These Are Not Myths About Kidney Disease:
- Diabetes, hypertension and age 60 or greater are the most common reasons for low kidney function.
- Heart disease, family history of chronic kidney disease and being of an ethnic and/or racial minority group are important predictors of risk.
- CKD is more common among women than men.
- More than 35 percent of people aged 20 years or older with diabetes have CKD.
- More than 20 percent of people aged 20 years or older with hypertension have CKD.
- Chronic kidney disease is one of the worlds most important public health problems.
- Chronic kidney disease can often be prevented.
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What Should I Do If My Kidneys Hurt
If you have kidney pain that doesnt go away, the first thing you should do is call your healthcare provider to schedule an appointment or go to the emergency room if you have symptoms such as uncontrolled pain, severe nausea or vomiting, fevers or chills, or an inability to pee. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to ease discomfort:
- Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help flush bacteria from your urinary tracts. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
- Use heat. Place a heating pad on your back, abdomen or side to help reduce kidney pain.
- Take pain relievers. To ease fever or discomfort, take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
What Causes Kidney Pain
Kidneys drain urine to the bladder via tubes called ureters. Your bladder is emptied via the urethra. Problems in any of these areas can cause pain, and may be caused by:
If you have had kidney stones in the past, it may not always be necessary to have a computed tomography scan, which exposes you to radiation. Ask your doctor if a CT scan is necessary for you. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
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What To Do If You See It
It sounds strange, but you may not always know that you have blood in your urine. Sometimes, thereâs so little that it only shows up under a microscope when your doctor is testing you for something else. When you can see it, it can be alarming. But most of the time, the causes arenât serious. In some cases, though, the symptom points to a bigger health problem.So you should always let your doctor know about it.
How Is Back Pain While Urinating Treated
Your treatment will be dependent on your diagnosis. For instance, if the reason behind your lower back pain when urinating is a UTI, you will need to take medication to resolve the UTI. On the other hand, if the cause of the discomfort is a tumor, abscess, or kidney stones, surgery could be necessary.
For alleviating back pain specifically, therapeutic options might include:
Pain and frequent urination are making it hard to go about your day
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Treatment Options For Utis
Drinking water and cranberry juice are two common recommendations for lower UTIs. However, research has shown the methods to be inconclusive. Extra liquids make urination easier but do not treat the root cause. Speaking with a doctor is the first step. Doctors will then prescribe antibiotics. As bacteria could stay in the cells of the bladder, removing the infection can be difficult. However, when caught early, antibiotics can be effective.
Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
- Pain in the lower back or groin
- Frequent or urgent urination
Symptoms can also vary by age. For instance, very young children may only have a high fever, while senior adults may not even show any of the typical signs. Instead, they may experience cognitive problems such as difficulty speaking and confused thinking.
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Who’s Most Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Women and children are most at risk of developing a kidney infection, as well as other urinary tract infections such as cystitis.
Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:
- having a condition that blocks, or obstructs, your urinary tract, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate children with constipation can also be at an increased risk
- being born with an abnormality in your urinary tract
- having a condition that prevents you emptying your bladder fully, such as an injury to your spinal cord this can allow bacteria in your bladder to multiply and spread
- having a weakened immune system for example, due to type 2 diabetes or as a side effect of chemotherapy
- having an infection of the prostate gland called prostatitis the infection can spread from the prostate gland into the kidneys
- having a urinary catheter
- being female and sexually active sexual intercourse can irritate the urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
- being pregnant this can cause physical changes that slow the flow of urine out of your body and make it easier for bacteria to spread to the kidneys
- having undergone female genital mutilation an illegal practice where a woman’s genitals are deliberately cut or changed for cultural, religious and social reasons
When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and you have pain in your tummy, lower back or genitals that will not go away.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
Kidney infections require prompt treatment with antibiotics.
Page last reviewed: 06 January 2021 Next review due: 06 January 2024
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When To Seek Medical Attention
If you experience any symptoms of a kidney infection or a UTI more generally, its important to see a health professional to have them evaluated right away.
This is true especially if certain symptoms seem to appear suddenly, indicating that your UTI is spreading or growing more severe.
A kidney infection that isnt treated effectively can become chronic , potentially causing permanent damage to your kidneys that impairs their function.
An untreated kidney infection can also lead to dangerous complications in the short term, such as a blood infection . Symptoms of sepsis include:
- Fever and chills
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you have a fever and persistent tummy, lower back or genital pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination.
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection from damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream. You may also need painkillers.
If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection for example, if you have a pre-existing health condition or are pregnant, you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through an intravenous drip.
After taking antibiotics, you should feel completely better after about two weeks.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can cause further problems. These include blood poisoning and a build-up of pus in the kidney called an abscess.
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How Do You Know If You Have Kidney Pain
Kidney pain, or renal pain, is usually felt in your back . It can spread to other areas, like the sides, upper abdomen or groin. If you have a kidney stone, you usually feel the pain in your back, side, lower belly or groin.
Back pain due to muscle problems is usually in your lower back. Pain due to kidney problems is usually deeper and higher in your back, under your ribs.
Signs that it is a kidney problem can also include fever, vomiting, pain in your sides or painful urination.
Treatment For Lower Back Pain And Frequent Urination
Treatment for lower back pain thats accompanied by frequent urination is largely dependent on the cause. For example, antibiotics may be prescribed when an infection is present, and exercise may be recommended if weight loss is necessary or to strengthen the back muscles. Your doctor may also remove any abnormal tumors, abscesses, or growths.
Some causes of lower back pain and frequent urination arent preventable, but you can try and lower your risk by controlling factors that are. Regularly exercising, taking the necessary precautions or reducing your risk of urinary tract infections, and drinking plenty of water to flush out bacteria and toxins are all good tips for prevention.
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Fever And Chills Along With Your Back Pain
This could also mean that you have a urinary tract infection.
If you have any of these symptoms, along with your back pain, you should call your doctor right away.
If your pain is unbearable, is associated with fevers or chills, or you have nausea and vomiting that is preventing you from keeping down fluids or medications, you should seek immediate medical attention, Nguyen says.
Kidney Infection Back Pain
Where does your back hurt if you have a kidney infection? If the pain is associated with the kidneys, it can cause pain on both sides of the lower back and will be concentrated in the area between the ribs and hips, also known as flanks, making kidney infection pain often referred to as flank pain.
Severe kidney pain like that from a kidney stone can result in sharp pains. Additional areas that may be in pain due to a kidney infection are the upper abdomen or the genital areas.
Kidney infection back pain will generally be constant and can be dull or severe depending on the source of the infection. An increase in pain may be triggered by excessive intake of fluids or when pressure is applied on the kidneys. Besides areas surrounding the kidneys, there shouldnt be any tenderness to the touch.
When should I be worried about lower back pain due to a kidney infection? First, it is important to consider other signs and symptoms of kidney infections such as nausea, vomiting, and fever, as doing so can help you distinguish between general back pain and that due to a kidney infection.
Indications of the major signs and symptoms of a kidney infection on top of a significant change to your usual urination pattern are good indicators that its time to contact your doctor. People who have a greater risk of developing a kidney infection, including pregnant women, should be extra vigilant about noticing signs of a kidney infection early on to prevent complications.
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Where Do I Feel Kidney Pain
You feel kidney pain in the area where your kidneys are located: Near the middle of your back, just under your ribcage, on each side of your spine. Your kidneys are part of the urinary tract, the organs that make urine and remove it from your body. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
You may feel kidney pain on only one side or both sides of your back. Having pain in these areas does not always mean there is something wrong with your kidneys. Because there are muscles, bones and other organs around your kidneys, it can be hard to tell what exactly is causing your pain. If you have constant pain you think may be caused by your kidneys, talk to your doctor.
How Can I Prevent Flank Pain
You may not always be able to prevent flank pain. But you can reduce your risk of kidney problems, injuries and disease by maintaining good health. You should:
- Eat right and stay hydrated: By drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and eating a healthy diet, you can lower your risk of kidney stones. Water keeps you hydrated and flushes out your kidneys, decreasing the chance of infection and making it more difficult for stones to form. Ask your provider about a low-sodium, calcium-rich diet that may prevent kidney stones.
- Maintain a weight that’s healthy for you: Get regular exercise and stay active. People who have overweight or obesity have a higher chance of developing kidney stones. Extra weight also puts pressure on your spine and makes you more vulnerable to injuries that cause flank pain.
- Take care of your urinary tract: To reduce the risk of bacteria entering your urinary tract and causing an infection, always urinate after having sex. Women should wipe from front to back after urinating. Drink plenty of water, and use the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. Holding urine in your bladder increases your chance of infection.
- Visit your provider: Stay up to date on vaccines . Schedule regular screenings for cancer and other diseases, and talk to your provider about reducing your risk of kidney problems.
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Kidney And Bladder Stones
If the blood contains too little liquid and too much waste, the waste products can bind with chemicals in the urine, forming hard stones in the kidneys or bladder.
Often, the stones are small enough to pass through urination. Larger stones may remain in the kidney or bladder or get stuck elsewhere in the urinary tract.
Larger stones generally cause more noticeable symptoms, such as:
- blood in the urine
- cloudy or strong-smelling urine
How To Prevent Back Pain When Urinating
While many causes of lower back pain when urinating are challenging to prevent, there are a few things you can do to prevent urinary health problems in general. For example, you can reduce the risk of a UTI by staying well hydrated and urinating directly after sex . In addition, if your doctor identifies that you have a history of kidney stones, they will likely recommend a suitable diet and medication that prevents kidney stone formation.
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What Does It Feel Like When Your Kidneys Hurt
People often mistake kidney pain for back pain. But there are some key differences between kidney pain and how it feels compared to back pain.
Kidney pain vs back pain
Back pain usually affects the middle of your back, over your spine, and most commonly in the lower back. Spine-related issues can also cause back pain to sometimes radiate down your legs.
In comparison, kidney pain is typically located higher on your back and it often feels deeper. Most of the time, kidney pain symptoms occur under your ribs, to the right or left of your spine. Kidney pain may also radiate to other areas, such as your abdomen or groin. Sometimes, hip pain is confused with kidney pain, but hip pain is lower down in your back than kidney pain.
Kidney Pain Vs Back Pain: How To Differentiate
According to various data banks, the overall prevalence of low back pain was found to be 42% in India. Kidney problems too result in back pain which may be a little different from musculoskeletal back pain. In todays write up we will find out how to differentiate between the two.
Each person has got a pair of kidneys located posteriorly on the lower side of the abdomen. The kidney purifies blood for nutrients and discharges urine.
How to differentiate kidney pain from general backache:
Musculoskeletal back pain is usually felt around the lumbar region, it may pain while muscles are touched. However musculoskeletal back pain can be felt all through the back as well.
Musculoskeletal back pain due to disc or nerve impingement may radiate to buttocks, back of the thigh, laterally to leg and ankles too.
The musculoskeletal back pain is mostly coming and going, peaking after high-intensity work and better with rest. Pain here too is dull aching.
The musculoskeletal back pain is not very severe.
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How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Flank Pain
Treatments depend on whats causing flank pain. Depending on the cause, your provider may recommend:
- Antibiotics: Your provider will prescribe antibiotic medications to treat flank pain that results from an infection. Its essential to follow your providers instructions and take the entire course of antibiotics so the infection doesnt return.
- Extra water: If a small kidney stone is causing pain, you may be able to pass it by drinking a lot of water. Ask your provider how much you should drink. To remove larger stones, you may need medications or a minimally invasive procedure such as ureteroscopy or shockwave lithotripsy.
- Pain medication: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs relieve pain and help you feel more comfortable as you heal. If pain is severe, you may need prescription drugs. Talk to your provider before taking any medication.
- Rest: Flank pain that results from a back sprain or strain often improves with rest. Ask your provider how long you should rest and when you can get back on your feet. Stretching, exercise and a physical therapy program can strengthen muscles in your spine and help you avoid another injury.
- Surgery: Some conditions may require surgery or other treatments. Talk to your provider about the most appropriate treatment plan for you.
Causes Of Kidney Infections
Kidney infections are a result of bacteria entering the kidneys. While there are many causes for a kidney infection, the most common is from a pre-existing infection in the urinary tract, like a bladder infection.
The urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises organs that extract, hold, and transport waste as urine from your system. The organs include two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra.
Kidneys process blood to produce urine. The urine travels via the ureters to the bladder, where it is stored, waiting to release during the urination process through the urethra. When bacteria end up in the urethra, they can travel to the bladder and cause an infection that turns into a kidney infection when it moves to one or both kidneys.
Infections in the urinary tract are most commonly caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli. About 90 percent of uncomplicated urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli, a bacteria that can be found in the colons of humans and animals as well as their fecal waste. E. coli can spread to the genitals and into the urinary tract through improper wiping or toilet backsplash. Bacterial transfer can also occur during sex.
Other conditions that prevent the natural urine flow can increase the risk that an infection may occur, such as blockages to the ureters from a large kidney stone.
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