What Does Flank Pain Indicate
Flank pain refers to discomfort in your upper abdomen or back and sides. However, constant or severe flank pain may indicate a serious medical condition, such as dehydration or a urinary tract infection. Kidney stones or another kidney problem may also cause persistent flank pain.
In respect to this, what does flank pain feel like?
Kidney pain, or flank pain, typically feels like a dull ache on one side of your upper back. The pain usually begins on your side or back. Attributes of kidney pain, including how severe it is, how often it occurs, and whether it’s isolated or radiating, vary.
One may also ask, how do you get rid of flank pain? Treatment depends on the cause. Rest, physical therapy, and exercise may be recommended if the pain is caused by muscle spasm. You will be taught how to do these exercises at home. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be prescribed for flank pain caused by spinal arthritis.
Also to know, when should I be worried about flank pain?
Flank pain has many possible causes, including a kidney stone, a urinary tract infection, or back strain. Flank pain may get better on its own. But don’t ignore new symptoms, such as fever, nausea and vomiting, urination problems, pain that gets worse, and dizziness. These may be signs of a more serious problem.
Is flank pain a sign of cancer?
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How To Manage The Discomfort
Now that you know the answer to your question, “What does a kidney infection feel like?” you may also want to know how to manage the pain and discomfort.
Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Your doctor will ask for urine tests to identify the type of bacteria present in your urine. This helps them select the most suitable drugs for you. The signs and symptoms of an infection will take a few days to ease a bit, but you may have to take antibiotics for a week or longer. Be sure to complete the course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better after a few days. In serious cases, you will have to pay a visit to the hospital. Your doctor will give you antibiotics intravenously to treat your infection.
Lifetime and Home Remedies
You can also take some homecare measures to relieve pain and discomfort. For instance:
- Apply heat on your back, abdomen, or side to reduce pain and pressure.
- Take painkillers to reduce pain and fever. Take acetaminophen and avoid aspirin.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help eliminate bacteria from your urinary tract. Do not drink alcohol or coffee though.
How Long Do Kidney Stone Symptoms Last
As mentioned, the time frame for these symptoms can be as short as a week or up to a month and beyond. So, even if it feels like your kidney stone pain has subsided, it’s important to reach out to your doctor since sporadic pain is common with this condition.
“While some kidney stones pass on their own, others require treatment such as medications or procedures to help break up the stone or even surgical removal. Your doctor can perform the tests needed to determine whether the stone is likely to pass on its own or if you might need treatment. In addition, your doctor can help you manage the pain associated with passing the stone,” adds Dr. Kannady.
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Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
Typically, a kidney infection develops after a UTI has already affected your urethra the tube through which urine exits your body and your bladder. This area is known as your lower urinary tract.
If you recognize the earlier signs of a UTI, you can seek treatment and usually avoid a kidney infection. But its possible that your symptoms wont be severe enough to get your attention until the infection has spread to your kidneys.
Whether or not youre also experiencing kidney-specific symptoms, its important to look out for signs of a UTI affecting your lower urinary tract:
Painful Urination Known as dysuria, pain during urination is usually caused by inflammation in the lining of your urethra.
Frequent Urination A UTI can cause frequent and intense urges to urinate, even when youve recently emptied your bladder.
Thats because an inflamed bladder from your infection may be more sensitive to pressure from your urine, giving you the sensation that your bladder is full even when its not.
Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics Long
While there are some common side effects and risk for creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is safe to take antibiotics preventively under the guidance of your physician.
If you have recurring UTIs , you may benefit from a low-dose prophylactic antibiotic, Dr. Sussman said. Some may require intermittent treatment at the sign of symptoms, while others may require a single dose after sexual intercourse or when symptoms occur. However, its important you discuss the underlying causes with your doctor before being prescribed antibiotics prophylactically.
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What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are solid, often irregularly shaped masses or crystals made of minerals and salts that form in your urinary tract. They form in the kidney, but then can move around and get stuck in the ureter , which is usually what causes symptoms, says Dr. De.
A common misconception is that pain is from having a kidney stone when in fact the pain comes from when the stone gets stuck, typically in the ureter. Urine will back up into the kidney causing it to swell. The swelling of the kidney causes the pain because the kidney isnt a stretchy organ and swelling causes the nerves on the surface of the kidney to get irritated, says Dr. De.
Kidney stones can be caused by several factors like dehydration, diet, medical conditions, medications, or a family history of kidney stones. There are different types of stones as well, like calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid and struvite.
They can range in shape, size and texture. The smallest size could be as small as a poppy seed or just even crystals that show up on a urine test but arent visible to the eye, says Dr. De. They can get as big as filling the entire kidney, so that can be more than 4 or 5 centimeters, depending on the size of somebodys kidney.
What Is A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are technically a type of UTI, since kidneys are part of your upper urinary tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . These infections are typically caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli that is usually found in the large intestine but can wreak havoc when it finds itself in the urinary tract.
Kidney infections are one of the most common urologic conditions that we see in general urology practice, Fara Bellows, M.D., a urologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Still, kidney infections are no joke.
This is a serious organ infection, and people need to take care of it, urologist David Kaufman, M.D., of New Yorks Central Park Urology, tells SELF. Bladder infections are really uncomfortable, but kidney infections can be deadly.
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Evaluation And Treatment Of Flank Pain
After noting symptoms, the doctor examines the person and usually does a urinalysis to check for red blood cells or excess white blood cells. White blood cells in the urine suggest an infection. If an infection is suspected, a urine culture is usually done. A person with very severe, cramping pain and blood in the urine is very likely to have a kidney stone. A person with milder, steady pain, tenderness when the doctor taps over one kidney, fever, and excess white blood cells in the urine is likely to have a kidney infection.
If a kidney stone is suspected, the doctor often does computed tomography or ultrasonography to determine whether a stone is the cause, the size and location of the stone, and whether it significantly blocks urine flow. An intravenous contrast agent is not used for the CT scan. If the doctor is not sure of the cause of pain, often CT that uses an intravenous contrast agent or another imaging test is done.
The underlying disorder is treated. Mild pain can be relieved by taking acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Pain from kidney stones may be severe and may require use of intravenous or oral opioids.
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. Make sure to clean and monitor the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
- Pee when you need to. Donât hold it, and try to completely empty your bladder without rushing anything.
- 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.
If you experience any of these symptoms, to set up a phone appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.
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Symptoms In Children And Elderly People
While the typical range of symptoms for a kidney infection applies to most adults, older adults and young children may have different symptoms.
If youre over age 65, you may experience none of the typical symptoms of a kidney infection summarized above. Instead, you may only experience problems with your thinking, such as:
- Difficulty speaking
Children under 2 years old with a kidney infection may only have a high fever.
Caregivers of very old and very young individuals should know to seek help when these signs or symptoms occur.
Pus Or Blood In Your Urine
In most cases, your doctor would only see this if they did a dipstick urine test. Its because your urethra is inflamed and it could be shedding a little bit of blood, she explains. However, it is is possible that you might actually see blood when you go to the bathroom. As for pus, that would be more common in very complicated kidney infections, and would show up as white cells on the dipstick test.
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What Are Symptoms Of Kidney Pain
Symptoms of kidney pain occur in the area of the kidneys, on the sides or middle to upper back, on one or both sides, and feels like:
- A constant, dull ache in the sides, back, or belly
- Pain in the side
- Pain may come in waves
- Pain may radiate to the belly or groin area
Depending on the cause of the kidney pain, symptoms that may accompany it include:
How Other Patients Describe It
What does a kidney infection feel like? See how different patients describe it:
“After having spasms on my lower right side, I have been taking medicines for bladder and kidney infection for quite some time now. I drink plenty of water but my urine is still very yellow in color. I also had a cold last year but it always come back again. I have also been experiencing pain in legs since the last couple of days and my sleep pattern is all over the place.”
“I do not just have a kidney infection but my doctor believes that I have kidney stones too. While I do not have any fever, I have serious pain under my chest that often radiates to my groin area. It becomes so difficult to breathe when pain becomes severe. My doctor performed certain tests but found no blood in the urine. There were white blood cells and protein in my urine samples though. It feels as if I have the flu. My body hurts and I feel nauseous as well.”
“I am now 40 and have suffered kidney infections thrice in my life. I am having it again. What does a kidney infection feel like? It’s painful, sometimes unbearable. Now, I am experiencing horrible pain near ribs, as well as in lower left and right abdomen. As of this morning, I have fever, dizziness, nausea, and infrequent urination. There was a burning sensation at the end of urination but that subsided later, which my doctor told was not a good thing it means the infection has now moved up to my kidneys?”
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What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like When Pregnant
Among the numerous modifications that happen in the body during pregnancy is an increase in the risk of establishing an infection of the urinary tract. The hormone changes along with the physical modifications put in by the enlarging uterus can result in a slowdown of the passage of urine through the urinary tract and even to vesicouteral reflux, a condition in which urine in the bladder backs up, or refluxes, back into the ureters . The hormone progesterone is responsible for changes in action of the smooth muscle walls of the ureters, and the weight of the uterus itself can cause urinary retention. There is even more an expansion of blood volume and increased load on the kidneys in pregnant women, leading to increased urine output in the face of decreased mobility of the ureters. Lastly, pregnant women tend to have greater urinary levels of glucose than nonpregnant women. All these changes predispose to infection within the urinary tract.
As in nonpregnant women, urinary infections can take place in the urethra or bladder or may spread to the kidneys . Most of infections come from existing bacteria in the vaginal and anal areas that spread out upward through the urinary system.
Causes Of Kidney Pain
Kidney pain has many possible causes. These organs are connected to others like your bladder and ureters, where you store and get rid of urine.
Kidney stones. Intense, sudden, stabbing pain may be a kidney stone. These are mineral deposits that can grow large enough to block a ureter, a tube that connects your kidney and bladder. If that happens, you’ll feel sharp pain or cramps in your back or side. It can also spread out to your groin. As you try to pee out the stone, you might feel waves of pain.
Kidney infection. Also called pyelonephritis, this infection could cause discomfort in one or both kidneys. You may feel pain in your back, in your side or both sides under your ribs, or in your groin. You’ll also have a fever. Urinary tract infections also cause discomfort in this organ.
Kidney swelling. This condition, called hydronephrosis, can happen if your kidneys are blocked. Your urine can’t drain the way it should and builds up in your kidneys. This can happen in one or both kidneys and sometimes it causes pain.
Kidney cysts. You may not feel a simple kidney cyst until it grows larger. Once it gets big, you might feel a dull pain in your side or back, or feel pain in the upper part of your belly.
Polycystic kidney disease. This genetic disease causes many cysts to grow in your kidneys. They may cause you to feel a pain in your back or side.
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Where Does Your Back Hurt With A Uti
A back pain you cant ignore An upper UTI can cause intense back pain as the infection reaches the kidneys. People will get pain in the lower back and groin area. Back pain comes with two other symptoms: high fever and vomiting. Upper infections happen when a lower UTI goes unchecked or does not respond to antibiotics.
How Long Does A Uti Last
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If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.
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What Does A Ct Scan Of The Kidneys Show
CT scans of the kidneys are useful in the examination of one or both of the kidneys to detect conditions such as tumors or other lesions, obstructive conditions, such as kidney stones, congenital anomalies, polycystic kidney disease, accumulation of fluid around the kidneys, and the location of abscesses.
What Dissolves Kidney Stones Fast
Your doctor can determine whether a juice may cause side effects for you or your baby.Water. When passing a stone, upping your water intake can help speed up the process. Lemon juice. Basil juice. Apple cider vinegar. Celery juice. Pomegranate juice. Kidney bean broth. Dandelion root juice.More items
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