Most common in adults around the age of 35-45 years, ureteric colic occurs when a ureteric stone obstructs the urinary tract causing it to stretch and widen the area. It is often described as excruciating and the worst pain a patient has experienced.
Ureteric stones are hard crystals that form when minerals such as calcium and uric acid become stuck together in your urine. These stones can be really small and can sometimes be passed without the patient knowing but when they grow big enough, they can be extremely painful.
Symptoms of ureteric colic
Patients may experience severe lower abdominal pain that starts around the loin and radiates down towards the genital area. In men, the pain can sometimes be felt towards testicles and in women, the pain can be felt towards the labia. The pain is described to come in intense waves and can be accompanied by vomiting. Other symptoms associated with ureteric colic are:
- Abdominal distension
- Fever and chills
- Abnormal urine colour
- Urinary tract infection
- Foul-smelling urine
- Some people may also have a higher risk from having a family history, Crohn’s disease or other gastrointestinal problems and from the use of certain medications.
Diagnosing and treating ureteric colic
To diagnose ureteric colic a urinalysis or urine culture to check for any infections of blood in the urine. A basic metabolic panel will also be conducted to check your kidney function. Imaging such as a CT scan may also be offered for suspected ureteric colic.
Treatment options will differ by the severity, antibiotics may be administered to help with the urine infection and surgical intervention.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.