What is it?

Renal colic is a kind of pain that is caused from an obstruction anywhere in the urinary system (kidney, ureters, bladder and urethra) due to stones. Kidney stones are made for a mineral like calcium or uric acid and it can create hard crystals and go bigger, until blocking a part of the urinary tract. The stone stretches and widens the area, causing an intense pain. Risk factors for urinary stones include consuming lots of substances causing stones, personal or family history of stones, gastric bypass surgery, obesity, dehydration, metabolic disorders and urinary tract infection.

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Signs & symptoms

Renal colic symptoms include very strong pain on the side of the body- between the ribs and the hip or the lower abdomen, that can spread to the back or the groin. The pain can come and go every 20-60 minutes. Vomiting, nausea, fever, chills, pain when urinating, blood in urine, gravel, urgent need to urinate, and urinating more or less than usual is also possible.


Renal colic is diagnosed upon findings from medical history and physical examination. If urinary stones are suspected, an abdominal US or a CT scan may be done for imaging. Stones substances can be measured in blood and urine tests.


Treatment for renal colic and large urinary stones includes Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)- breaking up the stones into small pieces by shock waves. Also, a ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy can be performed to remove a stone.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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