Acute kidney Failure Pain

  • The function and purpose of the kidneys are to remove excess fluid and waste products from the body.
  • The kidneys are organs that are located in the upper abdominal area against the back muscles on both the left and right side of the body.
  • Kidney pain and back pain can be difficult to distinguish, but kidney pain is usually deeper and higher in the back located under the ribs while the muscle pain with common back injury tends to be lower in the back.
  • Causes of kidney pain are mainly urinary tract infections and kidney stones. However, there are many other causes of kidney pain, including penetrating and blunt trauma that can result in a “lacerated kidney.”
  • If a woman is pregnant and has kidney pain, she should contact her doctor.
  • Symptoms of kidney pain may include
    • fever,
    • painful urination,
    • flank pain,
    • nausea,
    • vomiting.
  • Kidney pain can be on the left, right, or both sides.
  • Causes of kidney pain are diagnosed with the patient’s history, physical examination, and lab tests, including blood, pregnancy, and urine tests. A CT scan or MRI of the abdomen and pelvis may be ordered.
  • Treatment for the cause of kidney pain depends upon the underlying cause, but in general, ibuprofen (Motrin), ketorolac (Toradol), and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol) are used for pain. Antibiotics are usually required if the underlying cause is bacterial infection.
  • Kidney pain can be prevented by avoiding those situations that are the underlying causes of kidney infection and/or damage.
  • The prognosis for someone with kidney pain depends upon the cause, and the majority of patients can have a good outcome when treated quickly and appropriately.
  • Symptoms associated with kidney pain (also termed renal or flank pain) are discomfort (acute or chronic), aches, or sharp pain that occurs in the back between approximately the lowest rib and the buttock. Depending on the cause of the pain, it may radiate down the flank to the groin or toward the abdominal area. Some individuals may develop symptoms such as
    • fever,
    • painful urination (dysuria),
    • blood in the urine,
    • nausea,
    • vomiting.

    Depending on the underlying cause, kidney pain may occur on the left or right side. Sometimes it can occur on both sides of the back; traumatic kidney injury (kidney laceration) may cause the above symptoms, but mild damage may initially have no symptoms. Severe kidney lacerations can cause abnormal blood pressure and pulse, as well as shock.

    Kidney pain itself is a symptom that may happen due to problems or diseases of the kidney or its associated structures, including the ureters or bladder. However, other diseases may mimic kidney pain but are not actually due to the kidneys. For example, muscle strains in the back, spinal problems (fractures, abscesses), shingles, aortic abdominal aneurysm, and gynecological problems may mimic kidney pain.

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