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Kidney Stones Symptoms & Diagnosis


Occasionally, kidney stones do not cause symptoms, and they leave the body in the urine. The condition, though, can cause severe pain.

Symptoms include:

  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the lower back that may occur every few minutes lasting from 20 minutes to one hour
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area, labia, or testicles
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Burning pain during urination
  • Fever
  • Urinary tract infection


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.

Tests may include:

  • Urinalysis—to look for blood, pus, bacteria, and crystals in the urine
  • Blood tests—to check kidney function, calcium , and uric acid levels
  • Urine culture —if infection suspected
  • Spiral CT scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the kidney
  • Ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to examine the kidneys
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) — special x-ray that produces images of the urinary system (less commonly used today)
  • 24-hour urine—to check levels of many factors, including calcium , phosphorus , uric acid, oxalate, and citrate

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2024 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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