How To Distinguish Between Kidney Pain And Back Pain
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013. This article has been viewed 255,777 times.
When you are having pain in your back, you may not automatically know what it causing it. It can be very difficult to recognize the differences between pain originating in your back and pain coming from your kidneys. However, the difference is all in the details. In order to distinguish between kidney and back pain you need to concentrate on identifying exactly where the pain is located, how constant it is, and whether there are any other symptoms you are experiencing. If you can identify the details, you should be able to distinguish between kidney and back pain.
Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones
If you develop kidney stones composed of calcium, you may be tempted to stop eating foods that include calcium. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. If you have calcium oxalate stones, the most common type, its recommended that you have a diet higher in calcium and lower in oxalate.
Foods that are high in calcium include:
- Cows milk.
Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.
What Causes Kidney Disease
We live in a world filled with unavoidable chemicals, toxins, and corrosive materials, things that overload our kidneys and force them to work harder than they should.;Beyond filtering;toxins;from your blood, your kidneys are also
- Overseeing distribution of important;minerals.
- Regulating your;acid/alkaline balance;to keep your body from becoming;too acidic.
- Managing your bodys fluid levels.
- Releasing three essential;hormones;involved in blood pressure, bone building, and maintaining healthy red blood cells, among their other duties.
In addition, dehydration remains a problem for the majority of peopleif youre not drinking plenty of fresh, filtered water every day, you could be putting your own kidneys at risk. That’s why;it’s important to remain vigilant and find ways to support your body’s built-in filtering system.
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Renal Tumors Or Cysts
Renal tumors or cysts do not typically cause pain unless the growth is advanced or the disbursement is extensive. The three most common growth abnormalities include:
- Renal adenoma: A type of benign tumor that can grow to a substantial size
- Renal cell carcinoma : A type of cancer that usually begins in the tubules of the kidneys
- Polycystic kidney disease : An inherited disorder in which benign, fluid-filled cysts proliferate throughout the kidneys
The pain would most often be unilateral and accompanied by hematuria, either visible or invisible .
If cancer is involved, persistent malaise and unexplained weight loss are telltale signs suggestive of an advanced malignancy.
PKD may also be symptom-free until such time as the formation of cysts causes structural damage to the kidney. In addition to flank pain, usually bilateral, PKD may cause progressively worsening symptoms, including headaches, high blood pressure, hematuria, abdominal pain and swelling, recurrent kidney stones, recurrent UTIs, and renal failure.
As opposed to many of the other renal conditions, PKD is associated with excessive urination rather than impaired urination.Â;The most common form of PKD, known as autosomal dominant PKD, manifests with symptoms when patients are in their 30s and 40s. Around 10% will advance to renal failure.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Flushes Toxins From Kidneys
Apple cider vinegar is a very popular natural cleansing ingredient, although the issue is usually that there are not a lot of studies or solid evidence on its effectiveness.
Can apple cider vinegar helps to flush your kidneys? Turns out, it may.
Apple cider vinegar is very acidic. When you drink it however, it actually promote an alkaline environment in the body, which can help to alter the acidity in the urine. This can improve the way the kidneys flush toxins, and may also prevent the formation of kidney stones.
A study that evaluated the connection between the dietary habits of 12,570 adults to kidney stones in china, found that more consumption of tea, legumes, and fermented vinegar was indeed associated with a lesser risk of kidney stone formation.
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Kidney Flush With Water
While this goes without saying, you cant discuss the best drink to flush your kidneys without covering the basics: you need to drink enough water.
The main function of the kidneys is to filter waste products and extra fluids and flush them from the body as urine.
To do so effectively, the kidneys need enough water. The current guideline for total water intake for young men and women is 3.7 L and 2.7 L per day, respectively.
Another way to look at this which we have heard from many physicians, is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.
In General, you should drink enough so you have a strong urine flow, with clear urine color.
Alcohol And Kidney Disease
Drinking alcohol heavily can have several long-term health consequences including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. These conditions commonly lead to kidney disease. Excessive drinking is considered to be more than four drinks per day. This doubles your risk of developing chronic kidney disease or long-term kidney damage. The risk increases if youre a smoker.
Kidneys that have been overworked due to excess alcohol consumption dont function properly. This makes them less able to filter blood and maintain the correct water balance in the body. The hormones that control kidney function can also be adversely affected.
Heavy drinking can also cause liver disease, which makes your kidneys have to work harder. When you have liver disease, your body doesnt balance the flow and filtering of blood as well as it should. This has a harmful effect on your overall health and can increase the chance of complications.
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Home Remedy For Kidney Stones
Recently my husband ended up in the emergency room with severe lower abdominal pain. ;After several hours and multiple tests and scans it was determined he had a 3 mm kidney stone.
Thankfully it was nothing more serious, he was given a couple of different types of medications, one painkiller and something to help pass the stone. ;He was instructed to drink plenty of water and told that he would eventually pass the stone but that it would be very, very painful.
I searched the internet for a natural remedy that would hopefully ease his discomfort and help him pass the stone. I found several different remedies most of them involving Apple Cider Vinegar and lemons. ;Others involved parsley root, celery, and other natural diuretics. ;Still others called for honey and maple syrup.
After reading up on the ingredients and what they are supposed to do we decided to try combining them to see if it would work. ;We figured since the ingredients were foods he ate anyway and werent on the list of kidney stone causing foods it couldnt hurt to try it. ;Apple Cider Vinegar, lemons, and celery are all diuretics, meaning they will help the body remove excess fluids by making you pee. ;Honey and maple syrup just make it more palatable.
Kidney Stone Home Remedy
Benefits Of Cranberry Juice
Drinking cranberry juice is effective for treating bladder infection and also helps to keep your kidneys healthy as it gets through the kidneys first. It also helps to prevent kidney stones. Drinking a glass of cranberry juice daily can help to reduce recurrence or repeat Urinary tract infection.
If you have not been eating cranberries, so now it is the time to add it to your grocery list. Cranberries are small red fruits. Its juice can be a bit tart to take it directly, you can dilute it with water.
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What Not To Eat Or Drink With Kidney Problems
When you are facing kidney problems or diagnosed with the symptoms that will lead to kidney failure, then it is essential to concentrate on those that do not elevate the situation. Improper attention to the condition will lead to kidney failure, which is life threatening and creates a challenging situation for surviving.
Watch Out For Signs Of Kidney Disease
A person with kidney disease has progressive loss of function of their kidneys. Kidney disease is sometimes called a silent disease because it often doesnt cause symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. Its not uncommon for people to have lost up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing symptoms of kidney disease.
Keep an eye out for the below signs and symptoms of kidney disease, and if you have any concerns, see your doctor.
Signs of reduced kidney function can include:
- high blood pressure
- change in how often you need to go to the toilet and how much urine you produce
- changes to your urine for example frothy or foaming urine
- blood in your urine
- increased puffiness around your legs, ankles or eyes
- pain in the kidney area
- tiredness and fatigue
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Take An Epsom Salt Bath
Both Epsom salts and warm water can ease pain. This can help to make the uncomfortable side effects of the kidney infection a little more tolerable while you wait for the antibiotics to take effect.
Since abdominal pain is sometimes a symptom of antibiotics, as well as kidney infections, this could also help even after symptoms from the kidney infection are resolved. Read about how to make an Epsom salt detox bath, as well as potential side effects to keep in mind.
Oranges And Orange Juice
While oranges and orange juice are arguably most well known for their vitamin C content, theyre also rich sources of potassium.
One large orange provides 333 mg of potassium. Moreover, there are 473 mg of potassium in 1 cup of orange juice .
Given their potassium content, oranges and orange juice likely need to be avoided or limited on a renal diet.
Grapes, apples, and cranberries, as well as their respective juices, are all good substitutes for oranges and orange juice, as they have lower potassium contents.
Oranges and orange juice are high in potassium and should be limited on a renal diet. Try grapes, apples, cranberries, or their juices instead.
Processed meats are meats that have been salted, dried, cured, or canned.
Some examples include hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, jerky, and sausage.
Processed meats typically contain large amounts of salt, mostly to improve their taste and preserve flavor.
Therefore, it may be difficult to keep your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg if processed meats are abundant in your diet.
Additionally, processed meats are high in protein.
If you have been told to monitor your protein intake, its important to limit processed meats for this reason as well.
Processed meats are high in salt and protein and should be consumed in moderation on a renal diet.
Pickles, processed olives, and relish are all examples of cured or pickled foods.
Usually, large amounts of salt are added during the curing or pickling process.
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Symptoms You May Experience
The areas around your kidneys may feel sore after you drink alcohol. This is the area at the back of your abdomen, under your ribcage on both sides of your spine. This pain may be felt as a sudden, sharp, stabbing pain or more of a dull ache. It may be mild or severe and can be felt on one or both sides of the body.
Kidney pain may be felt in the upper or lower back or between the buttocks and lower ribs. The pain may be felt immediately after consuming alcohol or after youve stopped drinking. Sometimes it gets worse at night.
Other symptoms include:
There are many causes of kidney pain. Its important to understand the reason for your discomfort in case its a sign of something serious. Read on to learn more about these conditions and how to treat them.
Where Do Kidney Stones Come From
Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys. The crystals grow larger into “stones.” About 80% to 85% of kidney stones are made of calcium. The rest are uric acid stones, which form in people with low urine pH levels.
After stones form in the kidneys, they can dislodge and pass down the ureter, blocking the flow of urine. The result is periods of severe pain, including flank pain , sometimes with blood in the urine, nausea, and vomiting. As the stones pass down the ureter toward the bladder, they may cause frequent urination, bladder pressure, or pain in the groin.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, see your primary care physician,” says Dr. Eisner. “He or she will likely perform a urinalysis and a renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, or CT scan to confirm kidney stones are the source of your pain and determine their size and number.”
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Energy Drinks And The Kidneys
An October 2015 review published in the International Journal of Health Sciences examined studies on energy drinks, to assess their health effects. It found that the caffeine content of these beverages increased urination, a problem that can lead to dehydration when exercising in a hot environment. Since products such as 5-Hour Energy are loaded with caffeine, it’s a good idea to avoid them, and escape the negative effects they have on the kidneys.
The review in the IJHS cited a case of kidney failure resulting from the ingestion of large amounts of an energy drink. It was featured in an October 2014 report in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Although the case involved only one person, it merits notice, because it indicates that the beverages might have the potential to cause serious harm to the kidneys.
Energy drinks may not be acceptable for people with chronic kidney disease, or those on dialysis. A March 2018 article published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition concluded that before allowing patients to consume the beverages, a dialysis dietitian or dialysis health professional should first evaluate the safety of the specific brand, and its constituents.
Causes Of Kidney Pain
There are a number of different things that can cause kidney pain, from infection to kidney stones and beyond. While alleviating your pain might seem like the #1 priority, never forego a doctor visit to get a treatment plan that will eliminate the source of the pain. Some common causes of kidney pain include infections along the urinary tract and kidney stones.
How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history and possibly order some tests. These tests include:
- Imaging tests: An X-ray, CT scan and ultrasound will help your healthcare provider see the size, shape, location and number of your kidney stones. These tests help your provider decide what treatment you need.
- Blood test: A blood test will reveal how well your kidneys are functioning, check for infection and look for biochemical problems that may lead to kidney stones.
- Urine test: This test also looks for signs of infection and examines the levels of the substances that form kidney stones.
Kidney Stones: Symptoms You Need To Watch Out For
1. If you have pain on the sides, at the back and belly area, do check for kidney stones.
2. Burning sensation or pain while urinating can also be an early sign of kidney stone or UTI.
3. If you see blood in urine, then you must get a urine test as it can be a symptom of kidney stones or other serious complications.
4. The urgency to urinate could also be a sign of kidney stones.
5. Cloudy urine with a foul smell is another symptom you need to watch out for risk of kidney stones.
6. Small spurts of urine could also be a sign.
7. Fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting are common symptoms.
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For Urinary Tract Infections
Since three of the most common causes of kidney discomfort occur in the urinary tract, here are some remedies to relieve pain in the kidneys related to the urinary tract:
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to relieving pain in the kidneys since water will help flush bacteria out of the body. Plus, staying hydrated will help clear out the urinary tract as a whole and work to eliminate any possible infections.;
Many specialists recommend the 8×8 rule, meaning you should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. However, water intake is highly dependant on you and your health, so take this article into consideration when determining your daily amount of water intake.;
2. Drink Cranberry Juice
While not scientifically proven, cranberry juice is known to be a remedy for urinary tract infections. If you choose to alternate between cranberry juice and water, be sure to choose a cranberry juice that isnt packed full of additional sweeteners. A cranberry supplement or pure cranberry juice is always the best way to go!;
3. Take Probiotics
Its no secret that probiotics are beneficial for you, especially when it comes to fighting bacteria and kidney pain. Studies show that probiotics can improve kidney function and assist in processing waste too.;
4. Drink Parsley Juice
You can also mix parsley into a smoothie to make drinking it more bearable. Check out these recipes for inspiration!;
5. Take a Warm Epsom Salt Bath
6. Apply Heat
7. Use Non-Aspirin Pain Killers