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Renal colic

Renal colic: Introduction

Renal colic is a common condition in which a person with experiences severe pain due to a kidney stone. Kidney stones are small bits of hard crystallized material that form in the kidney. The human body has two kidneys. The kidneys are vital organs that filter waste products from the blood to make urine, which then flows from the kidneys into small tube called ureters into the bladder. The bladder stores urine until it is eliminated from the body through the urethra.

One or more kidney stones can form in one or both kidneys and result in renal colic. A person with a small kidney stone may be unaware of the condition, and it may pass in the urine out of the body without causing renal colic or other problems. In addition, there is generally no pain due to large kidney stones that remain in the kidney. However, when a large kidney stone moves out of the kidney into the ureter it causes the classic symptoms of renal colic. These include a severe, stabbing pain that occurs in waves that often occur a few minutes apart. Renal colic can continue for hours to days.

Other symptoms that can occur with renal colic can include hematuria, (blood in the urine), dysuria (difficulty urinating), nausea and vomiting. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of renal colic.

Making a diagnosis of renal colic due to a kidney stone begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Diagnostic testing includes blood tests and performing a urinalysis test, which checks for the presence of blood in the urine and other elements and help to differentiate between a kidney stone causing renal colic and a urinary tract infection that can cause similar discomfort. Imaging tests, such as ultrasound or CT, are performed to determine the cause of symptoms and locate any possible kidney stones. A urine test that includes collecting urine for 24 hours may be ordered to evaluate the urine for substances that typically form kidney stones.

A diagnosis of renal colic due to kidney stones can be delayed or missed because there may be no symptoms. In addition, some symptoms of a renal colic are similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as urinary tract infection. For more information about disease and conditions that can mimic renal colic, refer to misdiagnosis of renal colic.

Renal colic due to a kidney stone may be prevented by ensuring good hydration and with prescribed medication in some cases. Once a kidney stone has developed, treatment of renal colic may include hospitalization, pain medication, and certain procedures that remove or crush large kidney stones so that they pass more easily out of the body. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of renal colic. ...more »

Renal colic: Severe urinary system pain usually from a urinary stone. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Renal colic is available below.

Renal colic: Symptoms

The hallmark symptoms of renal colic are a severe sharp, stabbing pain in the flank area on the same side of the lower back as the location of the underlying kidney stone. Renal colic often comes in waves of very intense pain that can be accompanied by sweating, pallor, nausea and vomiting. Episodes of renal colic can last from hours to days. ...more symptoms »

Renal colic: Treatments

The first step in treating renal colic is preventing kidney stones. Medications may be prescribed to prevent the formation of certain type of kidney stones in people with a history of kidney stones. Prevention measures also include avoiding dehydration, drinking plenty of fluids, urinating as soon as possible when the urge is felt, and ...more treatments »

Renal colic: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of renal colic can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. These include urinary tract infection, pyelonephritis, appendicitis, sexually transmitted diseases, epididymitis, prostatitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Renal colic

Treatments for Renal colic

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Renal colic: Undiagnosed Conditions

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Definitions of Renal colic:

Sharp pain in the lower back that radiates into the groin; associated with the passage of a renal calculus through the ureter - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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