What Should I Do If My Kidneys Hurt
If you have kidney pain that doesnt go away, the first thing you should do is call your healthcare provider to schedule an appointment or go to the emergency room if you have symptoms such as uncontrolled pain, severe nausea or vomiting, fevers or chills, or an inability to pee. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to ease discomfort:
- Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help flush bacteria from your urinary tracts. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
- Use heat. Place a heating pad on your back, abdomen or side to help reduce kidney pain.
- Take pain relievers. To ease fever or discomfort, take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
When Should I See A Doctor If I Have Lower Back Pain
In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesnt, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:
- If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
- If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
- If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.
Feeling Tired Or Sluggish During The Day
Everyone has a day when they feel tired maybe you didnt get enough sleep, or ate the wrong foods, or some other temporary factors are at play. But sometimes, fatigue is caused by lack of a hormone called erythropoietin, or EPO. The main function of EPO is to stimulate the production of red blood cells, and red blood cells carry energizing oxygen to cells throughout your body.
Stressed kidneys do not produce enough EPO, thereby reducing the number of red blood cells and making you feel weak and tired out.
Also Check: What Is Stage 4 Kidney Disease Mean
How To Tell If Its Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
Your kidneys are located just below the ribcage, with each kidney positioned on either side of your spine. Kidneys help to filter toxins and extra fluids from the body to ensure the rest of your body works normally. Common causes of kidney pain include UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones. Because your kidneys rest against your back muscles, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate kidney pain from back pain. To help you distinguish between the two, were breaking down the signs and symptoms of how to tell if its back pain or kidney pain.
What Causes Kidney Malfunction
A major culprit of kidney problems is an acidic diet . A brand-new study sheds light on the renal problems that can be caused by a high-acid, meat-rich diet.
The study followed 1,500 people with kidney disease for a period of 14 years. Participants who ate a diet high in meat came very close to experiencing complete kidney failure, while those who ate more fruits and vegetables did not even come close to kidney failure. Researchers estimate that an acidic diet can make it three times more likely for your kidneys to fail.1
Says lead study author Dr. Tanushree Banejee,
Patients with chronic kidney disease may want to pay more attention to diet consumption of acid rich foods to reduce progression to kidney failuredialysis treatmentsmay be avoided by adopting a more healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.1
Don’t Miss: Is Chronic Kidney Disease Reversible
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
See your doctor if you have persistent pain in the kidney area, or if you have back pain along with any of the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills.
- Nausea or vomiting such that you cannot eat or drink.
- Oddly colored pee.
- A repeated urgent need to pee that is unusual for you.
- The appearance of solid material in your pee.
- A general feeling of illness or lethargy that wont go away.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney pain may be mild or severe. Sometimes its harmless, but in most cases, it means that you have a problem somewhere in your urinary system. If you develop back pain along with fever, vomiting, pain when you pee or other worrisome symptoms, see a healthcare provider right away. They can find out whats causing your kidney pain and figure out how to treat the problem.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/31/2022.
Difference Between Back Pain And Kidney Pain
The kidneys are organs that sit on both sides of the body, right below the rib cage. They rest against the back muscles, which can make it difficult to tell whether youre experiencing kidney pain or back pain. However, you can distinguish one from the other by looking at where the pain is located, how severe the pain is, and what the accompanying signs are.
So what is the difference between back pain and kidney pain? Kidney pain often affects a higher area of the back compared to back problems which tend to occur on the lumbar spine. If your kidney has a problem, the pain wont go away until it is resolved. On the other hand, back pain can lessen when you adjust the position of your body or if you rest for a couple of days.
Also Check: Can Smoking Affect Your Kidneys
Pain That Comes And Goes In Waves And Changes In Intensity
As the kidney stone moves through your urinary tract, youll feel pain differently. With a backache, the pain is usually constant.
Kidney stone pain typically starts high up, near the kidney, migrates toward the abdomen and then eventually moves down toward the groin as the stone moves further down the ureter, says Mike Nguyen, MD, a urologist at Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Kidney stone pain is typically severe and can be sharp or dull. It usually occurs suddenly, without any provoking events.
Mike Nguyen, MD
Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency
1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.
3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.
If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.
Related reading: Get help for back, neck, and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis
You May Like: Is Cabbage Good For Kidney Stones
Which Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Vs Back Pain Are Different And Similar
Unless there is an acute injury, most mechanical back pain from muscles, ligaments, or bone will arise gradually and will be localized to the area of inflammation and strain.
Pain from nerve inflammation will follow the path of the nerve as it leaves the back and travels elsewhere in the body. For example, sciatic pain tends to travel from the low back to the buttock and then down the leg. Should a nerve become inflamed, there may be numbness and tingling, and the muscles that the nerve controls may develop weakness.
When back pain is due to infection, fever may be present. Because those causes of back pain associated with fever are very uncommon, it sometime takes longer for the health care provider to make the diagnosis.
Pain from the kidney usually has other symptoms associated with it. Regardless of the cause, people with pain from their kidney also have nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms give clues to the reason for kidney pain.
Back pain causes and risk factors
Back pain has numerous causes, depending upon the involved structure. Pain and inflammation of the muscles and ligaments in the back from an acute injury, or from chronic overuse, can cause significant pain.
Kidney pain causes and risk factors
Prevention Of Kidney Infections
Kidney infections are the result of bladder infections migrating to one or both kidneys. Here are some methods to reduce your risk of UTIs and kidney infections:
- Maintain personal hygiene habits such as washing your genitals and wiping front to back.
- Individuals with indwelling bladder catheters should remember to have their catheters changed regularly to avoid irritation and infection. Additionally, make sure to clean and monitor the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
- Urinate when you need to. Dont hold it, and try to empty your bladder completely.
- Urinate soon after sex, and make sure to practice safe sex in general.
- Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, and spermicidal lubes can potentially contribute to infection. Consider switching to different birth control methods if recurring infections are an issue.
If you suffer any symptoms of a urinary tract or kidney infection, talk to your doctor immediately. The faster you act, the more effective the treatment will be. If you experience any of these symptoms, call or book online with PlushCare to set up a phone or video appointment with an experienced doctor today.
Also Check: Does Milk Cause Kidney Stones
These Are Not Myths About Kidney Disease:
- Diabetes, hypertension and age 60 or greater are the most common reasons for low kidney function.
- Heart disease, family history of chronic kidney disease and being of an ethnic and/or racial minority group are important predictors of risk.
- CKD is more common among women than men.
- More than 35 percent of people aged 20 years or older with diabetes have CKD.
- More than 20 percent of people aged 20 years or older with hypertension have CKD.
- Chronic kidney disease is one of the worlds most important public health problems.
- Chronic kidney disease can often be prevented.
COVID-19 patients can become kidney patients.
You can provide lifesaving support today with a special monthly gift.
So Now Is The Time To Pamper Your Kidneys
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should see your health practitioner and have a check-up, including tests to assess your kidney function.
And you should also make sure youre helping your kidneys stay in top shape by doing a thorough cleanse.
Even if you dont have any of these signs, a systemic cleanse is like a spa day for your kidneys. It helps them get in top shape and avoid damage and disease. This is why OsteoCleanse, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator was developed in conjunction with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
OsteoCleanse is not just about alkalizing your body, feeling younger and more energized, and removing osteoporosis drugs from your system. It does all of these things in just seven days, but at the heart of OsteoCleanses effectiveness are its kidney-boosting, liver-cleansing effects so youll strengthen and build your bones faster.
Its always a good idea to heed early warning signs and treat your kidneys to a cleanse before damage occurs, and its particularly important to offset the effects of aging on your renal system.
Don’t Miss: What Color Are Kidney Stones When You Pass Them
What Organs Can Cause Lower Back Pain
February 12, 2021 By Olivia Pryor
Lower back pain is most commonly associated with problems of the spine, but did you know that inflammation and other problems with your internal organs can also cause back pain? This type of pain usually affects one side of the back, near where the organ is located.
Irritation, inflammation, or infection of any of the organs in the central, abdominal, or pelvic region can produce lower back pain. Lets talk about some of the main organs that can cause this pain, and where you can go for an evaluation and treatment:
What Is The Best Treatment For Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
When either your kidneys or your back hurt, you could either experience mild discomfort or a crippling pain. Since the actual problem might not be clear yet, consulting with a physician is imperative to determine the cause before they can administer treatment.
Issues with the kidney could either be a minor problem or a big one. If youre battling a kidney infection, your doctor would most likely prescribe antibiotics for you. A tiny kidney stone will require no treatment at all and pass naturally. In some cases, you many need a short hospital visit so they can get the stones out of your system smoothly. Drinking plenty of water can help with this problem. A larger kidney stone, on the other hand, would require surgery.
As for the back, various causes means many different cures are available. For non-serious back problems, you only need some rest, muscle relaxants, and a heating pad to relieve the pain. If the pain lasts for over two weeks, it may indicate a more severe problem that could require intensive care, physical rehabilitation, or minor surgery.
You May Like: Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys
What Says That One Is Suffering From Stage 3a Moderate Chronic Kidney Disease
Like all the other stages are diagnosed with the help of the GFR test. There is a certain level that you have to maintain, and it is necessary.
This stage is broken up into two: a decrease in glomerular filtration rate for Stage 3A is 45-59 mL/min and a decrease in GFR for Stage 3B is 30-44 mL/min. As kidney function declines waste products can build up in the blood causing a condition known as uremia.
In stage 3A person is more likely to develop complications of kidney disease such as high blood pressure, anemia which means a shortage of red blood cells and/or early bone disease.
Treatment And Management Of Back Pain Vs Kidney Pain
If back pain is not chronic, it can be managed by a hot pack and a massage on the other hand, kidney pain is persistently acute and would need a visit to the doctor.
Back pain is managed by a number of therapies and pain medications. Even though surgery is an option, it is rarely considered unless absolutely necessary. Some of the back pain management involves use of heat therapy, massage therapy, cold compression therapy, use of muscle relaxants, physical therapy, exercises, Alexander Technique, acupuncture, electrotherapy etc. Patients commonly see a chiropractor, physical therapist or Osteopath.
Kidney pain is treated according to its cause. Treatment usually involves antibiotics and bed rest for long time. Kidney disorders can have serious implications and hence require immediate medical intervention. Removal of kidneys stones might require surgical methods if medications fail to give relief to patient.
Read Also: Can Acute Kidney Injury Cause Anemia
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
Kidney pain or back pain? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
On this page
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.
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 .
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!
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Dissolve Kidney Stones
Causes Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection usually happens when bacteria, often a type called E. coli, get into the tube that carries urine out of your body .
The bacteria travel up to your bladder, causing cystitis, and then up into your kidneys.
E. coli bacteria normally live in your bowel, where they cause no harm.
They can be transferred from your bottom to your genitals during sex or if you’re not careful when wiping your bottom after going to the loo.
A kidney infection can sometimes develop without a bladder infection. For example, if you have a problem with your kidney, such as kidney stones, or if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system.