Kidney stones can be a painful experience for many people, and the question of how long you can have them without knowing is a common one. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of minerals and salts that form in the kidneys and can move down the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. In some cases, kidney stones can remain in the kidneys without causing any symptoms. This can be the case if the stones are small enough that they can pass through the ureter and bladder without causing any obstruction.
In other cases, kidney stones can cause discomfort and pain as they move through the urinary tract. The pain associated with kidney stones is often described as a sharp, cramping pain in the lower back and side. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours depending on the size and location of the stone.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms associated with kidney stones and have not been diagnosed, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, kidney stones can cause serious complications if left untreated, such as obstruction of the urinary tract or infection. A doctor can diagnose kidney stones with the help of imaging tests such as an X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. Treatment for kidney stones often depends on the size and location of the stones, but may include medications, diet modification, or surgery.
In conclusion, it is possible to have kidney stones without knowing for a period of time. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.