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What Are The Causes of Kidney Pain?


Mar 11, 2015
What Are The Causes of Kidney Pain?

Pain in the flanks, mid back or upper abdominal quadrant may be associated with a kidney disorder if other kidney pain symptoms are also present. Given below are some of the general causes for this pain.

The kidneys are known to be the most sensitive organ in the human body and when there is an excessive deposit of mineral or any hard collision, it will hurt the lower back. When this pain becomes sharp and bear less, you are said to be suffering from Kidney pain.

Many people experience back pain and are worried that it could be a symptom of kidney infection. Since the kidney’s location is slightly confusing for most people, they tend sometimes to mistake some other ailment for kidney disease. The pain due to a disorder of the kidney is usually felt in the region behind the kidneys. This area is slightly above the individual’s hips and on both sides of the spine. It is important that a person is able to identify additional kidney disease symptoms that will help them identify a kidney disorder. Kidney pain refers to pain that stems from your kidneys. Given below are some of the general causes for this pain:

Causes of Kidney Pain:

Renal Stones

This presence of stones in the kidney is the main cause of pain in the flank. These may arise due to imbalance between the electrolytes, fluid and mineral. Renal stone may also cause hematuria i.e. blood in the urine. Their removal is essential because otherwise these stones can cause renal failure.


A tumor of the kidney or ureter is not uncommon. Urothelial cancers, which are one of the more common types of cancer, affect the endothelial lining of the the renal pelvis within the kidney, ureter or bladder. This may cause kidney pain, a lack of appetite, weight loss, bloody urine and reduced flow if the tumor obstructs the urine flow in any of these urinary structures.

Polycystic kidney

This is usually a hereditary condition in which multiple cysts appear in the kidney. This leads to kidney enlargement. This enlargement of the kidney then leads to flank pain or renal pain. Pain here is usually experienced in the abdomen rather than the back. Kidney enlarges with the passage of time in case of polycystic kidney disease.


Any disturbance in nutrition and fluid intake can affect the kidneys. While it may be reversible, long term disturbances can eventually lead to renal insufficiency and even kidney failure. Different types of eating disorders, dehydration, prolonged fasting, weight loss/gain or muscle bulking diets including supplements and additives like creatine and whey protein may affect the kidneys.

Infection of Kidney

The infection can occur in the kidney and then leads to various manifestations in addition to kidney pain. Infection usually arises from the urinary tract and involves the kidney. Pyelonephritis is commonly encountered condition. The renal infection requires immediate medical intervention and treatment.


The kidney filters the blood, removing wastes and toxins and excreting it into the urine. In poisoning, the kidney may be severely affected as it has to function at its peak to remove these substances and these toxins may build up within it. Refer to Arsenic Poisoning, Fluoride Poisoning and Antifreeze Poisoning. Kidney pain, dysuria, hematuria, changes in urine color and change in output (increase or decrease) are common features of poisoning.


Here kidney enlarges owing to backup of urine into the kidney. This also causes pain in the flanks.

Kidney and Alcohol Abuse

The problems associated with kidney may be related to the alcohol abuse. Alcohol can affect certain renal hormones such as anti-diuretic hormone. It can also produce dehydration by increasing the urinary output. Also, alcohol raises the risk of atherosclerosis and clot formation.


Trauma to the kidney may occur as a result of assault (intentional) or accidental, like in car accident injuries. Since the kidneys are protected by many surrounding structures, other organs may also be affected due to mechanical injury. Trauma may cause inflammation or in more severe cases, it can result in renal hemorrhage.

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