Kidney Pain - Causes

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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 present at birth. Some people 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." This kind of pain is usually seen when a kidney stone or other problem blocks the tube (ureter) that drains the kidney. However, other processes can cause chronic dull aching with occasionally sharp kidney pain. Some of the causes of kidney pain or flank pain are as follows:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney cancer
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Blood clots in the kidneys (renal vein thrombosis)
  • 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])
  • Kidney pain during pregnancy
  • Kidney bleeding (hemorrhage)
  • End stage renal disease
Return to Kidney Pain

See what others are saying

Comment from: Deb62, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

I have a pain on my left side in my back. It is high up in my back just around my waist area just under my ribs on my left side. I am on fluid tablets due to an illness I had in September that I was in hospital for a week, because I had gained about 10 kilos of fluid around my heart and lungs. The doctors started me on fluid tablets to help with the fluid and I am on a 1.5 liter restriction. Now the pain in my kidney area started this morning. I can't bend to pick anything up, the pain is so bad it brings me to tears. Even when I sit down the pain is there, sometime the pain grabs me that bad it makes me yell out. But I am wondering if it is my kidney and if it is, if the 2 different types of fluid tablets caused it, or if it could be fluid on my lungs again. I was put back into hospital about 2 weeks ago due to fluid on my right lung, and this was caused from the first time I went into hospital. The pain I have now feels like the one I had before but this time it's not at the front and under my ribs, it is in my back but high up and it is starting to go around to the front just under my ribs on the left side, so it could be my kidneys or lungs.

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Comment from: James, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 22

I had prostate removed about 3 1/2 months ago and have gradually been having a bit more difficulty urinating. I have to force urine out once it stops flowing and my stream has reduced its flow the last couple weeks. Seems to be about the same the last three weeks; certainly not a good flow. Now I have a slight pain on the right side of my back to the right of my spine about 1/3 of way up my back.

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