Conditions with symptoms similar to kidney stones

Many other medical conditions or diseases cause symptoms that may be like those of kidney stones.

Stomach (abdominal) or intestinal conditions

Stomach or intestinal conditions that can cause pain similar to pain caused by kidney stones include:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) , which is potentially life-threatening. Pain from a kidney stone is usually on the right or left side depending on which kidney is affected, while pain from an aneurysm is located in the center of the abdomen or back.
  • Appendicitis .
    • Pain from appendicitis is usually in the lower right abdomen.
    • People with kidney stones are more likely to move restlessly with their pain, while people with appendicitis are likely to stay still and try not to move because moving causes more pain.
  • Cholecystitis , an inflammation of the gallbladder. Pain is usually in the upper right abdomen.
  • Diverticulitis , in which pouches (diverticula) form in the wall of the large intestine (colon) and become inflamed or infected. Symptoms can include pain and fever.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) , an ongoing inflammation of the intestines. Abdominal pain is a symptom.
  • Hernias , in which tissue from inside the abdomen bulges out of the abdominal wall. Abdominal pain may be a symptom.
  • Cancer of the ureter, colon, kidney, bladder, or ovary.
  • Constipation.

Reproductive system conditions

Both men and women can have reproductive problems with symptoms similar to kidney stones.

In women, these include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy , in which a fertilized egg attaches somewhere other than in the uterus.
  • Twisted ovary or fallopian tube (ovarian torsion), in which an ovary twists or turns on its supporting ligament, cutting off its blood supply. Symptoms include sudden pain that gets worse.
  • Ovarian cyst , a fluid-filled sac (follicle) that forms on the ovary's surface. This can cause severe pelvic pain.

In men, these include:

  • Testicular cancer . Symptoms include a pain in the lower back, abdomen, or groin.
  • Epididymitis , inflammation and infection of the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). Symptoms include pain and pain when urinating.
  • Prostatitis , a usually painful condition of the prostate gland.

Last Updated: May 4, 2009

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