The Kidneys Are Retroperitoneal Organs In The Abdomen
The kidneys are located behind the peritoneum, and so are called retroperitoneal organs. They sit in the back of the abdomen between the levels of the T12 and L03 vertebrae. The right kidney is slightly lower than the left kidney to accommodate the liver. Both kidneys are bean-shaped and about the size of an adult fist.
How Is Urinalysis Done
Urinalysis is done by making use of a special strip, called Urine Strip, which has been impregnated with certain chemicals that can react with the constituents of a given urine specimen.
The urine strip contains chromogena special color indicator that changes based on the reaction of the impregnated chemical with the constituents in the urine.
Collect fresh urine in a test tube and immerse the urine strip, allowing the strip to be completely covered short of the tip where you hold the strip. Make sure you immerse the strip in the urine for about 1 minute, before removing it.
Afterwards, you read the color change against the urine strip container.
How Do I Recognize Back Pain From Kidney Stones
Back pain caused by kidney stones is a unique type of pain caused by tiny stones blocking the flow of urine between the kidney and the bladder. You can recognize the difference by the type of pain felt. Back pain due to another condition tends to cause muscle aches and soreness in the spine or muscle tissue. Back pain from kidney stones, however, comes in cycles and is described as very intense pain that begins on the right or left side. Kidney stone pain often moves from the original location to the lower abdomen and may even be felt, at times, in the groin area as a stone moves about inside the ureter.
Besides back pain, a person with kidney stones may also experience nausea, vomiting, fever and urine tinged with blood. For some, kidney stones also produce back and abdominal spasms. It is not uncommon for individuals with kidney stone pain to also have symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
In order to clearly diagnose back pain caused by kidney stones, a medical professional will perform a urinalysis and an x-ray to determine if a stone is present and to determine whether or not it is likely that it may naturally pass during urination. If it is too large to pass, a stone may need to be removed via surgery or dissolved using medications. Once stones have passed, dissolved, or been removed, any pain should subside.
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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 may be described as:
- 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:
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Is It Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
Kidney pain and back pain are similar, and people often confuse them.
Back pain usually occurs in your lower back.
Kidney pain is deeper in your body and higher up your back. Youll likely feel pain in your sides or your middle- to upper-back area . The pain may progress to other areas, including your abdomen or groin.
Kidney pain results from swelling or blockage of your kidneys or urinary tract. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting or pain when you pee.
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How Improve Kidney Health
Monitor your blood pressure – High blood pressure accelerates kidney damage. To protect yourself from kidney disease you should also maintain a diet low in salt and saturated fats.
Keep fit and active – This helps reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of kidney disease.
Dont smoke – Smoking slows blood flow to the kidneys, deceasing their ability to function properly.
Eat healthily and keep your weight in check – This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney disease.
Get your kidney function checked – If anyone in your family has suffered from kidney disease, you are diabetic or have high blood pressure or if you are of South Asian or African-Caribbean ethnic background.
Editor Note: Knowinsiders.com cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.
The Kidneys Are Composed Of Three Main Sections
Each kidney consists of an outer renal cortex, an inner renal medulla, and a renal pelvis. Blood is filtered in the renal cortex. The renal medulla contains the renal pyramids, where urine formation takes place. Urine passes from the renal pyramids into the renal pelvis. This funnel-shaped structure occupies the central cavity of each kidney and then narrows as it extends out to join the ureter. Urine drains from the renal pelvis into the ureter.
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Why Kidney Health Is Vital To Your Overall Well
In ancient times the kidneys were viewed as the seat of feelings, conscience, and yearnings and the source of morality and ethical activity. The kidneys were associated with the innermost parts of a persons personality and well-being. While we know now that kidneys have no direct role in shaping our ethics, emotions and personality, these two bean-shaped organs are nonetheless vital to our well-being.
The kidney is a remarkably intricate organ that acts as the filter system of the body. Just as important, your kidneys also work to keep the whole body in a state of chemical balance. The kidneys regulate the substances, helpful and harmful, that float around in the body and keeps them within very tight parameters so the body can function as a well-oiled machine. This is called renal function.
You cannot live without proper renal function, even if the kidneys are assisted artificially. Life would not continue without the many functions these organs perform.
The kidney is the major player in the regulation of your blood pressure, and the make-up of the blood. Maintaining many hormones that are vital to our very existence, the kidneys even produce hormones that tell bones when to make more blood cells.
Learn About How Your Kidneys Work In The Following Video:
To summarize: Why are the kidneys so important for me and my body?
- Restless legs
Trust your physician and consult her or him if you are not feeling well. The sooner you speak to your physician and the more open you are about your symptoms, the better your physician can react and find a suitable treatment for you. The right measures at the right time can have a decisive influence on the course of kidney disease. Unfortunately, existing chronic damage to the kidneys cannot be reversed. If complete kidney failure has occurred, the function of the kidney must be replaced. There are various options for this.
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A Stone Or Other Obstruction In The Urinary Tract
If you experience pain in your kidneys, there is a good chance that there is a stone or other obstruction in the urinary tract. If the obstruction is small, it may be able to pass on its own.
However, if the obstruction is larger, it may need to be removed through surgery. Treatment for kidney pain typically includes medication and rest.
If the obstruction is not removed through surgery, it may need to be passed through the urinary tract on its own.
Is The Right Kidney Lower Than The Left Kidney
The right kidney sits a bit lower than the left one as the biggest part of the liver is on the right side of the abdomen. Most problems or infections with your kidney cause middle back pain or flank pain. However, the pain is not always felt where the kidneys are located.
What happens when kidney function drops below 25%?
While some loss of function is tolerable, serious problems develop as kidney function drops below 25%, and life-threatening complications can arise as function drops below 10% to 15%. 7 Cancer: A number of cancers can affect the kidneys, including renal cell carcinoma.
What is the structure of the kidney?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are roughly the size of a fist. A tough, fibrous renal capsule surrounds each kidney and provides support for the soft tissue inside. Beyond that, two layers of fat serve as further protection. The adrenal glands lie on top of the kidneys. Inside the kidneys are a number of pyramid-shaped lobes.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine. Healthy kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine.
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When To See A Doctor For Kidney Pain
Kidney pain that you feel in your middle back or that radiates to your abdomen or groin is usually an indicator of a serious health condition.
According to Dr. Charles Patrick Davis, you should visit your doctor promptly if you suspect kidney pain. Some of the warning signs of kidney disease or problems are:
- Sharp flank pain that comes on suddenly
- A dull, constant one-sided pain in your back or side
- Blood in your urine
How Much Do My Kidneys Weigh
The weight of your kidneys varies. Variances may include your height, weight, age, body mass index and location.
For men and people assigned male at birth, your right kidney may range from 1/5 to about 1/2 lbs. . Your left kidney may range from a little less than 1/5 to a little more than 1/2 lbs. . Your kidneys may weigh between the weight of one tennis ball and four tennis balls.
For women and people assigned female at birth, your right kidney may range from a little more than 1/10 to 3/5 lbs. . Your left kidney may range from 3/20 to a little less than 3/5 lbs. . Your kidneys may weigh between the weight of one tennis ball or five tennis balls.
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What Tests Can Help Determine The Cause Of Kidney Pain
In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to help your healthcare provider make a diagnosis:
- Urinalysis: This test checks for the presence of blood, white blood cells , proteins and certain molecules that are linked to various kidney disorders.
- Imaging tests:Ultrasound or a CT scan can provide images of the physical structure of the kidneys and urinary tract. It can also tell your healthcare provider if stones are present and determine if urine flow is adequate.
Blood Flows In And Out Of The Kidneys Through Renal Arteries And Veins
Blood enters the kidneys through renal arteries. These arteries branch into tiny capillaries that interact with urinary structures inside the kidneys . Here the blood is filtered. Waste is removed and vital substances are reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. The filtered blood leaves through the renal veins. All the blood in the body moves in and out of the kidneys hundreds of times each daythats about 200 quarts of liquid to be filtered every 24 hours.
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How Is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed
If you have symptoms, your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical exam. The doctor also may order certain tests that can help in diagnosing and assessing cancer. These tests can include:
Most cancers are grouped by stage, a description of cancer that aids in planning treatment. The stage of a cancer is based on:
- The location and size of the tumor.
- The extent to which the lymph nodes are affected.
- The degree to which the cancer spread, if at all, to other tissue and organs.
The doctor uses information from various tests including CT, MRI, and biopsy to determine the stage of cancer.
Pregnancy And Kidney Pain
Pregnancy can sometimes cause kidney pain. Being pregnant puts you at a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection or blood clots all which can cause a sensation of pain in your middle back.
Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet, says that during pregnancy the uterus becomes enlarged and the urine flows slower. You could even experience vesicoureteral reflux where urine flows back up the urinary tract. This means that it is easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract and spread the infection to the kidneys.14
Common Symptoms Of Kidney Pain
Musculoskeletal problems are common causes of back pain. However, back pain can also be a sign of a kidney problem. In addition to the pain in your middle back, groin area, or abdomen, kidney pain also comes with other symptoms, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- A strong urge to urinate but in small amounts
- Urine that is cloudy or has a foul odor
How Do My Kidneys Work
Each of your kidneys is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule. The nephrons work through a two-step process: the glomerulus filters your blood, and the tubule returns needed substances to your blood and removes wastes.
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Where Are Your Kidneys
Your kidneys are located below your ribs, which is why a problem with these organs can often be felt in your upper back or flank, or side area.
The kidneys perform several important functions for your body, including:
- Removing waste products, excess fluid, and drugs
- Regulating salt, potassium, and acid content
- Producing hormones that control red blood cell production, blood pressure, and more
- Providing vitamin D for bone health
Why Are The Kidneys Important
Your kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. Your kidneys also remove acid that is produced by the cells of your body and maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and mineralssuch as sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassiumin your blood.
Without this balance, nerves, muscles, and other tissues in your body may not work normally.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help
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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 .
What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
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Early Warning Signs Of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease affects millions of people in the United States, and there are just a few indicators that reveal issues with kidneys. Often referred to as the Quiet Disease because of the lack of symptoms, most people do not discover they have kidney disease until it is very advanced. Also, many people ignore early warning signs, while catching kidney disease early can mean the difference between life and death. This is why vehicle donation is so important to fund the education of kidney disease.
Kidneys perform important functions of the body such as regulating the acid content, potassium, and salt content. Waste removal is also a function of the kidneys along with producing vitamin D and balancing the bodys fluids. Kidneys produce hormones that regulate the metabolization of calcium and controls blood pressure. Here are a few of early warning signs of kidney disease:
What Are Common Tests To Check The Health Of My Kidneys
Healthcare providers use several tests to measure kidney function and diagnose kidney problems. Your provider may recommend:
- Advanced imaging: An X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or nuclear medicine image can show kidney abnormalities or obstructions .
- Blood tests: Blood tests show how well your glomeruli filter your blood.
- Kidney biopsy: During a kidney biopsy, your healthcare provider removes a small amount of your kidney tissue to examine it under a microscope.
- Ureteroscopy: Your healthcare provider passes a tube through your urethra into your bladder and ureters to look for abnormalities.
- Urinalysis: A urinalysis analyzes your pee. It measures specific substances, such as protein or blood.
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