Sign: You are overwhelmed by sudden and severe pain
Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stones, according to the National Kidney Foundation. If you have high levels of certain minerals in your urine, kidney stones (hard, pebble-like pieces of material) can form in one or both of your kidneys.
“Pain associated with kidney stones often comes on suddenly and is sometimes described as [as] excruciating as the pain associated with labor,” says Douglas Propp, MD, Medical Director and Chair of Emergency Medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Dr. Propp says most patients pass their kidney stones on their own, though doctors sometimes prescribe medication to either manage the pain or help the stone pass. Some stones may even require surgery.