Michael McIntyre fans were forced to contemplate missing out on a chance to see the comedian live after he was rushed to hospital over the weekend.

The British comic, 48, underwent emergency surgery to remove kidney stones on Sunday, forcing him to cancel a show at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre on March 4 while he recovers. 

Kidney stones affect more than one in ten people, mostly aged between 30 and 60, and are caused by waste products in the blood forming crystals. Over time, crystals build up to form a hard stone-like lump.

Once a kidney stone has formed, the body will tries to pass it through urine. Most are small enough to do so and can be managed at home.

When they get too big, however, they can become extremely painful and surgery is usually needed to remove them.

So what are the tell-tale signs you may have a kidney stone? 

Michael McIntyre, 48, underwent emergency surgery to remove kidney stones on Sunday, forcing him to cancel a show at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre on March 4 while he recovers

Michael McIntyre, 48, underwent emergency surgery to remove kidney stones on Sunday, forcing him to cancel a show at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre on March 4 while he recovers

A member of Michael's team revealed he went down for the operation to remove kidney stones and apologised for any inconvenience caused with fans. Kidney stones affect more than one in ten people, mostly aged between 30 and 60, and are caused by waste products in the blood forming crystals. Over time, crystals build up to form a hard stone-like lump

A member of Michael’s team revealed he went down for the operation to remove kidney stones and apologised for any inconvenience caused with fans. Kidney stones affect more than one in ten people, mostly aged between 30 and 60, and are caused by waste products in the blood forming crystals. Over time, crystals build up to form a hard stone-like lump

Pain in the back or side of the abdomen

According to the National Kidney Foundation, as a general rule, the larger the stone, the more noticeable the symptoms. 

A severe pain on either side of the lower back is a common complaint. 

These periods of intense pain in the back or side of the abdomen, or occasionally also in the groin, may last for minutes or hours. 

Men may experience pain in their testicles. Kidney stones trigger pain, which can build rapidly, either by causing irritation or a blockage. 

WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES? 

Kidney stones are hard lumps that form due to a build up of waste products in the blood.

They are usually found in the kidney or the ureter — the tube that connects the kidneys to your bladder.

They can be extremely painful and can lead to kidney infections or the kidney not working properly if left untreated.

A tenth of Britons and Americans suffer kidney stones, with 30 to 60-year-olds most vulnerable.

It is more likely to happen if a person doesn’t drink enough fluids, takes certain medication or has an underlying condition. 

Those in severe pain, with a high temperature or have blood in their urine should contact their GP or NHS 111 immediately.

Once a kidney stone has formed, the body will tries to pass it through urine.

Most are small enough to do so and can be managed at home.

However, larger stones may need to be broken up with surgery. 

Up to half of all sufferers will have kidney stones again within five years.

Source: NHS 

The latter can happen if the stone blocks the flow of urine and causes the kidney to swell.

Blood in urine

Sufferers may also experience blood in the urine, known medically as haematuria, when a kidney stone is being passed.

Larger stones may destroy tissue in the urinary tract, allowing blood to leak into urine. 

However, there are many possible causes for blood in urine, including a urinary infection, a tumour in the bladder or kidney or polycystic kidney disease. 

The NHS urges anyone who spots blood in their urine to get it checked with an urgent GP appointment as soon as possible, even if you do not have any other symptoms, it’s the first time it’s happened or there’s only a small amount of blood. 

It may be a sign of cancer, which is easier to treat if found early. 

Urine infection

If a kidney stone blocks the urinary tract, it can stop the flow of urine passing down the ureter draining urine from the kidney. 

 This may lead to infection or even damage to the kidney.

These involve typical infection symptoms such as a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea. 

People may also experience urine that is pink or cloudy and feel the need to urinate more often than normal. 

This is due to the stone irritating the base of your bladder and fooling it into thinking that it is full. 

Others may experience a burning feeling when urinating.

Feeling sick or vomiting  

Tell-tale signs of kidney stones, however, may not always relate to urination. 

They can also cause flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, creating confusion over what condition people are suffering. 

According to the British Association of Urological Surgeons, this symptom may be triggered when the stone moves down from the kidney into the ureter — the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

The pain it can cause be be ‘very unpleasant’ and lead to nausea and vomiting, the organisation says. 

Once a kidney stone has formed, the body will tries to pass it through urine. Most are small enough to do so and can be managed at home. When they get too big, however, they can become extremely painful and surgery is usually needed to remove them. Pictured, Michael presenting his BBC1 programme 'Michael McIntyre's Big Show'

Once a kidney stone has formed, the body will tries to pass it through urine. Most are small enough to do so and can be managed at home. When they get too big, however, they can become extremely painful and surgery is usually needed to remove them. Pictured, Michael presenting his BBC1 programme ‘Michael McIntyre’s Big Show’

Feeling sweaty

Kidney stones, equally, can also trigger other flu-like symptoms such as the chills. 

This is normally a result of a urinary infection, according to state health chiefs in Victoria, Australia.  

But similar symptoms can be caused by problems with your back or spine, and other urological or non-urological conditions. 

The Association of Urological Surgeons urges anyone experiencing these symptoms to arrange a GP appointment to see what further tests Brits may need. 

Tests to diagnose kidney stones include a blood test to check if the kidneys work properly, a urine test to check or blood or an infection and a CT scan or ultrasound scan. 

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