Kidney Pain - Causes

What was the disease or condition that caused your kidney pain?

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What are some of the kidney conditions and diseases that cause kidney pain?

Many of the causes of kidney disease that leads to kidney pain (also termed flank pain) are due to acquired underlying diseases that may acutely or chronically affect kidney function. Other diseases are congenital; individuals may be born with an abnormality that is genetically determined that affects the kidneys. Kidney pain or flank pain can be acute, relatively constant and sharp. This is termed "renal colic" by many clinicians. This kind of pain is usually seen when an acute process like kidney stones or other underlying causes stop or almost stop urine flow. However, other processes can cause chronic dull aching with occasionally sharp flank pain. This type of flank pain can be due to polycystic kidney disease, high blood pressure or diabetes due to cumulative damage to kidney tissue over time by these problems. Some of the major underlying causes of kidney pain or flank pain are as follows:

  • Urinary tract infections, mainly pyelonephritis
  • Kidney stones
  • Diabetes
  • Gomerulonephritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Polycystic kidney disease (congenital)
  • Congenital malformations in the renal system resulting in complete or partial blockage of urine flow
  • Drugs or toxins that harm kidney tissue (for example, pesticide exposure or chronic use of medications such as ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin, and others])
  • Drinking alcohol may cause acute or chronic flank pain; the pain source, depending on the individual, may be from the kidneys or the liver.
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