Kidney Pain: How to Protect Your Kidneys?

Kidney pain is torture. It can have a number of causes. Mostly an inflammation of the kidneys or the renal pelvis is behind the symptoms.

Our kidneys are vital organs. They lie to the right and left of the spine at about the level of the lowest ribs. Their job is to wash the blood and flush out toxins, metabolic products and foreign substances such as drugs.

They also regulate our fluid and salt balance and have a balancing effect on our blood pressure. They also produce hormones and contribute to a balanced acid-base balance.

Kidney diseases are often recognized late because they usually do not cause kidney pain, even chronic kidney diseases do not.
Kidney pain is mostly caused by inflammation of the kidneys and pelvis. We reveal typical symptoms and common causes for them and give you treatment options.

Symptoms for Which You Should See a Doctor:

If you have inflammation of the kidneys (interstitial nephritis) or inflammation of the renal pelvis (pyelonephritis), severe pain may radiate into the flanks, lower back, and abdomen. The pain occurs on one or both sides – regardless of movement.

Water retention, high blood pressure or discolored urine indicate a disease in the kidney area. For a diagnosis, the doctor will do a physical exam and analyze the urine. An increased protein level can be a warning sign of a damaged kidney. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist (nephrologist) who will perform further tests. If you have the following symptoms in addition to kidney pain or flank pain, you should visit a clinic:

  • Fever and chills,
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Severe drowsiness,
  • Dark discoloration of urine or blood clots in it.

Diseases With Kidney Pain:

Various diseases can be behind kidney pain:

Pelvic Inflammation:

If left untreated, inflammation of the bladder (cystitis) often leads to inflammation of the kidneys. The bacteria reach the kidney tissue or pelvis by ascending the urinary tract or via blood or lymph. Even if urine can no longer flow out as usual, inflammation of the kidney pelvis occurs. This is often caused by obstacles such as kidney stones or growths.

In acute renal pelvic inflammation, severe kidney pain occurs on one or both sides . They get worse when the doctor taps the affected kidney. Other signs:

  • Pronounced malaise, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent need to urinate , but only passing small amounts of urine
  • Increased numbers of red blood cells (erythrocytes) and white blood cells (leukocytes)
  • Cloudy or reddish color of the urine (hematuria)

With imaging tests such as ultrasound, the doctor can precisely determine whether there is an inflammation of the kidney pelvis. Recommended for treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory pain relievers
  • Antibiotics
  • bed rest
  • Drink a lot

Kidney Abscess:

If foci of pus form in the kidney tissue , the cause is usually a urinary bladder or renal pelvic inflammation. In the worst case, a kidney abscess can lead to the loss of the kidney. Kidney pain is the main symptom, others are:

  • A headache
  • High fever and chills
  • Cloudy urine

Treatment of kidney abscesses:

  • Antibiotics
  • Drain the pus

Renal Colic and Kidney Stone:

Renal colic pain is severe and spasmodic. They can radiate into the groin and genital region. The cause of the severe symptoms are usually kidney stones that migrate from the renal pelvis into the ureters. If a stone has lodged in the urinary tract, the urine can no longer flow freely. Severe kidney damage is the result.

Treatment of renal colic and kidney stones :

  • Painkiller
  • Antispasmodic drugs
  • If the stone does not come off by itself, it is broken up using lasers and other methods. This usually happens on an outpatient basis.

Kidney Infarction:

Another cause of kidney pain can be a kidney infarction : Like any tissue, the kidney tissue can “perish” if there is insufficient blood and nutrient supply. It occurs due to hardening of the arteries or a dragged-out blood clot .

A kidney infarction manifests itself with varying degrees of flank pain, nausea and vomiting. If the infarction only affects a small area, it sometimes heals unnoticed.

How to Protect Your Kidneys:

High blood pressure and diabetes are the biggest risk factors for kidney disease. Therefore, a lifestyle thatprevents chronic metabolic disorders is also beneficial for our kidneys. This means:

  • Healthy eating
  • Do not take harmful substances – for example, painkillers too often
  • Move
  • Drink enough

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