What Is A Kidney Infection
A kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis, is when bacteria or viruses cause problems in one or both of your kidneys. Itâs a type of urinary tract infection .
Your kidneysâ main job is to remove waste and take extra water from your blood. Theyâre part of your urinary tract, which makes liquid waste and removes it from your body. Like the exhaust system on your car, you want everything to work like it should so waste moves in one direction only: out.
Your urinary tract is made up of your:
- Kidneys. These clean waste from your blood and make urine .
- Ureters. These thin tubes, one for each kidney, carry urine to your bladder.
- Bladder. This stores urine.
- Urethra. This tube carries urine from your bladder to outside your body.
If any of these parts gets germs in it, you can get a UTI. Most often, your bladder gets infected first. This can be painful but isnât usually serious.
But if the bad bacteria or viruses travel up your ureters, you can get a kidney infection. If left untreated, a kidney infection can cause life-threatening problems.
Where Are Kidneys Located In The Body
Kidneys play a key role in your urinary system. They are very important on what to remove and what to keep in your blood. About 200 quarts of blood is filtered by the kidneys every day. Without them, your circulation system is affected and the body loses its healthy-balanced blood.
They also produce essential hormones to help regulate red blood cell production, keep your bones strong, and other bodily functions. They also produce rennin, hormones that help control blood pressure. Ironically, high blood pressure is the leading cause of kidney disease.
You have two kidneys bean-shaped organs located behind the stomach, upper abdominal area against the back on both sides of the spine and closer to the back than the front of the body. Each about the size of your fist!
What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Kidney Diseases
The doctor usually will do a history and physical examination. Initial tests usually consist of a complete blood count , kidney function , and urine test, and when appropriate, a pregnancy test. A lacerated kidney may be suspected if the person has experienced a traumatic injury to the lower back.
If kidney stones are suspected, a CT exam or renal ultrasound is done an abdominal X-ray may be ordered but has been replaced in general by ultrasound and CT. As patients with kidney stones often need repeat X-ray studies or have repeat episodes of kidney stones, ultrasound with its lack of radiation is a good study to consider. Abdominal/pelvic CTs with contrast or magnetic resonance imaging and aortogram may be ordered to further define or differentiate underlying kidney and nonrenal causes of flank pain. Such studies are routinely performed if a kidney is suspected to be damaged by a traumatic event .
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What Can You Expect When You See Your Doctor About Kidney Pain
If youre going to see the doctor about regular musculoskeletal back soreness, your M.D. is most likely going to perform a physical exam to figure out whats causing the problem. And if they think its a more serious issue, they may order an ultrasound or some other type of imaging.
A kidney evaluation may involve more testing, however.
First, theyll ask you about your symptoms and if you’ve had any history of kidney problems in the past or family members with kidney disease. Then they will palpate the area over your kidneys and check your blood pressure and your temperature.
After that, theyll ask you to pee in a cup. This is called a urinalysis. With this test, your doctor is looking to see whether or not they see microscopic blood or smaller crystals. And depending on how sick you are, they may also order some blood tests to check for other signs of infection and see how well the kidneys are actually doing to clear toxins, says Dr. Rajan.
If your doctor is very concerned, they might do an ultrasound to look at the structure of your kidneys and check for stones.
Physicians often prescribe antibiotics for UTIs, and in the case of a small kidney stone, they may just recommend drinking more water and taking pain meds until the stone passes. But more serious or complicated conditions could require other procedures, so its important to see your doc to receive the proper assessment and treatment.
Conditions That Improve Or Worsen Kidney Pain
Moving around will not affect the pain. It likely wont provide relief, but it will not worsen the symptoms either. In most cases, nothing you do will get rid of the pain until your doctor or specialist properly treats your kidneys.
Kidney pain is also accompanied by several other symptoms, including nausea, feverishness, vomiting, dark urine, frequent need to urinate, or pain while urinating.
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What Causes A Kidney Infection
The commonest cause of kidney infection is the bacteria called E coli . The mode of infection is ascending of the germ from the anogenital area.
The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters , urinary bladder, and the urethra . These bacteria can enter the urinary tract via the urethra. The infection can occur during sexual intercourse or because of poor hygiene habits after bowel movements. On entering the urethra, the bacteria can migrate upwards to infect the bladder and the kidneys . Although pyelonephritis is rarer than cystitis, it is a serious condition and needs prompt medical management. Kidney infections can even occur in the absence of a bladder infection. This may be seen in conditions, such as kidney stones , and with weak immunity, such as diabetes and HIV.
When To Consult A Doctor About Possible Kidney Problems
Consulting a physician helps patients know whether they have kidney problems or common low back pain. They also help determine the main cause of the pain and prescribe different treatments or pain relief options. Talk to a doctor about the possible kidney pain if:
- Theres a constant dull aching pain or sharp flank pain.
- The location of the pain changes.
- The pain spreads to the lower abdomen or the inner thighs.
- The back pain is accompanied by other symptoms like fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, cloudy or dark-colored urine, painful urination, bloody urine, and small kidney stones in the urine.
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How Do You Treat Back Pain And Frequent Urination
The treatment for back pain and frequent urination depends on the cause and how long symptoms persist.
Your doctor may prescribe medications or antibiotics for infections that cause back pain and frequent urination. They may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and exercises to stretch and strengthen the back. Surgery may be necessary if you have stones, a tumor, or an abscess.
Food Tastes Like Metal
Why this happens:
A build-up of wastes in the blood can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just don’t feel like eating.
What patients said:
Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like you’re drinking iron.
I don’t have the appetite I had before I started dialysis, I must have lost about 10 pounds.
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Kidney Pain Vs Back Pain: How To Tell The Difference
Do you ever feel a surge of pain in your lower back? This could happen for various reasons and can even be caused by different parts of your body. Pain that originates underneath the ribcage and towards the bottom of your back can be a sure sign that your back needs repair or, it could be a sign that you are dealing with some kidney issues. How do you tell the difference between kidney pain vs. back pain?
Kidney health specialist Dr. Gura uses the right tools and procedures to help patients determine whether their pain is coming from the back or the kidneys. Since the kidneys reside in the back of the body, it can be easy to mistake the origin of the pain. Below, youll find some tips to help you figure out where your pain is coming from.
Kidney Infection Home Remedies
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
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Visit The Spine & Rehab Group For Spinal Pain
If youre experiencing severe symptoms of back pain, its best to consult with a doctor immediately.
With over 15 years of experience, our doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group can help diagnose and alleviate your spinal pain with non-surgical but effective treatment plans. For a healthy spine, book an appointment online with any of our NY and NJ locations today.
What Causes Kidney Pain
Kidneys drain urine to the bladder via tubes called ureters. Your bladder is emptied via the urethra. Problems in any of these areas can cause pain, and may be caused by:
- an ultrasound
If you have had kidney stones in the past, it may not always be necessary to have a computed tomography scan, which exposes you to radiation. Ask your doctor if a CT scan is necessary for you. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
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Back Pain Or Kidney Stone
According to Dr. Charney, if youre feeling kidney pain, its probably coming from one of two places : Either because of distension of the ureter or capsule that surrounds the kidneys.
The ureterstubes attached to each kidneytransport urine from the kidneys to the bladder. All that urine contains salts and minerals, and if the minerals clump together and block one of the ureters, youve got yourself a dreaded, infamously painful kidney stone.
ureter because there is a stone blocking it, says Dr. Charney. Not only that, he says, but when there is a blockage due to the stone in the ureter, the urine may back up into the kidney and that may expand the capsule of the kidney and cause pain.
When it comes to where the pain is located, it is typically just on one side. It is routinely categorized as a dull ache. Dr. Charney adds that the pain is always theremore or less bothering you. Sound familiar? Thats because chronic back pain, especially the kind caused by nerve compression, is usually on just one side too .
However, when it comes time to pass a stone, youll know it.
Stone ache can just be faint pain unless that stone is trying to pass, says Dr. Charney. Then it can be severe and last for several minutes before it goes away. Whenever the pain is too excruciating to bearand really, any time you suspect a kidney stonehead to the emergency room. Treatment is available and of course, better safe than sorry.
How Is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed
There is usually no early symptom of the condition. The signs and symptom are likely to occur when it has become advanced. Therefore if you are at high risk of developing the condition, you may be asked to take a routine screening such as urinalysis which can be a part of your complete medical checkup.
Early diagnosis of this cancer is important for the prognosis and outlook of patient. It can be treated more easily if caught early. On the other hand, advanced cancer is more difficult to treat and has worse life expectancy.
Tests and procedures to diagnose kidney cancer include:
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Can Leg Pain Be A Symptom Of Kidney Disease
It is possible that leg pain may be a symptom associated with kidney disease if a patient experiences muscle cramps in the lower limbs. Kidney disease can be a cause of peripheral neuropathy, which can also to pain in affected limbs. Additionally, patients, who are on dialysis, can have problems sleeping at night due to either aching legs or restless leg syndrome, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
One of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be leg muscle cramps, notes WebMD. A muscle cramp can be painful and the cause is a muscle spasm. Leg cramps tend to occur in the calf area. Although this one symptom of chronic kidney disease, there are many others, including fatigue, edema of the ankles, nausea, loss of appetite, bad breath, breathing problems and itchy skin.
Many different medical conditions can cause peripheral neuropathy, including kidney disease, vitamin deficiencies, tumors, diabetes and infections, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Peripheral neuropathy can cause weakness, tingling and stab-like or sharp pain in the affected limb. Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is peripheral nerve damage that cause these symptoms.
Serious Causes Of Referred Back Pain
Back pain is back pain, right? Not so fast. Sometimes pain in your back can come from an entirely different region of your body, which could be serious.
Referred pain is when you feel pain in one part of your body caused by disease or an injury in another. It’s often due to problems with chest and belly organs. For example, an infection in your kidneys may cause pain in your back or sides.
Read on to learn about four causes of referred back pain that can signal you have a severe health problem.
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Less Common Causes Of Lower Right Back Pain
The following conditions may be common in the population, but are less likely to cause lower right back pain than pain in other areas, such as in the abdomen.
Lower right back pain may be an early symptom of the following:
- Gallbladder inflammation. Gallbladder inflammation or dysfunction is typically marked by severe indigestion, particularly following meals. Gallbladder dysfunction typically causes upper right abdominal pain and right-sided back pain.
- Liver problems. Pain related to the liver may be caused by inflammation , an abscess, liver scarring , or an enlarged or failing liver. Symptoms of liver problems include pain in the upper right abdomen and/or back, fatigue, nausea or lack of appetite, and jaundice. Liver problems are relatively rare in persons not already at risk.
If the above conditions are the suspected cause of troubling symptoms, seeking prompt medical attention is advised.
Can Kidney Problems Cause Back Pain
The people with gas problems sense pain in their shoulders, and the people with heart problems sense pain in their left arm but, why? Because there are many diseases which harm other parts of our body which somewhere relates to that? For Example A person who is suffering from back pain may be experiencing kidney problems. Can kidney problems cause back pain? The answer is yes. Kidney problems cause back pain, below the rib cage, or even on the sides. Kidneys pain can felt in the flank, which located on either side of the spine between the bottom of ribcage and hips. It normally happens on one side of the body, but it can happen on both sides.
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How Is Kidney Pain Treated
Treatment of kidney pain depends on what condition is causing it. In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to help your doctor make a diagnosis:
- Urinalysis: Checks for the presence of blood, excess white blood cells , proteins, and certain chemicals that are linked to various kidney disorders.
- Imaging tests:Ultrasound or a CT scan provides an image of the physical structure of the kidneys and urinary tract, sees if stones are present, and helps determine if blood flow is adequate.
Kidney Pain Or Back Pain Sometimes It Can Be Tough To Tell But Each Will Provide Their Own Clues Heres What You Need To Know
Trying to understand why your back hurts can feel exhausting. Most cases of back pain go away on their own. But if the soreness or irritation lingers it can suggest a more substantial health concern possibly one associated with the kidneys.
Kidney pain or back pain? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
Healthy kidneys help eliminate waste from the body, regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells, and perform other essential jobs all day every day. Youll find these bean-shaped organs below your ribs, close to the middle of your back. Thats why kidney problemsstones, infection, chronic kidney diseasescan easily be mistaken for mid-or upper back pain.
Heres the thing, though. People with kidney disease sometimes have pain caused by their kidney disease, says Alan Charney, MD, a nephrologist at NYU Langone Health and clinical professor at the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Remarkably, though, the kidney itself has no pain receptors!
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