Kidney Pain Location
Can be Problematic
Your kidney pain location can be a clue to whatever is causing your pain, but we must be careful.
Many different conditions related to your kidneys can cause pain. However, many other painful conditions unrelated to your kidneys can cause pain that may be mistaken for pain from your kidneys.
Pain that is related to your kidney, may or may not, be felt at the location of your kidney. Also, pain that is not coming from your kidney can sometimes be felt in the area of your kidney.
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Common Painful Conditions
Related to Your Kidney
- Kidney Stones – Sometimes, an imbalance of minerals and fluids will cause the urine to be solidified into crystals. These are known as kidney stones. These stones can cause pain by scratching or damaging the ureter, or they may restrict the flow of urine causing pain in the kidney.
- Arteriosclerosis – This condition happens when fats are accumulated in the artery walls. It blocks the blood flow and the arteries get hardened. Hardening of arteries may restrict the blood supply to the kidney causing severe pain.
- Kidney Infection – It is a type of urinary tract infection that affects the urethra or urinary bladder and goes up to the kidneys. When there is an infection the kidney tissues become swollen and inflamed causing pain. If an infection goes untreated it may lead to permanent damage of the kidneys.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – The urinary system consists of kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. When bacteria infect any of these areas it is called a urinary tract infection, or UTI. This may lead to a variety of symptoms including burning with urination, nausea and vomiting, chills or fever, and abdominal pain. This health problem is more common in women than men.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – PKD causes pain when the kidney enlarges stretching the renal capsule. The enlargement happens gradually for over years until the person starts experiencing the pain. It is usually a hereditary disease.
- Kidney cancer – Malignant growths can cause the kidney to enlarge stretching the capsule or pulling on nerves causing pain in the back or flank.
Your kidney pain location from any of these different conditions may be anywhere that different parts of your urinary tract are located.
Your Kidney Pain Location may present a Confusing Picture
Your body is a complicated piece of equipment with many different organs and organ systems. All of these different structures are covered with nerve endings and can cause pain.
All of the different parts and pieces that make your body work are packed in so closely together that sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly which part is causing the problem. The discomfort that you suspect is coming from your kidney may not be from your kidney at all.
Some Of The Most Common Areas Of Pain
That May Be Related To Your Kidney
- Arteriosclerosis – is most commonly felt in the midback or flank. There may be symptoms of arteriosclerosis in other areas of the body as well.
- Kidney Infection – pain will be felt specifically at the location of your kidney in the flank or midback region. However, your pain from a kidney infection may be complicated by pain from infection in other parts or your urinary tract. See Urinary Tract Infection below.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) –discomfort will most often begin in the lower abdomen or genital region. It may also radiate or progress into the upper urinary tract causing pain in the upper abdomen, or around to the flank or midback.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – pain may be felt in your midback or flank where your kidney is located. But, may also radiate to the front and be felt in the upper abdomen.
- Kidney cancer – pain will most often be felt in the back or flank region, and may also radiate to the abdomen. Symptoms of kidney cancer can also be felt in other areas of the body, depending on the type of cancer and if other organs are affected.
- Kidney stones –Your kidney pain location may change. Pain from kidney stones may begin in the back or flank areas and then migrate or move around to your side and then down onto your abdomen, as the stone slowly travels through the urinary tract.
Your kidney pain location can present a misleading picture with kidney pain that may be mistaken for other problems unrelated to your kidney.
Gallstones or other problems with your gall bladder can cause right sided abdominal pain. Appendicitis may cause abdominal discomfort that radiates to the back. Vertebral fractures in your spine can cause pain in the midback region that radiates to your flank or abdomen.
Your doctor can cut through the confusion and help solve the mystery by ordering blood tests and a urinalysis. After examining you he may also order other tests or imaging studies to evaluate other organ systems that he suspects may be causing your pain.
Your kidneys and urinary tract form a very complicated system that serves many purposes throughout your entire body. These important organs are involved in controlling your blood pressure, filtering toxins from your blood, and influencing the production of red blood cells, along with many other important functions.
The Bottom Line
All of these different conditions that we have been discussing can progress from a simple problem to very serious illness if they are not evaluated, diagnosed, and treated properly. These diseases do not go away by themselves.
If you are having pain that you think is coming from your kidneys it is important that you see your doctor and be evaluated right away.
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