In processing the foods and drinks we ingest, we have several processes in our bodies that help us use the various nutrients we need and remove the waste we don’t. Our kidneys play an important role in the latter, as they are responsible for filtering waste from our blood and controlling the fluid balance in our bodies. Without these bean-shaped organs performing this essential function, we require artificial means and lots of time in dialysis, which don’t do the job as effectively as our kidneys.
Kidney pain is an important symptom to look out for, as it could mean a number of dangerous problems may be going on in your body. But since it is so similar to other pains, it is often dismissed. If the underlying issue isn’t dealt with until much later, things can get worse. Let’s look at the reasons to not ignore kidney pain by examining the type of pain you’re experiencing, its possible causes, the consequences of not addressing it, and how it can be treated.
If you live in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, or South Florida area and you’re dealing with kidney pain, Drs. Craig Herman and Steven Kester and the dedicated staff at Urology Center of Florida are here to help.
Kidney pain versus back pain
First, it’s important to know where your kidneys are located to determine if what you’re experiencing is kidney pain or something else. These small organs are on both sides of the middle of your back, below your ribcage. If you’re feeling kidney pain, it can be on one or both sides. Having pain in this area doesn’t necessarily mean you have a kidney problem, but you should get it checked out.
Causes of kidney pain
Your kidneys are the first stop in your urinary tract’s job of processing waste, converting it to urine and removing it from your body via your bladder, ureter, and urethra. Problems in this general area can lead to kidney pain resulting from several problems, including kidney stones, urinary retention, vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), ureteropelvic junction obstruction, ureteral stricture, injury, kidney infection, polycystic kidney disease, and renal failure. Symptoms specific to kidney pain include a constant dull ache, side pain under your ribcage, pain that spreads to your groin, waves of severe or sharp pain, and pain that comes with nausea or vomiting.
Problems with leaving it untreated
The effects of untreated kidney pain vary depending on the cause, but it can lead to problems like kidney scarring, chronic disease, kidney failure, hypertension, and blood poisoning. Any one of these problems can create more issues with other parts of your body, so getting checked out when you feel kidney pain is good for your overall health.
Methods of treatment
Basic things you can do to reduce the risk of kidney infection or other problems include drinking water regularly, urinating when the urge presents itself rather than “holding it,” emptying your bladder after sex, and wiping carefully after going to the bathroom.
Medical treatments will depend on the cause, as infections and numerous other issues are generally treated with antibiotics, anticoagulants, blood pressure medications, and cholesterol medications. Kidney stones may be managed with medications or various types of surgery, and if tumors are involved, drugs may help stop their growth.
Kidney pain can mean a lot of things, but whatever the cause, we’re here to help. Call or message Drs. Herman or Kester, and the team at Urology Center of Florida today to get treatment for kidney pain and other urological problems.