How do You Know if Kidney Pain is Serious?

Kidneys serve as one of our body’s most important organs.  Their function is to remove excess waste and fluid from our body.  It’s essential that this waste is removed as it could potentially cause our body harm.  Often, kidney pain can be difficult to identify from back pain because of its location.  Kidneys are located against the back muscles or flank area.  This area lies between your lowest rib and hip.  There are some ways, however, to identify kidney pain from back pain and to know whetheryou must see a kidney specialist. 

Early Signs and Symptoms

Kidney pain usually manifests itself a bit deeper than normal back pain.  Try to identify where you’re exactly feeling pain and if it is in the flank area discussed above, it may be a kidney issue.  Otherwise it might just be muscle soreness.  Other ways to tell if your kidney pain is serious is that it will often be associated with the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Painful urinating
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Cloudy or dark urine
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Blood in your urine
  • Small bits of gravel/stone when you urinate
  • Pain usually occurring on only one side of the body

Infection or Stone

In both cases, a kidney infection and kidney stone are both extremely painful.  An infection is usually indicated by a constant, dull pain. A kidney stone is usually accompanied by a sharp pain.  In the case of a kidney stone, sometimes the sharp pain will disappear for a small amount of time and reappear later as the stone moves. You will want to see a kidney specialist immediately.

Levels of Kidney Pain

Typically, a kidney infection will be a bit milder in pain than a stone, but when left untreated it can become extremely painful as well.

If you experience a sharp, intense pain right away, it’s likely you have a kidney stone.  Kidney stones are also incredibly painful to pass. 

Both an infection and stone must be treated by a kidney specialist. They will not go away on their own.  The pain may also begin to radiate to other areas of your body if left untreated, including your thigh or lower abdomen.

When to See a Kidney Specialist

Kidney pain should not be taken lightly.  If you experience a sharp pain in the area of your kidneys, it may be an indication of a kidney stone.  In this instance, you should see a kidney specialist immediately.  Stones must come out in order to relieve pain.  Often, patients are able to pass this through their urinary tract. In some occasions surgery is required.

If the pain you experience is more of a dull ache, you may be able to hold off a day or two before seeing a doctor.  However, waiting too long may increase the severity of the infection and cause it to spread.  If this is accompanied with fever, nausea, or even blood in your urine, don’t hold off on getting a kidney exam in Los Angeles.  Infections are often treated with antibiotics and should clear up within a week or two, but reoccurring infections may require surgery if due to a misshapen urinary tract.

Some ways you can relieve kidney pain until you are able to see a doctor, are to take an ibuprofen or acetaminophen, drink plenty of fluids, and apply a heating pad to the area.

Kidney Specialist in Los Angeles

If you’re experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, take the first step toward healing by calling a kidney specialist like Dr. Gura in Beverly Hills today.  Dr. Gura is world-renowned in his profession and offers an array of treatments for his patients.  Find out your options by visiting online or calling 310-550-6240 today!