Gravel in the kidney is a condition more commonly known as kidney stones. Kidney stones result from the build-up of minerals and salts and can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.
Severe pain can occur when a kidney stone moves through the urinary tract. Pain can come and go during stone movement, and will occur in the side or the back, below the rib cage.
Often, the urine will be noticeably different. Kidney stones can cause blood in the urine (hematuria) or cloudy urine, both of which can emit a strong, foul scent.
Kidney stones also can cause nausea. Some patients may experience vomiting. Doctors believe they are brought on by the intense pain.
If an infection is present, the patient may also experience chills, a fever or sweating.
As painful kidney stones may be, most will pass on their own. Only one to two stones out of every 10 will require additional treatment, such as surgical removal.