is a guide to the symptoms, causes and treatment of Kidney Pain

Kidney Pain Causes

Pain in the kidneys basically arises from an infection or injury and the common results of kidney pain include bloody urine and pus, fever, and infection in the urinary tract. However, any such infection doesn’t always lead to pain, making it hard to detect in the initial stage. Bleeding in the kidney due to trauma, or any other reason, is another cause of kidney pain. Some other reasons that lead to pain in the kidneys include polycystic kidney disease, horseshoe kidney, kidney cancer and a lack of blood flow due to arteriosclerosis of the arteries leading to the kidneys. Another major cause for this pain is the development of a kidney stone, which is also known as renal colic. If a patient has developed kidney stone, the resulting pain is severe and hard to tolerate. Kidney stones block the flow of urine and due to the pressure of the fluid inside the urinary tract and the kidney the patient starts to have acute kidney pain. However, pain isn’t a justified symptom of a growing kidney disease as there are chances to have severe flank pain and urinary tract infection without the kidney pain.

Kidney Pain Symptoms

One of the major symptoms of a problem and ache in the kidney is an intolerable pain in the back region. Generally, kidney pain is accompanied by so many other symptoms that it becomes nearly impossible for a patient to differentiate between pain in the kidney and other forms of pain that are associated with the same cause.

Basic symptoms of pain in the kidneys are as follows:

  • Decreasing count of red blood cells
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Very little urine formation
  • Swelling in legs and feet
  • Less appetite
  • Decreased Mental Sharpness
  • Hiccups
  • Itching
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting, Feverish and Nausea
  • Restlessness and queasy
  • Pain in the lower back

Kidney Pain Types and Location

The types and the location of the pain are usually related to each other. Pain resulting from a kidney stone is commonly felt in the flank region, lower abdomen and the groin region. The pain can last from 20 to 60 minutes depending on the severity of the problem. Sometimes a tube is placed in the urinary tract to pass through the problem area and hence lessen the pain, while also assessing the actual cause.

Another type of pain is the pyelonephritis pain, which is usually accompanied with fever, increased heart rate, painful urination, abdominal pain diversifying to the back and tenderness at the angle of the affected side.

Pain due to renal colic is basically felt in the flank region. This type of pain, which arises due to kidney stone, is intense and doesn’t mostly go undiagnosed. While pain might be felt throughout the day or only for a couple of hours each day, most patients with a problem in the kidney feel pain while urinating.

Kidney Pain Relief

One of the main causes of pain in the kidneys is Pyelonephritis and to avoid it one should take the following precautionary steps:

  • Have adequate amount of water
  • Avoid curbing urinating urges
  • Emptying your bladder at regular intervals
  • Practicing safe sex and hygiene

For the kidney stone pain relief the cure can be:

  • By medication and drugs
  • Diuretics to wash away water and small stones
  • A surgery, if the stone size is larger
  • Lithotripsy, one more way to remove the stone

In addition, you can also exercise regularly, which gives your body the much deserved physical activity. Also try and reduce salt consumption and rather eat a healthy meal, which contains a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains. Also try to keep a check on your weight and stop eating junk food, which is hard to digest.

Another excellent way to keep your kidneys in good health is to limit the use of alcohol tobacco. As an added suggestion, cranberry juices are one remedy to deal with kidney ache.

Kidney Disease – The Basics

Kidneys are an important set of organs which literally carry about the waste management system of the body. These organs have the basic function of filtering the extra water and waste, and converting it to urine which is let out of our body. So to say they actually do the ‘dirty work’, but the same work without which we ourselves would become dirty from the inside. So it is obvious that keeping them working and disease-free is essential. Yet, there exist certain diseases that affect the kidneys.

Kidneys are said to be diseased if they fail do perform their basic function of filtering waste. This damage obviously will cause all the waste to accumulate in the body, causing furthermore problems. The main reasons for kidney diseases are:

  • High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common problems because of which kidney diseases are acquired
  • Cardiovascular diseases – related to heart and blood
  • Hereditary kidney failure problem

One major concern about kidney disease is that its early stages do not have any signs or symptoms. Hence many doctors suggest that regular urine and blood tests should be done after a particular age, as these are the only tests through which kidney diseases can be detected. Kidney diseases can be treated effectively if they are discovered in their earlier stages. Hence also the importance of the tests. Another important fact about kidney diseases is that once affected, the diseases generally cannot be completely cured. They can ultimately lead to kidney failure, the only solution of which is a transplant.

Types of Kidney Diseases

Basically two main types of kidney diseases exist – Acute and Chronic. Acute Kidney diseases are ones which come very quickly but equally fast is the recovery after treatment. They are most commonly caused by infection, injury, certain medical conditions, and certain medications.

Chronic Kidney diseases, on the other hand, are caused when the kidneys become damaged or dysfunctional for more than 3 months. These take place over 5 stages, the most serious of which is called as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Chronic kidney diseases are the most common type of kidney diseases.

Acute kidney diseases are normally caused by:

  • Injury or Infection of any kind
  • Any particular medical conditions
  • Any particular medicinal intake

Chronic kidney diseases are mainly caused by:

  • Any heart condition, or medical history of diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Any kidney disease that has been brought down through family medical history
  • Blockage of the urinary tract
  • A condition in which there is a reverse flow of urine from bladder to kidneys, called as Reflux Nephropathy
  • Inflammation and eventual damage of the filtering parts of the kidney, called as Glomerulonephritis
  • Intake of certain medicines over the years. This causes permanent damage to the kidneys

As mentioned before, High blood pressure, diabetes and hereditary kidney problems also lead to chronic kidney diseases. Disease caused due to hereditary problems is also called Polycystic kidney disease.

The best practice to know if you have kidney disease is therefore to go for regular tests.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

As mentioned earlier, there are hardly any symptoms observed for early stages of kidney diseases. The symptoms become stronger only when the disease becomes severe. However, there are some major symptoms which should not be neglected as they might be about one’s kidney. Following are the 10 most common symptoms of kidney disease:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Feeling Cold
  • Urination changes
  • Concentration problems and Dizziness
  • Leg/Flank Pain
  • Pain on the side or back
  • Swelling in the face, hands, legs, feet and/or ankles.
  • Fatigue
  • Ammonia Breath or Metallic Taste in the Mouth
  • Skin Rashes/Itching

Kidney Disease Treatment

Kidney diseases are best cured when they are detected in their earliest stages, which can only be done through regular medical tests. Hence regular tests of urine and blood are best to be done. This also involves careful management of blood pressure, reducing salt intake, avoiding junk food, avoiding habits like smoking and drinking and regular exercising.

In serious cases, as the kidneys start to become dysfunctional, doctors may suggest treatment plans based on tests. If the kidney disease is of chronic type and kidneys have completely failed, it is termed as end-stage renal failure (ESRF) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). As there is no cure for this yet, the only solutions that remain are of dialysis and kidney transplant.

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