Information for Consumers - Renal Colic
This article tells you about renal colic and how it is diagnosed, including what imaging tests you may need to have.
What is renal colic?
Renal colic is pain caused by stones in your kidney, renal pelvis or ureter (the tube that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder). The stones start off as a tiny speck of material in the kidney. They are usually flushed out of the kidney but can stay in there for years and may grow bigger. The pain is caused when your body tries to get rid of the stone(s) through the ureter.
Symptoms of Renal colic are:
- Pain - starts suddenly, is usually severe and is usually in your side or back
- Nausea and vomiting - sometimes
- Small amount of blood in your urine - may not be able to see this
You would normally need a CT scan for diagnosis. The CT scan can be done using a low dose of radiation. Sometimes your doctor may request an x-ray, ultrasound or intravenous pyelogram (IVP).
A radiology doctor will look at your scan(s) and write a report for your doctor.
For more detailed information, please access InsideRadiology at: www.insideradiology.com.au
This is a resource produced especially for consumers by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists: www.ranzcr.edu.au
A guide to gathering information that you may need for making informed decisions is published by the Consumers' Health Council of Australia at: https://chf.org.au
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This information has been reviewed by representatives from the following groups:
- Aboriginal people
- People with disabilities
- CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse)
- The Health Consumers' Council
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