What Does Kidney Pain Feel Like?
If you are feeling a dull ache in your upper back, especially on one side, then most likely you are suffering from kidney pain. Kidneys are vital organs in the body. They perform many crucial functions that help to keep our bodies fit and in proper shape.
The key function of the kidneys is to remove excess bodily fluids and other bodily waste from the body. They are located in the upper region of the abdomen against the muscles located at the back on both the right and the left side. This organ is very delicate and should be protected at all costs, failure to which the effects will be devastating.
There are various kidney diseases, all of which bring about what we call kidney pains. These pains tend to occur in the deep and high back regions located just under the ribs.
Causes of Kidney Pains
Kidney pains are caused by a number of factors such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, penetrating trauma, blunt trauma, or because of the kidneys being lacerated.
Other major causes include:
- Arteriosclerosis of the renal artery, which is the blockage of the arteries that hinders proper movement of blood. This adds a strain on the kidney leading to renal pain.
- Hydronephrosis which comes about as a result of excess urine being retained in the kidney leading to an enlargement that causes pain which is felt on the flanks.
- Polycystic kidney condition, which is caused by the development of cysts within the kidneys that make them enlarge causing renal pain that is also felt on the flank sides.
- Cancer of the kidney, medically termed Carcinoma. It also causes pain in the kidney which is usually accompanied by a painless loss of blood during urination.
Symptoms of Kidney Pains
If you develop one or all of these signs and symptoms then most likely you could be suffering from kidney pains:
- High body fever
- Pain during urination. For women it can be a painful affair during menstrual flow.
- Loss of appetite and general body weakness. If it gets worse it leads to the loss of body weight
- Flank pains and back pains that can radiate to other regions like the groin.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination that at times can be painful
- Body swellings (edema). This is a result of the kidney not being able to remove the excess water from the body.
- Lumps on either side of the upper abdomen
- Anorexia and chills
Pain in the Back
Since kidneys are located in the upper back, the pain will mostly be felt in this region. It is very common and it mostly originates from the muscles located in the back region and in the spine section.
The pain from the kidney is usually constant and very sharp. The pain originating from the back or the spine region comes about as a result of bending or carrying weights and is usually felt not from the side over the kidney, but from the middle of the back.
Pain in the Genitalia and Groin Region
Sometimes you can be injured in a certain part of your body, but you do not feel the pain at that region but in a completely different region. For instance, during an injury or infection of the gall bladder, one will not feel the pain at the tummy region, but in the shoulders. This is similar to kidney pains.
The pain at times can be so severe that it is felt all the way from the spine and back region to the groin area and at times even in the testes region.
What does Kidney Pain Feel Like?
The pain felt in the kidneys will vary from one person to another, but common descriptions include the following: acute, chronic, mild, sharp, dull, cramping and frequent. The pain can at times be so much that you can ask, “does pancreas pain feel like this too?"
Where does the Kidney Pain Hurt?
Basically, the pain that comes from the kidney in the event of a kidney-related problem will be felt in 3 main areas:
- The most notable area where you will first feel the pain will be in one or both flanks in the region lying between the hips and the lower ribs.
- You will also be likely to feel the pain in the deeper region of the upper abdomen, either on the left or on the right side or on both at once.
- If the pain is as a result of kidney stones then one will feel the pain from the front region down towards the genitalia, groin and inner thigh region.
Diagnostic Tests for Kidney Pains
This is used to test a small sample of urine from a patient for any traces of protein or blood in the urine. It can be performed in clinics and in hospitals.
A urine sample is collected for several laboratory tests to see if there is any presence of bugs. For this test to be done, it requires a clean urine sample. This is collected halfway during the urination process.
Scan or X-ray imaging
Through the scans, the doctors can keenly study how the kidneys and bladder are performing and the state they are in. They can use the ultrasound and an IVU scan. Usually, you will be required to drink a lot of fluids before the test and not to pee during the test.
A series of blood tests can be taken to determine if the kidneys are functioning well and are removing waste from the body as required. Also, blood pressure should be checked as any kidney disease can lead to it spiking up.
Dealing with the Kidney Pain
Kidney problems require proper management, as they are vital organs in a human body. So it is imperative to deal with all the associated effects resulting from the kidney diseases.
Kidney pains can be very excruciating and can at times cause stressful and uncomfortable periods. Dealing with the pain is therefore paramount. Some people will recover fully from the pains; while others will recover from the kidney problem but will still experience the pain which can at times turn chronic. In case it turns out to be chronic pain, then a pain specialist should be sought immediately. The specialist can arrange for a series of therapy programs to help lessen the pain effect.
To relieve the pain once in a while, some painkillers can be purchased over the counter and used. For an effective pain reliever, Paracetamol is the safest at dealing with any type of pain as it does not have any side effects. One should use the recommended dosage at all times. In case it does not fully deal with the pain, painkillers that have codeine can be used.
However, not all painkillers can deal with kidney pain effectively, such as Ibuprofen, which is risky especially when there are chances of a kidney failure. It should only be taken under the advice and guidance of a doctor.
In a nutshell, kidney pain should be treated according to its parent cause. Treatment will usually involve dose after dose of antibiotics and at times a long-term bed rest.
Kidney disorders can at times come with very serious implications, which will require urgent medical attention. Other times, some kidney disorders will require surgical interventions to treat, as is the case with kidney stones.
Prevention of Kidney Pain
As they say, prevention is better than cure. By living a healthy lifestyle, you can prevent yourself from getting kidney pains that come as a result of kidney-related complications.
Be sure to drink lots of water on a regular basis. The water will act as a cleanser, cleaning your body of those toxins that can have a negative effect on your kidneys.
Avoid alcohol as much as possible or if you like drinking do not do so excessively. If you do you will be making your kidney work on overtime trying to rid your body of those toxic alcohol compounds. If it is overwhelmed it will enlarge, leading to kidney pains and in the worst cases kidney failure.
An ardent smoker will be most likely to suffer from kidney and heart-related complications. You should avoid smoking or smoking zone places. Stay healthy.
Try to eat a balanced diet at all times. Some foods are believed to have the ability to cause kidney stones if eaten regularly, especially those with calcium oxalate such as carrots and cauliflower, foods rich in amino acids, and fruits—especially those with high vitamin C levels.
Many people who have recovered or are currently suffering from kidney-related problems will tell you that they will not wish for you to experience what they have or are undergoing. The pain at times can be excruciating to a point that it renders a person hopeless and dependant on others, and they are bed-ridden most of the time.
Dealing with the pain associated with kidney related problems is essential to make the condition bearable. Doses of antibiotics, surgical procedures and therapy methods can be used to deal or manage the pain at the acute level. It is imperative to deal with the cause of the kidney problem to be able to manage the pain easily.
Does liver pain feel like this? Yes just like the kidney, if any other organ in the body is injured or damaged, this will result in a feeling of pain, which will increase in stages if not treated early. Pain management is highly important.