When To See A Doctor
Pain in your middle back that radiates to your groin or abdomen is usually a sign of a serious health problem. It is important to visit your doctor immediately if you suspect kidney pain. The warning signs of kidney problems are:
- High blood pressure
- Swelling of your hands and feet
- Sudden sharp flank pain
The Tubule Returns Needed Substances To Your Blood And Removes Wastes
A blood vessel runs alongside the tubule. As the filtered fluid moves along the tubule, the blood vessel reabsorbs almost all of the water, along with minerals and nutrients your body needs. The tubule helps remove excess acid from the blood. The remaining fluid and wastes in the tubule become urine.
What Else Do Kidneys Do
Kidneys are always busy. Besides filtering the blood and balancing fluids every second during the day, the kidneys constantly react to hormones that the brain sends them. Kidneys even make some of their own hormones. For example, the kidneys produce a hormone that tells the body to make red blood cells.
Now you know what the kidneys do and how important they are. Maybe next Valentine’s Day, instead of the same old heart, you can give your parents a special card featuring the kidneys!
Don’t Miss: Ginger Tea Dissolves Kidney Stones
When Should Call A Doctor For Kidney Pain
Individuals should not postpone seeing a doctor about kidney pain or flank pain. Although flank pain is often seen in underlying problems with the kidney, there are many other diseases that can mimic kidney pain, and a physician can help with an accurate diagnosis of underlying problems that result in kidney or flank pain. Any acute onset of intense kidney or flank pain should be evaluated immediately.
Warning signs that kidney disease is present and may result in kidney pain or flank pain are the following:
- High blood pressure
- Swelling of the hands and feet and/or puffiness around the eyes
- Testing that shows an abnormal creatinine, blood urea nitrogen , or glomerular filtration rate less than 60
In addition, if an individual has diabetes or any of the congenital problems that lead to kidney dysfunction, the individual should be routinely checked for the onset of kidney dysfunction or kidney failure by their physician.
How Does Blood Flow Through My Kidneys
Blood flows into your kidney through the renalartery. This large blood vessel branches into smaller and smaller blood vessels until the blood reaches the nephrons. In the nephron, your blood is filtered by the tiny blood vessels of the glomeruli and then flows out of your kidney through the renal vein.
Your blood circulates through your kidneys many times a day. In a single day, your kidneys filter about 150 quarts of blood. Most of the water and other substances that filter through your glomeruli are returned to your blood by the tubules. Only 1 to 2 quarts become urine.
Recommended Reading: Pomegranate Juice Good For Kidney Stones
Pain On Right Side: 26 Possible Causes With Treatment
Pain On right side refers to pain in the right side of the chest or abdominal area. The right side of the human body contains many vital organs, including lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and large intestine. Some disease, inflammation, or infection in any of these organs can cause pain. The pains usually range from mild discomfort to dull, intense, sharp tingling.
Many people worry that the pain on the right side of the body is related to the heart. However, heart attack or angina usually occurs on the left side of the body because the heart is located on the left side of the chest. In most cases, the pain on the right side of the body may be caused by stress, anxiety, excessive gas, muscle strain, or heartburn.
This article will discuss the 26 causes and treatments of pain on the right side. However, before starting the article, you need to know which vital organs are on the right side of the body.
Right Side Pain In Males
The cause of right abdominal pain in men may be different from that in women.These reasons mainly include urinary tract infections and chronic diseases.
A hernia is a tear in the muscle or tissue that causes the organ to bulge out and hits the abdomen wall. Hernias can cause lower abdominal pain in men. The pain usually occurs in the groin and upper thigh area. It can also cause swelling beneath your abdominal skin, accompanied by pain around the lump.
If you notice a bulge in your abdomen and experience other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, and chronic abdominal pain, seek emergency care. Early medical attention and changes in lifestyle will minimize symptoms. But the only effective way to treat a hernia is through surgery.
Recommended Reading: Is Wine Bad For Kidney Stones
Symptoms Of Liver Pain
Usually, liver pain is accompanied by other symptoms which can indicate liver disease. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that some of the symptoms of liver disease are abdominal pain and swelling, skin with a yellowish appearance, swelling around your ankles, and a tendency to bruise easily.4
If these symptoms persist and you have pain in your upper abdomen, then you should visit your doctor who will perform a blood test to check how your liver is functioning.
Where Are The Kidneys And How Do They Function
There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule. When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body’s needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.
The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. About two quarts are removed from the body in the form of urine, and about 198 quarts are recovered. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.
Also Check: Is Aleve Hard On Your Kidneys
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 .
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
Also Check: Can Diet Coke Cause Kidney Stones
What Are Some Of The Causes Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is defined as having some type of kidney abnormality, or “marker”, such as protein in the urine and having decreased kidney function for three months or longer.
There are many causes of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited .
Others are congenital that is, individuals may be born with an abnormality that can affect their kidneys. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage.
Diabetes is a disease in which your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. This results in a high blood sugar level, which can cause problems in many parts of your body. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease.
High blood pressure is another common cause of kidney disease and other complications such as heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls increases. When high blood pressure is controlled, the risk of complications such as chronic kidney disease is decreased.
Glomerulonephritis is a disease that causes inflammation of the kidney’s tiny filtering units called the glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis may happen suddenly, for example, after a strep throat, and the individual may get well again.However, the disease may develop slowly over several years and it may cause progressive loss of kidney function.
Renal Nerve Anatomy/autonomic Innervation
The kidney receives autonomic supply via both the sympathetic and parasympathetic portions of the nervous system. The preganglionic sympathetic nervous innervation to the kidneys arises from the spinal cord at the level of T8-L1. They synapse onto the celiac and aorticorenal ganglia and follow the plexus of nerves that run with the arteries. Activation of the sympathetic system causes vasoconstriction of the renal vessels. Parasympathetic innervation arises from the 10th cranial nerve , the vagus nerve, and causes vasodilation when stimulated.
You May Like: Seltzer Water And Kidney Stones
We’re Sorry The Page You’re Looking For Can’t Be Found
It is possible that you used an outdated or expired MedicineNet link or you may have typed the address incorrectly.
Please try searching using the search field above. If you’re not sure of the spelling, type the first few letters, followed by an asterisk.
To help you find what you are looking for, these links may help.
Browse our A-Z Lists:
Location Of Your Kidneys
Kidneys are two organs that are shaped like a bean on either side of the spine. They are located below the rib cage, behind the abdomen, and under the liver. 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. According to Medicine Net, flank or renal pain can be felt anywhere between your lowest ribs and your buttocks. In some cases, the pain may radiate to your abdominal area.
The pain can be felt in just the right or left side of the back, depending on its underlying cause. But sometimes, kidney pain may affect both sides of your back. Although it can be hard to distinguish between back pain and kidney pain, kidney pain usually comes with other symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Can Kidney Stones Increase Blood Sugar
Where Your Liver Is Located
Your liver is located in the upper right-hand side of your abdomen and is protected by your ribs. The liver sits just above your stomach and below your lungs.
The location of the liver
Dr. Matthew Hoffman on WebMD says that your liver weighs about 3 pounds and you cant usually feel the liver. Your liver sits beside the pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines and these organs perform important functions to help the body digest, absorb, and process food.1
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.
Recommended Reading: What Does Flomax Do For Kidney Stones
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.
Pain On Right Side Of The Chest
1. Heart attack
Although the pain caused by heart disease usually occurs on the left side of the chest, this pain can sometimes spread to the right side of the chest.The pain caused by heart disease usually happens suddenly, and it feels like a heavyweight on your chest.
Heartburn is also a common cause of pain on the right side of the chest.When stomach acid returns from the stomach to the esophagus, it causes irritation and discomfort on the right side.This pain is similar to a heart attack because the esophagus and the heart are very close.However, the pain of heartburn usually does not radiate to other parts of the body.
3. Muscle strain or chest injury
Muscle strain is one of the common causes of pain on the right side of your chest. Depending on the cause of the injury, the pain may be mild or severe. You may feel chest pain around the ribs, especially when you move or breathe deeply. Usually, applying ice or getting plenty of rest can help repair the muscle tissues quickly.
Chest injuries are usually more severe conditions that cause excruciating pain on the right side. The pain typically occurs in the right side under the ribs. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, or low blood pressure. If the internal organs of the body are injured, you must seek medical attention in time.
4. Lung disease
5. Stress, panic, or anxiety
Read Also: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Hurt Your Kidneys
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
Measuring How Your Kidneys Work
It is difficult to calculate the exact rate at which your kidneys work. The best measure of kidney function is called the glomerular filtration rate . The GFR can be estimated using a mathematical formula. This formula uses the level of creatinine in your blood to estimate how well your kidneys are filtering waste from your blood. It can indicate if there is any kidney damage.
The higher the filtration rate, the better the kidneys are working. A GFR of 100 mL/min/1.73 m2 is in the normal range. This is about equal to 100 per cent kidney function. Based on this measurement system, a GFR of 50 mL/min/1.73 m2 could be called 50 per cent kidney function and a GFR of 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 could be called 30 per cent kidney function.
If your doctor orders a blood test to learn more about your kidney function, an eGFR result is provided automatically, along with your creatinine results.
Your doctor may also test for other signs and conditions that may indicate you have chronic kidney disease. These may include tests for:
- protein in your urine
- blood in your urine
- high blood pressure
Also Check: Can Running Dislodge Kidney Stones
Kidneys Are A Filter System
The main job of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood and return the cleaned blood back to the body. Each minute about one litre of blood one-fifth of all the blood pumped by the heart enters the kidneys through the renal arteries. After the blood is cleaned, it flows back into the body through the renal veins.
Each kidney contains about one million tiny units called nephrons. Each nephron is made up of a very small filter, called a glomerulus, which is attached to a tubule. As blood passes through the nephron, fluid and waste products are filtered out. Much of the fluid is then returned to the blood, while the waste products are concentrated in any extra fluid as urine .
The urine flows through a tube called the ureter into the bladder. Urine passes from the bladder out of the body through a tube called the urethra. The kidney usually makes one to two litres of urine every day depending on your build, how much you drink, the temperature and the amount of exercise you do.
A healthy kidney can greatly increase its work capacity. With two healthy kidneys, each kidney performs 50 per cent of the normal kidney function. If one kidney is lost, the other kidney can enlarge and provide up to 75 per cent of the normal kidney function .
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.
Don’t Miss: Watermelon And Kidneys