Your GP will usually be able to diagnose kidney stones from your symptoms and medical history.
It will be particularly easy if you've had kidney stones before.
You may be given tests, including:
You can collecta kidney stone by urinating through some gauze or a stocking.
Having a kidney stone to analyse will make a diagnosis easier, and may help your GP determine which treatment method will be of most benefit to you.
If you have severe pain that isn't controlled by painkillers, or if you have a high temperature as well as pain, you may be referred to a urologist (a specialist in treating urinary problems).
If you'rereferred to hospital for an imaging test,a number of different techniques may be used. Imaging tests can help confirm the diagnosis, or identify precisely where a kidney stone is.
CT scans are now often used because they're thought to be more accurate (IVUs were previously the preferred imaging method). The imaging technique you have may depend on what's availableat your local hospital.
Symptoms of kidney stones include localized pain depending on the positioning of the stone, pain during urination, cloudy urine, odd-smelling urine, etc.
Methods to diagnose kidney stones are: abdominal ultra sound, blood tests to check for excess uric acid or calcium, CT-scan or X-ray, pyelography.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are usually used to treat and alleviate the pain, and in cases of severe pain, tramadol may be used. In the case of infection, antibiotics may be used.
Kidney stones can develop in one or both kidneys and most often affect people aged 30 to 60. They're quite common, with around three in 20 men and up to two in 20 women developing them at some stage of their lives.
Read about the symptoms of kidney stones, which usually only occur if a stone gets stuck in your kidney, if it starts to travel down the ureter, or if it causes an infection.
Find out what causes kidney stones. They're usually the result of a build-up of a substance such as calcium, ammonia or uric acid in the body.
Find out how kidney stones are diagnosed. Imaging tests, such as a computerised tomography (CT) scan, can be used to help confirm the diagnosis or locate a kidney stone.
Find out how kidney stones are treated. The treatment you'll need will depend on the size and type of kidney stone you have.
The best way of preventing kidney stones is to make sure you drink plenty of water each day to avoid becoming dehydrated.