Kidney stones are often called the worst pain on earth. Personal horror stories abound about them. No wonder, look at the photo, can you imagine passing that? It’s easy to believe that horrific pain would be the only sign you’ve developed a kidney stone, but what if there are other early warning signs? Great news, there are signs that you have an impending stone, and being aware might give you enough time to deal with it before the pain really hits.
What Is a Kidney Stone?
As the term implies, a kidney stone is a hard deposit, which can be located anywhere in the urinary tract from the kidneys to the bladder. Stones form when urine is too concentrated, allowing crystals to form.  What they’re made of determines which of four types they are:
- Calcium stones, the most common type, consist of oxalate, phosphate, or carbonate. These account for 75-85% of all stones.
- Uric acid stones are formed from uric acid.
- Struvite stones are made from calcium, magnesium, and ammonium phosphate.
- Cystine stones, which are hereditary, come from a build-up of cystine, which is not adequately reabsorbed, combined with lysine, arginine, and ornithine.
Three Warning Signs
Most kidney stones pass through the urinary tract with no trouble. Unfortunately, some do not. Left untreated, they can result in terrible pain. Of course, you do not want to wait until that happens, so knowing early symptoms can save you some real misery. Here are 3 signs that you may be developing a stone.
1. Urinating Frequently
Men are much more likely to suffer from kidney stones, so many men try to ignore frequent urination because it’s also a symptom of prostate problems, something that many men find difficult to face. Do not ignore frequent urination. Not only is it a nuisance that can interfere with your daily activities, it can also be a flag for a serious problem. If it proves to be caused by a kidney stone, catching it early may save you from incredible pain. 
2. Blood in Urine
Blood in the urine can have many causes, including infections. But don’t make any assumptions about it. If your urine is discolored pink, red, or brown, it could be caused by a kidney stone. If you try your favorite home remedy for urinary infections and it doesn’t work, do not ignore the problem, try another. 
3. Repetitive Urinary Tract Infections
Kidney stones can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). As a result, if you’ve recently healed one, only to realize that you are getting another, it may be because of a stone. Do not simply repeat treatment of a UTI, or you may end up with another horrific kidney stone experience!
If you experience any of these indications, don’t ignore it! The earlier you discover kidney stones, the more likely it is that you will be able to take care of it with natural methods.
Of course, don’t forget about supporting the health of your kidneys. We hear about the benefits of liver cleansing all the time, but the kidneys are the other major organs for toxicity removal. Keep in mind that certain foods and herbs can help clean your urinary tract and prevent stones from forming. Finally, do not forget to drink water! Remember that a primary cause of stones is concentrated urine, so keep yourself well-hydrated.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Health Central. Kidney Stones. (last accessed 2013-11-05)
- Mayo Clinic. Kidney stones, Symptoms. (last accessed 2013-11-05)
- Abby Willow. Warning Signs of Kidney Stones. June 13, 2011. (last accessed 2013-11-05)