stones, too. And if you’ve already had one or more kidney stones, you’re at increased risk of developing another.
  • Dehydration commonly due to not drinking enough water each day, people who live in warm climates and those who sweat a lot may be at higher risk than others.
  • Certain diets especially those high in protein, sodium (salt) and sugar
  • Being obese
  • Other diseases which affect the normal handling of the stone forming minerals and organic substances like inflammatory bowel disease, kidney failure, thyroid and parathyroid gland disorders

Possessing the above symptoms will require you to see a doctor, who will confirm the diagnosis. Treatments are available, including drugs, surgery to remove the stone or correct any structural abnormality that’s a risk factor for stone formation