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What does kidney pain feel like?

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Published: July 8, 2013
Last reviewed: October 3, 2016

Where are the kidneys located?

The kidneys are located in the middle-lower back, one on each side of the spine, under and, partly, below the lower ribs (Picture 1). They lie deep in the upper abdomen, in front of the back muscles and underneath the diaphragm. Kidney pain location

Picture 1. Kidney pain appears where the kidneys are located
(vie from the back).

Medical terms:

  • Renal = related to kidneys
  • Renal colic = sudden, severe kidney pain
  • Hematuria = blood in urine

Where can you feel kidney pain?

  • In the back, between the lower part of the rib cage on either side of the spine and hips (flank or loin pain)
  • Deep in the upper abdomen on the left, right or both sides
  • In the groin (in kidney stones in the ureter)

Kidney Pain vs Other Causes of Low Back Pain

  1. In general, kidney pain is not significantly affected by the body position or exercise, while muscle, nerve, bone and joint pain are.
  2. Kidney pain is often accompanied by other symptoms of a kidney disease, such as frequent urination, cloudy urine and nausea.

Kidney Disease Symptoms and Signs

Kidney pain is not very specific and can be confused with side pain arising from the spleen, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, colon, abdominal aorta (aneurysm), lungs, or lower back pain arising from the muscles, spine or spinal nerves.

Symptoms and signs that can speak for the kidney origin of the pain (1,3,4,7):

  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy or foamy urine or blood in the urine
  • Tenderness in the flank(s)
  • Dull pain provoked by a slight punch by a fist in the kidney area
  • Nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fever, chills
  • Body swelling (edema)
  • A lump in the flank(s) or upper abdomen

Most of the conditions described below can appear in both children and adults.

Sudden (Acute), Severe Kidney Pain or Renal Colic

Kidney Stone Pain

Kidney stones located in the kidneys rarely cause pain but when they lodge in the ureter and obstruct the urine flow, they can cause the following symptoms that often start at night or in the early morning (2,4,19):

  • The pain often starts as a dull pain in the right or left flank and, within 30 minutes to few hours, becomes constant, sharp, severe, even extreme and typically lasts for 1-4 hours or even longer than 12 hours; it can radiate to the lower abdomen, genitalia (testicles, vulva), groin or inner thighs (Picture 2). Pain can appear in the form of sudden intermittent spasms or cramps (colic pain) that can last for 5-60 minutes.
  • Passing blood (pink or red urine) and, eventually, one or more stones in the urine
  • Nausea, dry heaving or vomiting
  • Fever is NOT a typical symptom of uncomplicated kidney stones without infection.

kidney stone pain location picture

Picture 2. Kidney stone pain
The pain from the kidney stones can be felt in the flank,
lower abdomen and genitalia

Obstruction of the Ureteropelvic Junction (UPJ)

Obstruction of the ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) or pelvi-ureteric junction (PUJ) is the obstruction of the upper part of the ureter due to congenital disorders, surgery or infection, most commonly in children. Main characteristics:

  • Occasional sudden flank pain, especially after drinking large amount of fluid, like alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or after taking diuretics
  • Sometimes: a palpable mass in the upper abdomen due to dilated kidney (hydronephrosis) and blood in the urine
  • References: (2,25,26)

Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome (LPHS)

LPHS is a rare condition caused by infection, hormonal changes or use of oral contraceptives, mainly in young women. Symptoms:

  • Persistent or recurrent severe, burning or throbbing loin pain on one or both sides, aggravated by moving or exercise
  • Occasional blood in the urine, fever or nausea
  • Symptoms may last from hours to months or years or can be lifelong.
  • Reference: (22,23)

Other Causes of Sudden Kidney Pain

  • Acute hydronephrosis–kidney enlargement caused by back pressure of urine–, mostly due to a lodged ureteral stone (7)
  • Blood clots in the ureter after a kidney injury or investigation, in kidney tumors, sickle cell anemia or hemophilia (2)
  • Renal papillary necrosis–partial death of the kidney tissue–due to poorly managed diabetes, liver cirrhosis or long-term analgesic abuse, mainly in women (2)

Throbbing Kidney Pain

Throbbing, pulsating pain in the kidney area can radiate up or down the back and last for several seconds to minutes.

IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s disease)

IgA nephropathy is a type of kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis). Symptoms appear within 72 hours after the onset of a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection and may last for up to 3 days:

  • Brown, cola- or tea-colored urine
  • Spasms or dull pain in both flanks
  • References: (10,18)

Other Causes of Throbbing Kidney Pain

Dull Kidney Pain

Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

Kidney infections are much more common in women than in men. Symptoms develop quickly–in few hours or days–and may include:

  • Mild, dull ache, discomfort and tenderness in the left, right or both flanks
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • High fever and chills
  • Cloudy and smelly urine or blood in urine
  • Loss of appetite, diarrhea, stiff neck
  • Symptoms of the infection of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (urethritis): frequent urination, urge to urinate, burning pain during urination
  • References: (1,2,3)

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease with multiple cysts in both kidneys. Symptoms and signs:

  • Middle back or upper abdominal pain, swelling and a palpable lump in the upper abdomen on both sides
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Blood in urine, foamy urine
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Reference: (13)

Other Causes of Dull Kidney Pain

  • Renal abscess is a localized collection of pus in a kidney, usually as a complication of a urinary tract or systemic infection; it can present with a palpable mass in the loin, fever and chills (2).
  • Fungal bezoars may develop after kidney transplantation, in diabetes or during long-term antibiotic treatment (2,8).
  • IgA nephropathy (Berger’s disease)
  • Chronic hydronephrosis can develop due to gradual blockage of the urinary tract, for example, due to ureteral strictures (scars) after ureteroscopy, radiation or kidney surgery, or due to kidney stones (5,7).
  • Kidney cyst, tumor or cancer can present with gradual development of flank pain and occasional blood in the urine (9).
  • Retroperitoneal fibrosis is abnormal growth of scar tissue in the area around the kidneys, usually without a known cause. Symptoms: pain in the flank, lower abdomen, hips, buttocks or scrotum (2,30).

Bilateral Kidney Pain (in Both Flanks)

Disorders that can cause kidney pain on both sides at the same time:

Kidney Inflammation

Two main types of kidney inflammation are glomerulonephritis and interstitial nephritis. Causes include infections, for example, post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis after bacterial throat infection (strep throat) (28), medication side effects and autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in one or both flanks
  • Swelling of the feet, around the eyes or generalized swelling
  • Blood in urine
  • Foamy urine
  • Reference: (20)

Other Causes of Kidney Pain on Both Sides

  • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) (6)
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Nephrocalcinosis–accumulation of calcium in the kidney tissue in various congenital disorders, such as medullary sponge kidney and primary hyperoxaluria, etc.; symptoms are like in kidney stones (14)
  • Bilateral hydronephrosis–enlarged kidneys on both sides–with lumps on both sides of the upper abdomen; causes: vesicoureteral reflux (backward flow of urine from the bladder into ureter), neurogenic bladder (after spinal cord injuries), ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction (15)
  • Loin pain hematuria syndrome (LPHS) (12)
  • Renal vasculitis–inflammation of the blood vessels in the kidneys–, for example, in polyarteritis nodosa, Henoch-Schönlein purpura, essential mixed cryoglobulinemia, microscopic polyangiitis, Wegener’s granulomatosis); symptoms: skin rash, low-grade fever (6,27)
  • Other (6):
    • Anaphylactic reaction (severe allergic reaction)
    • Ethylene glycol poisoning (ingestion)
    • Haff disease after eating Buffalo fish
    • Muscle breakdown after severe muscle injury or limb compression (common in chronic alcoholics) and other causes of increased excretion of myoglobin in urine (myoglobinuria)
    • Sickle cell anemia and other causes of blood hemolysis, such as serum sickness and transfusion reaction
    • X-ray contrast toxicity

Kidney Pain After Drinking

In urinary tract obstruction, back pressure of urine can cause kidney pain within few hours of drinking large amounts of fluids or after taking diuretics; causes include:

  • A kidney stone that has stuck in the ureter
  • Ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Bladder outlet obstruction, for example, due to bladder cancer
  • A blood clot within the urinary tract due to bleeding caused by injury or kidney cancer
  • Pregnancy

Is kidney failure painful?

Usually, neither acute nor chronic kidney failure by itself is painful. Kidney failure means severe impairment of the kidney function, but, at least in the early stage, there is no severe physical damage and hence no pain. Symptoms of kidney failure may include increased or decreased urination, fatigue, nausea, unintentional weight loss, pale and itchy skin, swollen ankles and hands and shortness of breath (16). Severe acute kidney failure may cause pain in the flank(s) (29).

Differential Diagnosis

Common disorders that can mimic kidney pain:

199 Responses to What does kidney pain feel like?

  1. Justin Tasoulas says:

    i have itchy redness lump in my back ribs right where the kidney is caused from a car accident in march 1st 2005

    • Jan Modric says:

      Justin, my first thought was a blood collection (hematoma) under the skin that became fibrous (like an internal adhesion or scar). I strongly suggest you to get that checked to exclude more serious causes, like a tumor. An ultrasonography, for example, is a quick, cheep and quite informative investigation.

  2. Google says:

    Very good article. I am experiencing some of these issues as well..

  3. Tina says:

    I have a horrible kidney and bladder infection. My doctor has neglected this, it has worsened, hydronephrosis,let to go home though anti biotics were not working and not feeling well at all. Vomiting, 6 pd weight loss,severe sweats,abnormal confusion, my other complex health issues are worsening and nothing I can do for help. I am traumatized by going to the ER and how I’ve been treated over and over, so won’t go back. This is a very sad situation.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Tina, urinary tract infection is confirmed by urine culture test on basis of which a doctor can prescribe exact antibiotics, and if those do not work, some other antibiotics. If you really have an UTI, please go back to the doctor.

    • ceegee says:

      Hey hows it going I suffer from same problem and still no diagnose only I been suffering for about 16 years now but I’m back at the urologist Tuesday did you find any help?

  4. Celina says:

    I’m getting spasms under the bottom part of my rib cage. (Left side )It seriously feels like someone squeezing on it . Then eases up and goes away for a mi then comes back .
    I noticed last month my husband and I went out for drinks and I woke up feeling like someone punched me in the ribs (both sides) and I got up to get water and the pain went away about ten 15 mins later…

    • Jan Modric says:

      If the pain is in the front, it may be from the gas in the part of the colon that runs horizontally below the rib cage. I cannot say if it is this or not, but if it is, it may be managed by observing which foods trigger the pain and remove them from the diet.

  5. rita owens says:

    I have stage lll kidney, 73 year old female and have started having pain in my RIGHT lower back and hip, right groin and right shin bone mostly when sitting for about a month. My kidney function labs have been stable and pretty good for over 6 months then this pain started. Could it be related to ckd or something else. What kind of doctor should I see. I have a medical dr., kidney specialist, neurologist, endrocrinologist and obgyn. Where do I start.Please help.

  6. Stephani says:

    I had a UTI a few months back that woke me up with severe kidney pain. Felt like someone took a baseball bat to my back. I took antibiotics and the UTI went away. I returned to the doc after my kidney pain persisted and tested negative for UTI. It’s been about three months and my kidneys still hurt. It’s more of a full, achy pain that comes and goes every few days and it will last for anywhere from one to three days. Today, after intercourse, I noticed some blood on the toilet tissue after using the bathroom. Should I be concerned about kidney disease at this point? I’m uninsured and worried about where to go considering my doctor hasn’t been very helpful so far.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Pain in the kidney area and blood on the tissue (if it is from the urine) suggest a kidney disease. Pain from stretched lower back muscles is more superficial and changes with the body movement and position, but kidney pain is less likely affected by the body position. The kidney inflammation or cancer could be suspected from changes in the simple blood tests, for example elevated white blood cells and sedimentation rate, but to get exact diagnosis, some imaging investigation (CT?) would be needed.

      I strongly recommend you to try to have at least some simple blood and urine tests done (a primary doctor can order them). I also strongly recommend you to check for ALL possible options for affordable insurance. If you are not very confident about your doctor, try to get in touch with some other doctor for a brief consultation, just to get the second opinion. A good doctor should be able to tell something on the basis of a physical examination and few non-expensive blood and urine tests.

  7. joan says:

    I am a 36 year old breast cancer patient who has had 8 rounds of chemo, surgery am currently undertaking my 6th & final week of radiation and have Herceptin through my Port every 3 weeks (my last being on Thursday last week). About 3 weeks ago I had a UTI which lead to thrush – it took 3 rounds of antibiotics & thrush treatment (first lot didn’t appear to work so was given a different type and then advised through further urine tests that my urine was ‘clear of infection’ and white cell count was good in bloods. Last Thursday evening I felt discomfort through my abdomen and right side which lead to the back. It is now early Monday morning and I still have a dull ache around the right kidney area which feels heavily bruised (and slightly hard) when touched. my urine appears normal with no cloudiness or discolour. I am urinating normal and my temperature is normal. I no longer have any UTI symptoms. I feel well accept for this sensation in my back. I will try to see my doctor again today but can you suggest what this may be?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Swelling around the kidney certainly suggests a problem in the kidney or surrounding tissues. An ultrasound, blood and other tests may reveal more.

  8. Annie says:

    I have had issues with my kidneys for the last two months. My right one is the worse. At the end of Oct 2014 I was seen by two doctors and one visit to the ER and nothing showed a Kidney Stone but I swore up and down the symptoms I had before all the visits was a kidney stone passing. It started with kidney pain that radiated down like period pain then I peed and there was a ton of blood. That is when I went for the first doc appt. The CT scan at the ER showed nothing remarkable. Last week I had symptoms of a UTI. I went to the Doc and got antibiotics, they didn’t work. Then I went to the doc three days later and they gave me different antibiotics (Cipro) and they sent my urine in for a culture test. This morning I woke up with the worst pain ever in my right kidney and bladder pain. I felt like I had to pee and when I did it hurt so bad I cried. I went to the same doc and they got my test results back that I don’t have a UTI (no bacteria) and now I have an appointment to see a Urologist Monday morning. However, I am in horrible pain and taking Vicodin to help ease the pain. It is helping with my bladder pain but not when I go or with my kidney pain. I guess I am confused, I have Googled kidney stones, cancer, cystitis and I don’t know if I can make it through the weekend but I feel like if the doc wasn’t worried I shouldn’t be.

    • becky says:

      Do you know what type of kidney stones you’ve had? I had a similar situation. X-rays with tomograms didn’t show anything. I think the urologist thought I was nuts because at first I just had symptoms like a UTI. I had uric acid kidney stones and they don’t always show up on regular x-rays. I ended up with a blockage, urosepsis and in hospital x 5 days. They ended up not putting in a stent because with uric acid stones they can be dissolved with sodium bicarb/IV. If you ever run fever and have chills it is an emergency!

  9. Saj says:

    I am a 19 year old male. I got a kidney infection when i was 18 about 18 months ago and it was treated with broad spectrum antibiotics. I then got a second infection after about a month after the first which occured on the day after drinking alcohol excessively. Since then i have constant kidney pain on both sides. It ranges from sharp and tight to dull, tender and sore. It usually feels better when i urinate. However eventhough i have this on and off pain for 12 months now i never actually have a kidney infection. All my urinalysis and cultures come back okay. I have had a ct scan and it was found that i have a malrotated left kidney. However my urinalysis never show protein, blood, leukocytes or anything. The doctors here are now sick of my compaints and just prescribe me pain killers. When i used to drink alcohol excessively before my infection i never got kidney pain afterwards but now i do. It is now getting to the point where the pain at times is there for months eventhough i dont drink any alcohol, only water and milk. What could be causing this pain, it must due to the previous infection i had but now i dont actually have an infection and i have this malrotated kidney, could this be a cause? Any help or advce would be appreciated. Thanks. I also get burning pains when i urinate sometimes but still no infection.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Malrotated kidney might be associated with a certain abnormality, for example pelvico-ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction (read above in the article) that slows down removing the urine from the kidney (this may require a special urine flow investigation). When you speak with the doctors, you should mention burning during urination, pain relief after urination and the time pattern of pain with all eventual triggers you can recall. Urine tests other than for bacteria, for example, for the presence of calcium and urate crystals, may help a doctor to make the diagnosis.

  10. david says:

    I’m a 54 you male..for the past 3-4 myths I’ve been waking up with severe pain in my left lower quadrant in my back..it has been getting worse with time.also a lot of gas..and at the bottom front side rib is very sore to the touch. .also I’ve had some pain in my groin are as well this past week..plz advise…thank you!

    • Jan Modric says:

      The pain in the back and front can be from gas and gas is from the intestine. Common causes of excessive gas are large amounts of soluble dietary fiber (oats, barley, beans, peas, psyllium husk), fructose malabsorption (triggered by fruits like apples, pears or mangoes, honey or beverages sweetened by HFCS) and lactose intolerance (symptoms triggered by milk). It may help reduce gas and pain if you stop eating the mentioned foods for few days, but to find the exact cause of gas you might want to have tests as recommended by a gastroenterologist.

  11. Jane says:

    I hope someone can help me out. I have been experiencing pain in the mid upper back spine (right where a woman’s bra hooks up) when I drink any alcohol and sometimes when I eat or drink certain foods. I was told by a chiropractor to have my gallbladder checked. I did, and they found stones and removed my gallbladder. I waited a few months, tried to have a drink and got the intense pain in the back again. The pain is very intense and extreme and usually will only last 15 minutes and under and go away. I went back to my doctor and told him and he sent me in for a barium swallow test which shows I have acid reflux. I have been medicated for years on that. This pain has been here for over 12 years. I tried a drink after months of being medicated with acid flux medication but it still happened. I just stay away from alcohol and sort of gave up on figuring it out until recently. Now, sometimes when I eat or drink normal foods, I will get the pain but not as intense as drinking alcohol sets it off. It usually will try to start and I am very uncomfortable until it eases up. I looked at my online chart for past testing today and noticed that on a urine sample from 2012 I showed abnormal readings on….
    ’Specific Gravity, Urine’ normal range shows 1.005-1.030 and I tested at a >1.030 range and was flagged.
    Protein: normal ranged listed is NEG,TRACE mg/dl and I tested at a 30.
    Ketones: normal range NEG and I tested at a 1+
    Blood, UA: normal range NEG and I tested at a 2+

    All the other test for that was normal but I was flagged for the above. The doctor or anyone never called me to talk about this or to retest me. I sort of gave up trying to figure this weird pain and I now just try not to eat/drink anything to set it off. Do you think this has something to do with my kidneys?
    I would like to say, I have never been a heavy, consistent drinker which probably sounds like I have been, but it is the one thing that can set the pain into full gear quickly. My problem is that I am wondering if anyone has this pain and if the association was with the kidneys and maybe my doctor missed something.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Kidney pain is in the right or left flank, which is under the lower ribs, near the spine. So, it would be left or right, not in the middle. In certain kidney disorders, pain can be provoked by slight hitting with a fist over the kidney. Urine specific gravity can be caused by dehydration but I can’t exclude other causes.

      Gallstones typically can cause pain in the shoulder blade area. Gastric reflux can also cause pain between the shoulder blades. This article describes common causes of pain below or between the shoulder blades.

  12. melly says:

    Hi all, i am 30 and a mother of 5. I have neve had issues with UTI infections until now.
    I woke up 3 days ago with a fever so terrible i couldnt actually get out of bed. And my right kidney was absolutly killing me. The pain was close to labour pains! My husband rang thr ambos they drugged me up and took me to hospital. I did a pee test, it was established i had a kidney infecion steming from a uti. They gave me one big dose of IV antibiotics and sent me home with a 20 day course perscription. I got to script filled right away and started the course as directed. However today…3 days later….my sick feeling has gone but my kidney pain is back in full force, only now it is also under the front of my ribs. Has anyone been through this that could tell me? is it normal for kidney pain to get worse again like this? Any advice is perfect. I am at my wits end in pain now. I have a follow up tomoz with the doc but i thought i would try writing here first. Thanks all, Mel

    • Jan Modric says:

      Please go to the doctor immediately. It can be reinfection of the kidney, infection of some other organ by bacteria resistant to given antibiotics or pain from something other.

  13. Freidman says:

    I have recently been suffering from chronic kidney stones due to a medication I am taking. My urologist told me I have a renal kidney stone on my left side right now. However I am experiencing a dull and sometimes throbbing pain on that side, my urologist said I should not be having pain due to where the kidney stone is currently located. I am also experiencing some diarrhea. Is this something I should address with my PCP? How would I even explain it? I am so confused how can I have a kidney stone but it not be causing me pain right now. This is all very new to me.

    • Jan Modric says:

      It is true that stones limited to a kidney usually do not cause pain (but they could); the kidney pain might be also due to a kidney disorder associated with the stones. Kidney pain can be sometimes provoked by slight hitting over the kidney with a fist; such pain would be limited to the kidney and would not radiate widely around (check in the article above, where exactly kidneys are located).

      Kidney stones alone might not cause diarrhea, but an eventual kidney disorder associated with then stones may. Diarrhea may be also a side effect of medication, food poisoning, newly developed food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease.

      You can write down all symptoms as they developed trough the time, also describe the pain location, triggers and relievers exactly to the doctor. If you feel pain, it’s not a doctor who can tell you don’t. To confirm/exclude a kidney disease other than stones, some blood and urine tests can be done. You can also ask for an eventual alternative medication that does not cause kidney stones or for a diet change that may decrease the risk of stones.

  14. Zeeshu says:

    i am experiencing pain in my back along with flank region.. i use to have episodes of pain at the flank region but by having water it was relieved. But from yesterday iam having pain with much intensity in my back and flank region. is it serious?

  15. Bob says:

    My girlfriend has this consistent pain in her right side. She feels it, and it is very complicated. She suffers from UTIs and is at her wit’s end with this problem. She has been checked for kidney stones but they said there is none. Any other advice as to how to even ease the pain?

    • Jan Modric says:

      She needs to get a diagnosis first. If she has common UTIs, it’s possibly her right or both kidneys are affected too. I would advice against self-treatment with antibiotics because they can affect eventual urine tests for bacteria.

  16. Susan says:

    Hi. I am a 42 female. I have had bilateral throbbing pains in kidney area for 20+ yrs. They are usually worse on right side. There is no specific amount of time between attacks although they do seem to come on more if I haven’t hydrated well. During the intense attack ( sometimes painful enough to stop me and send me to the floor at times) if I drink 2-3 + glasses of water, the pain will quickly worsen and then ease away. I have no blood in urine, occasional uti’s usually after intercourse. I have never knowingly passed a stone either and the pains never last more than minutes. What could be possibilities? Thank you so much.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Symptoms you have described (throbbing pain, pain worse after drinking) can be caused, for example, by the obstruction of the urine flow out of the kidney. Two possible causes are ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction and kidney stones, or some anatomical deformity or polycystic kidneys. An ultrasonography can confirm/exclude some of these causes.

  17. liana says:

    I’m 32 yrs old female, i had a terrible UTI 4yrs ago and through ultrasound my doc saw cyst on my right kidney and said i shouldn’t worry about it and prescribed antibiotics and lots of water. Now i’ve been feeling pain and tenderness on either side of my lower back when I ate something salty or when I drink coffee. Please help. Thanks..

    • Jan Modric says:

      Kidney cysts can be sometimes painful, especially if they rupture; they can also get infected. I suggest you to visit a doctor again.

  18. Brian Medsker says:

    I just had very painful throbbing in both kidneys that actually got really severe, thinking I might go to the hospital but it calmed down. I’ve had stones before and it didn’t feel anything like that. It’s still throbbing but not as bad. Any idea what it is. im currently on Prednisone for back pain but don’t think it’s related.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Throbbing pain in both kidneys is usually caused by increased pressure in the kidneys due to obstruction of the urine flow, usually after drinking large amount of fluid in ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ) or, rarely, due to obstruction by kidney stones.

  19. LaKosha E. says:

    I am a 31 yr old mother of 4. I have battled frequent UTIs for many years. My UTIs are getting harder and harder to cure since my body is resistant to several antibiotics now. For the past week or so, I have been having pain in my lower back/side. It comes in waves and feels like someone is punching me in both my kidneys. I am waiting for a referral to see a urologist, however, any thoughts about what this can be? I don’t drink alcohol much at all. Maybe wine here and there, but when I do it’s only a glass or two. I have been hospitalized in the past for severe dual kidney infections.

    • Jan Modric says:

      From what you’ve said it sounds it can be another kidney infection. This is not something to wait, so please see an urologist as soon as possible.

  20. Michelle says:

    I am a 34 year old female who has suffered with frequent uti’s for the last 9 years. Usually following intercourse. I am a recovering opiate addict (had back pain and the first thing the pain dr gave was OxyContin, Percocet and Valium before any testing or imaging was done) It’s been two and a half years since I recovered in a treatment center. However, I have had relapses due to chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and adhesions. All of which I have had surgery for three times since leaving treatment. My right ovary and Fallopian tube was removed in one of those surgeries. Also, as of the last couple months, I have been drinking. Excessively. Not proud of it. But felt it important to note.

    For the last year I have had at least 5 “uti’s” but the ua ALWAYS comes back negative as does the 48 hour culture. It’s been suggested I may have interstitial cystitis but haven’t actually been dx’d. My last episode was just about a month ago. It was the worst I have EVER had! At noon I had that “oh crap I think I might be getting a uti”. Drank a ton of water and it only got worse. By 2:00 I couldn’t stand up straight I was in so much pain!!! I took two doses of pyridium (so 4 pills total) along with a boat load of essential oils and adding the lemon oil to the gallons of water I drank in that time. After about 5:00 it started feeling a bit better. I was able to sleep that night (didn’t want to go to urgent care or er) went in the next morning the ua showed trace blood but they couldn’t tell anything else due to the pyridium. They gave me toradol shot and a massive dose of cipro. I felt better a couple days later. Then they called and said all my blood and urine rests were all totally normal.

    Fast forward 7 days ago. I woke up with an intense sharp stabbing pain in my back and side. Not debilitating but bad enough it woke me and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Once I got up and moved around I didn’t really notice it anymore. The next day it was BAD! Same thing, woke up with sharp stabbing pains. Increased fluid and laid on a heating pad most the day. Wed I felt fine no problem. Thursday same story as tues. Friday I had my hubby take me to er. (Where I get treated as a drug seeker…rightfully so but I swear no one ever believes me anymore. Again my fault) they ran blood work and UA. All negative for anything. Doc wouldn’t do any imaging due to the fact in 2013 when I had my last ct scan it didn’t show any stones. Chalked it up to a strained muscle and put me on flexeril and ibuprofen 600. I’ve had chronic back pain. I get epidurals and nerve blocks in my back. It feels NOTHING like muscle pain. And it hurts with no movement at all. Heating pad and HOT baths don’t alleviate it neigh do meds. Saturday I felt mostly fine. But last night into this morning it’s the same stabbing sharp throbbing pain. It’s hard to even pin point exactly where it’s coming from. It feels like right under my rib cage one time then my side then my lower back right above my hip bone. Where should I go from here?! I have a strong fam hx of kidney stones but have never had one myself.

    • Jan Modric says:

      The pain that changes with a change in body position less likely originates from the kidney and more likely by a muscle strain or a pinched nerve, for example. This is explained in this article:
      http://www.ehealthstar.com/kidney-vs-lower-back-pain-difference.php

      If urine tests are negative for an infection and if imaging excludes abscesses, infection is not likely cause of pain.

      Kidney stone pain does not likely change with a change in body position. However, stabbing, throbbing pain and strong family history of kidney pain may suggest kidney stones.

      Interstitial cystitis pain is above the pubic area and is worse when the bladder is full and is relieved by bladder emptying. The pain is chronic. Diagnosis is by cystoscopy.

      You may want to search for: bulging disc resulting in a pinched nerve, kidney stones in the kidney, and papillary necrosis (kidney damage after long-term drug use).

  21. maryanne says:

    I am a 62 year old female who has PKD. I have been getting a burning sensation on both sides of my kidneys lower back. I feel good other than the burning feeling. I have no fever. My urnine seems to be ok. My BP is good. I also had a ultrasound a few months ago & my kidney Dr. told me that my cysts are the same & nothing has changed. Just wondering why I have this burning. It has been on & off. I also have a hidden kidney stone.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Maryane, maybe you should go to the doctor again. One cause of bilateral burning kidney pain is “loin pain hematuria syndrome,” which usually occurs in young women…Burning could be also due to pinched spinal nerves or stretched lower back muscles – in these cases, moving and changing the body position would affect the pain.

  22. maryanne says:

    Thank you Jan for answering my question. I would like to ask you if you are a Doctor? Also you had mentioned “loin pain hematuria syndrome, which usually occurs in young women. If you recall reading my question, I am a 62 year old woman, & that is not young. Like I mentioned I had an ultrasound just a couple of months ago & my Kidney Dr. said the cysts on my Kidneys have not changed. Would another ultra sound detect a pinched spinal nerve, or do I have to go for a cat scan. Please respond as soon as possible. thanks.

  23. JONATHAN says:

    Please i have a swallow back closed to my span cord around my wast and been experiencing pain in the abdomen what could that be a kidney problem?
    Please help me to know

    • Jan Modric says:

      Jonathan, it could be a kidney problem or a problem with some other abdominal organ or with the muscles…Usually some investigation, like X-ray or ultrasound is necessary for diagnosis.

  24. Mia LaBelle says:

    44 year old female suffering with dull constant left flank pain that radiates around to lower abdomen. Has been going on for a few months now. Usually lasts about 3-7 days, subsides and returns. Sharp spasm pain that radiates near mid lower abdomen is a newer symptom and lasts only a few short minutes but has me jumping about. Kidney infections on and off for about 3 years now. Urine test detected blood about a month ago at employment medical along with clicking heart murmur. Drink plenty of water yet ankles, lower legs swelling. Urine sample showed only slight infection two weeks ago and my GP did not prescribe antibiotics. Instead of an exam they have requested a second urine sample which I find frustrating. Physically active and no other health issues.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Flank pain radiating around to abdomen, and sharp pain may be from an obstruction in the ureter due to a kidney stone, tumor or a piece of kidney tissue. Swollen ankles can be from a chronic kidney failure or loss of protein in urine due to nephrotic syndrome. Infections can be secondary to the original problem. Another urine test may show proteins in urine, for example. You might need additional investigations, like CT or MRI of the left kidney. To me, it sounds like an obstruction in the left ureter, but the cause needs to be identified.

      • Mia LaBelle says:

        Thank you for your reply, wish my doctor would listen. Two days ago (shortly after posting) I passed what I believe we’re two kidney stones, a first for me. Both very dark in colour, the larger of the two was about 2mm and the second only slightly smaller. The pain in my back eased tremendously within hours after this. I’ve had two separate occasions of sharp groin pain since, but feel almost 100% for the first time in a very long time. I’m considering calling my GP to request further testing to rule out further stones. Unfortunately, I have little faith in my GP as I had mentioned kidney stones as a possible cause due to the level of pain I was suffering

  25. Jenny says:

    For two or more months I have had increased need to urinate, this is still the case, I remember the time this started I may have had thrush.. Now a few months on, I have thrush again. I have also noticed niggling brains under my ribs, upper abdomen through back and down to groin – these have been mild and occur infrequently and randomly.. I’m wondering if this is kidney or uti or just general aches and pains. Either way the frequent urination is quite a bother.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Kidney disorders usually cause more constant and better localized pain as the ones you have described. Frequent urination may be from thrush…UTI and kidney stones pain can radiate down to the groin, but kidney stone pain is usually stronger…The most common causes of vague abdominal pains are constipation and various food intolerances or digestion problems and irritable bowel syndrome.

  26. asad says:

    hi.i have feel pain in my back both side from 1 month..i go for doctor for check up doctor say me this is muscular pain but after for confirm this i go for urine test and ultrsaount…ultrasound are normal in all things and urine test is also and pus cell 4-5 doctor say nothing in both test .pain just for muscular…but i m so confuse pain stiill there plzz giude

    • Jan Modric says:

      Without description of pain and its timing I can’t say much. Lower back pain can be muscular due to prolonged sitting, work, exercise or injury. Neurological pain can be due to pinched nerve(s) in the lumbar spine.

  27. Jorge says:

    Hey I’m 15 years old ever time i strecht or play soccer above my left testicle hurts for at least 1 hour then goes away then comes back . And just today my back hurts just under my rib cage is it serious?

  28. Misty says:

    Hi, I’m 34/female. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year (clear cell renal cell carcinoma) it all started with pain to the right of my belly button. I had a partial nephrectomy exactly a year ago today. I’m clear & good they said. Well the pain that started it all has never gone away. It has now been almost 4yrs of the pain & sickness. It is a couple inches to the right of my belly button & it seems to be closer to the surface & not my back. It is dull & stabbing. Nothing helps it & nothing i have found brings it on. It can be there for days & weeks then disappear for even a month. It has me so weak, no appetite, nauseous, vomiting. I have had micro blood in my urine for over a year & had my urologist check my bladder but no source of the bleeding found. My urine is fine, no pain etc. It is this pain that has me vomiting & is ruining my life. My Dr pushed on the spot while I took a deep breath & when exhaled you can feel something pop back up around his fingers. He automatically said ulcer take prilosec. The ER said you don’t get ulcers there & they he couldn’t diagnos one by just touching me either. I have done the weeks of prilosec everyday etc…no help whatsoever. I’m living on Zofran & pain meds. I really am at the end & can’t live like this anymore, it’s taking is toll on me pretty hard. Google tells me it could be a million things & I’m so confused. Blood work/urine ok last time checked. After being up all night vomiting (ran out of zophran) & for the first time clenching that spot on my stomach because for the first time it is killing me while vomiting. I hav an appt this morning & I won’t be leaving until he figured this out. Everyone was writing it off as just being from my kidney cancer but it is still here a year after my cancer was treated & gone! No UTI or bladder issue. I do have endometriosis & Adenomyosis severely & am awaiting a hysterectomy in the future. These 2 diseases have me in immense pain from hip to hip & in my groin….nonstop. not sure if it can spread up to my “kidney area” or not. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thank you! ?

    • Misty says:

      *sorry I should add that, my Dr hasn’t been addressing it because as it happens so much, I will feel fine the day or week of my appt & my appts are short & filled with ofter issues that it doesn’t get addressed. It has been progressing pretty fast so NOW I’m needing to address it. This cannot be from an ulcer can it? I have no gas bubbles or anything, food, activity etc doesn’t make it worse or better. I did have an ultrasound that found my tumor on my kidney, the US tech kept looking at my liver & saying she didn’t like that, she showed me a growth on it & said my chart shows I was raped as a child & that I should ask to be tested for hep. I mentioned the thing in my liver to my Dr & in less than 3 seconds he dismissed it. She saw the VERY bright red dots all over my stomach. Liver marks she said. The pain is right side, a few inches to the right of my belly button, doesn’t feel too deep down, nerve ever moves, always exact spot, occasionally I have felt it on the left side too, very minimally though. The area seems to be about the size of a half dollar give or take. Sorry in trying to be very specific. I have headaches (not normal for me) chest pain (smoker of 20yrs)l unfortunately) I went from 160lbs down to just 100lbs in a year. I hope this info helps a little more.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Misty, one possibility is that you may have adhesions – strands of connective tissue in your abdomen pulling on the organs and causing pain. It could be due to endometriosis; some adhesions can also develop after surgery. You might want to speed up the treatment for endometriosis…

  29. John says:

    I use to take a lot of tyenol the past three months I’ve been experiencing pain in my lower back both sides and now I’m starting to cough up fluid, my pee is foamy too. The pain comes and goes sometimes for days sometimes for hours. It seems like it’s my kidneys but is it kidney failure or something else?

    • Jan Modric says:

      John, you have described typical symptoms of a kidney damage. Foamy urine is very likely from protein in urine, which can occur in kidney disease. Please go to a doctor as soon as possible, you will need to have tests to know what exactly is wrong and what t do.

  30. Leann says:

    I was seen in the ER two weeks ago. I had been feeling sick, fever, stiff neck and right side pain under my ribs and along the right side. The doctor diagnosed me with pyelonephritis. Fist off I had never been so sick. After leaving the hospital all I could do for days was lay around and sleep. After about 4 days I started feeling better. I finished my cipro on Monday and by Tuesday the pain started back. It’s a pain in my upper right side under my ribs. When laying down its hurts when I inhale. It’s a dull ache that seems to come and go every few minutes. Then it radiates downward along my right side. Are the doctors missing something, could this pain actually be something else?

  31. Leann says:

    I Would like to add that the pain is more of a nagging dull ache that seems to be a couple inches below my right breast. It’s hard to explain the exact location because when I lay it feels to be aching in one location then when I stand it seems to add the location on my ride side flank around the Lower three ribs. I have suffered from many utis, kidney infections and bladder infections since I was a child. My teen years they seemed to improve. After my second child I would have a uti monthly. Within the last two years they are not as frequent, with maybe 4-5 a year. Even going to the doctor on routine visits or other issues there is always protein in my urine. I’m not a drinker, I had been drinking mountain dews excessively for many years but have also stopped them because I would wake up in the mornings with aching in both kidneys. I knew those weren’t good at all. This pain is just bothersome and annoying. I have spoken with my doctor and he has put me back on another 7 day round of cipro.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Frequent kidney infections may cause kidney damage that might not be relieved by antibiotics. Now sure, try what doctor said, but if the pain persists, you may want to ask for additional investigations.

  32. jewels says:

    I started having kidney & heart throbbing problems after, i had my son hes 1.5 now. I picked him up & it felt as if some one pulled strings in my heart & right kidney & I passed out. The problem has yet to go away but, I can feel it & take caution grab water & take slow deep breaths seems to help from passing out, I’ve seen doctors that claim nothing is wrong with me & refuse to do test.. I can’t lift my right leg or, carry much from the pain.. I’m curious if anyone else has had or, know anyone thats been through this.. I would love to play with my son & workout like I use to without pain & the fear of passing out..

    • Jan Modric says:

      jewels,

      what you can do is to write down the exact symptoms (pain location and distribution, fainting and other eventual symptoms), when did they start and what trigger them. Next, you write down the history (in time order) of all eventual important health problems, infections, etc. you have ever had and any eventual official diagnoses you ever got and discuss this with your primary doctor. After hearing that and after physical examination he may come up with the idea which organ or organ system might be involved so he/she can arrange you an appointment with an appropriate specialist. You do not need to expect your primary doctor will cure you.

      It is not likely someone would respond here in the way to help you much. It could be kidney stones or some other kidney disorder, abdominal adhesions (after abdominal infection or surgery), repetitive muscle strain resulting in myofascial pain syndrome, compressed spinal nerve due to a bulging or herniated disc in the spine (sciatica), but these are just few guesses.

    • Gina says:

      I had the same problems with shortness of breath & fainting spells, about a month after I had my 4th child. I was back & fourth to the doctors. They told me I had asthma and gave me breathing treatments. I had never had asthma or shortness of breath prior. The treatments seemed to help at the moment but my breathing only got worse. I went to the doctor again after the 5th time in a week, (No joke). They finally took an X-ray of my back area. The next day they called me back in and sent me home with medication as I had fluids around my lungs & heart. That evening around 11pm I was in ER couldn’t breath couldn’t even get 2 words out, and that was it. I didn’t remember anything but waking up a week later in ICU with a all my family around. They said I had cardiomyopathy, could of been due to post partum. Although 1.5 after birth, you never know.

  33. mel says:

    Hi I am a 29 yr old female for the past day I had a dull pain on my right flank area during the day it got worse and the pain became excruciating that I rushed my self to my go he dignosed me with a kidney tubeinfection. He prescribed me some salts to flush out my kidneys and some strong pain killers. A day later I was fine but that evening the pain came back after urinating the pain disappeared. Is it kidney stones and how long to they take to dh out

    • Jan Modric says:

      mel,

      it sounds as an obstruction of the ureter (the tube that goes out from the kidney), which could be from a stone, ureter narrowing, tumor or parts of the kidney tissue. I can’t say what will happen, but I strongly suggest you to get a diagnosis from a kidney specialist.

  34. Vanessa says:

    I am a 26year old female i have a daughter n i have been experiencing a bruise like feeling on the left side of my lower back and rib i have been to hospitalfor it but i was told it was nothing but i went to the doctors afterwards and the doctor said i had a urine infection he gave me antibiotics and now the same pain has come back can u please tell me what it is please

    • Jan Modric says:

      Vanessa,

      a doctor can tell if it is an infection only on the basis of “urine culture” test. So, if it was infection and antibiotics helped, an infection has maybe recurred, but other disorders, for example kidney inflammation are possible. I strongly suggest you to go to the doctor again.

  35. mel says:

    Hello,
    In the early morning hours every morning I feel a dull ache in my kidneys. Once I get up in the morning, it goes away. It sometimes wanes after I urinate if it’s not time to get up. I do tend to drink alcohol, a couple glasses of wine or beer. I also drink lots of water during the day. Is this likely kidney related or something urinary tract? And is alcohol the culprit?

    • Jan Modric says:

      It could be kidney related since you’ve said it goes away after urination, which could decrease the pressure in the urinary tract. I would check this with a doctor. I can’t say if alcohol is causing this, but it is possible you drink more fluid than you need. You need to drink only the amount that keeps you well hydrated. If you urinate more than 5 times a day, you probably drink more fluid than you need.

  36. susan says:

    Hi I started Yasmin the pill two weeks ago since then I’ve woken up each night with dull ache pain in my lower right side of back radiating to hips….I’m peeing a lot and sometimes short of breath….I have an appointment with my doctor two days time ….I was wondering why I have this dull pain ….its a bit sore when pee also

    • Jan Modric says:

      susan, I would advise you to stop using Yasmin immediately until the doctor finds out what’s wrong. It could be a side effect or complication caused by Yasmin and it may affect your kidneys.

  37. Becky says:

    I am a 38 yr old with Tuberous Sclerosis and my kidneys are affected. In June of this year I developed kidney pain which led to a uti diagnosis and I was given an antibiotic which was very strong. The pain went away. In September I went to a urologist for overactive bladder and when they checked my urine I was diagnosed with another uti and I had no symptoms. She looked at the ct images of my kidneys from 2013 and mentioned I had cysts and I have a condition of the kidneys that predispose me to uti’s. She does not know about Tuberous Sclerosis and the only thing I could find that I have symptoms for is polycystic kidney disease. Eight days ago the pain returned. I feel it on both sides, my back, and my front. It comes and goes. It is usually a dull ache but sometimes it throbs and it has been sharp a few times. My blood pressure is 130/90 but has been up to 150/110 and I am on two blood pressure medications. I am scheduled for a ct of my abdomen and kidneys in two days at the hospital and plan on telling them about my pain. What do you think?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Becky, you can ask doctors what could be the possible causes of your pain. Also ask them to give you written conclusions about your CT results.

  38. Humera says:

    I was diagnosed focal segmental glmerlonephritis in 2007 after my left kidny biopsy. At that time protein urea in my urin was 697, dr gave me advent and remipace to control my BP but bp is always normal. Now my test are completely clear, no proteins, no blood nothing but I am not feeling well, have mild constent pain in my left kidney and back and sometimes in both. All des said your tests are clear you don’t have any problem.
    What can I do, FSGN is Turing into glmerlonephritis, am I going towards dialysis, kidnys failure?
    Help me please

  39. Peter says:

    I am 58 years old and go on endurance bike rides – 3-8 hours. When I exercise strenuously – for brief periods of time, I sometimes feel pain in both of my kidneys. (I think it is my kidneys). While I exercise I hydrate throughout as well as take electrolytes – in supplements and liquids. My BUN is 26 and my creatine is 1.7 – which are high. I am wondering if the pain in my kidneys is a sign of them failing – or under stress. What can you tell me?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Peter, strenuous exercise can cause muscle injury (rhabdomyolysis) in which some myoglobin from the muscles appears in the blood and is then excreted in the urine — in this case your urine would have a dark cola-like color. If this occurs repeatedly, some kidney damage may occur.

      In some individuals (children or adults) with ureteropelvic junction obstruction, strenuous exercise accompanied with drinking a lot of water can result in a temporary swelling of one or both kidneys (hydronephrosis). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16396871

      I can’t by any chance say, what is happening in your case.

      If the pain is from a muscle strain, the affected muscles would be tender to light touch.

      • michele says:

        43 year old female, post hysterectomy/oophorectomy and gallbladder removal. Was feeling pretty good til one day was in severe pain that had me on my knees- went to E.R and ct scan showed renal (simple) cyst and hemangiomas on liver. Hematuria was in urine as well. After a few rounds of antibiotics and still hematuria- My primary dr mentioned I.C(interstitial Cystitis), was doing good for a bit again until recently the pains were so bad again ended up in E.R, but this time pain was mid chest, vomiting along with right and back flank pain. Hematuria in urine again. I do not drink alcohol except on occasion(weddings, birthdays. etc), and felt this last time a glass of wine was the culprit. Can alcohol really cause kidney pain and for me to get this sick?? Also my bilirubin was a little elevated(1.9) Ive seen a urogune had a cystoscopy done(bladder is fine), urologist I saw didn`t seem nice at all, or concerned. And my latest symptoms seem to be more anxiety, heart palps, right flank pain (still). Is it the simple cyst doing all this, all these drs all have different theories. some say its adhesions/scar tissue from previous surgeries, another dr said it can be endometrisis(reason I had a hysterectomy), but for some reason this renal cyst just wont get off my mind. Should I request a nephrologist? or urologist? I`m sick of going in circles with drs, and just don`t feel taken seriously.

        • Jan Modric says:

          Michele, as your doctors mentioned, adhesions from surgeries, endometriosis or renal cyst could all cause the pain. In women with endometriosis, adhesions after surgeries are more common. Interstitial cystitis would likely make you urinate very frequently and cause pain in the pelvis. I do encourage you to find a nephrologist you trust and ask if the cyst could cause pain and what to do. Theoretically, alcohol could aggravate the pain from the cyst…Adhesions and endometriosis can be found during laparoscopy. When the pain arises directly from the kidney (from a cyst), tapping over the kidney could trigger pain, but a doctor can evaluate this.

  40. Jessy says:

    I had what I imagine was a kidney stone passing. Since then I’ve had bilateral kidney pain. It’s a dull ache that is really annoying. It gets worse if I have an alcoholic drink. I’ve had urine cultures done twice and they’ve both come back clean. Not sure where to go from here. I don’t want to damage my kidneys but I’m not sure what’s wrong.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Jessy, for diagnosis of kidney stones you may need blood or urine test, ultrasonography or CT. Apart from stones, blood clots and small parts of kidney tissue may pass into the urine. Kidney stones in most cases appear on one side at the time. Pain in both kidneys may speak for an inflammation or for kidney enlargement (hydronephrosis) caused by a blockage of the urine flow. Drinking alcohol or large amounts of water can trigger pain in both kidneys in ureteropelvic junction obstruction.

  41. Jess says:

    Hi

    For the past couple of years I’ve noticed that I have a frequent need to urinate. When I go to the toilet I never feel as if I’ve emptied my bladder fully and often I find there is more urine to come out.

    I don’t suffer from incontinence but am passing urine often. It’s worse in the morning. Within the space of getting up at 6am and getting to work by 9am, at it’s worst I have to pass urine 3-4 times and often feel like I have a full bladder.

    Since about May of this year I’ve been experiencing pain in both sides of my lower back. It’s a dull aching pain but also feels hot (but not to touch). Sometimes it’s sensitive to touch but not unbearable. It feels like a heat coming from the inside.

    I’m seeing a specialist:
    1. She has run a series of tests including urodynamics and taken a biopsy of my bladder. This was in June. She found that my bladder wasn’t emptying but also that it was very inflamed and she thought I had a chronic infection that never cleared (it never hurts to pass urine though so not aware of having a UTI).
    2. She put me on a course of antibiotics for 4months but the symptoms haven’t cleared
    3. The “kidney” pain I’m experiencing is happening more frequently. Also since September I’ve been feeling incredibly tired and also suffering from severe headaches and nausea (not sure if connected).
    4. I’m having a ultrasound of my kidney in the next couple of days and the consultant has also given me some medicine which she said is meant to stop my bladder from contracting all of the time as she thinks I have overactive bladder syndrome.
    5. She is attributing the kidney pain to the contractions of the bladder.

    I just don’t feel right to be honest. the pain in my lower back isn’t severe to stop me doing things but it’s happening a lot now and I feel very uncomfortable and it is painful. Would you suggest anything else that I should be tested for?

    I’m 31 and female. I’ve never had children. Also about 2 1/2 years ago I was taking cyclosporine for 18 months to treat my severe eczema. The doctors monitored my bloods regularly but nothing showed up untoward.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Jess, cyclosporine can cause inflammation of the kidneys called “interstitial nephritis.”
      http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/243597-clinical
      I’m not sure if ultrasound will show this; if not, a biopsy of a kidney may be needed.

      Cyclosporine or kidney inflammation can result in inflammation of the bladder.

      Overactive bladder does not cause inflammation of the bladder and it should not cause any kidney problems, nausea or tiredness.

      All the symptoms you listed and the history of taking cyclosporine for a long time strongly suggest a kidney problem. If ultrasound does not show nothing, you should insist in further investigations.

  42. ricky says:

    Hello my wife is plus size and for about 1yr now she tells me to rub her back but when i get to her lower back left or right she jumps or yells dont touch it so i asked her what was going on she said ive been standing up to long both sides are tender touch what would you recommend ?

    • Jan Modric says:

      ricky, kidneys are located just near the bottom of the rib cage, so if it was kidney pain it would be triggered only by pressing on that area (look the picture above in the article). Tenderness just above the hips or above the buttocks is not likely from kidney pain. I can’t say anything definite from here; a doctor can perform a quick physical examination and tell more.

  43. jenny says:

    Hello I ned so.e help. Mysister is 43year-old female and she has a lump on her back and has been passing excessively amounts of kidney stones. Also her bp has been extremely high. Its been running like 204/112. Im scared ft I death shes going to stroke out can u give me any advise.

    • Jan Modric says:

      jenny, I cannot give any other advice other that she can go to the doctor and get proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Blood pressure that high is a medical emergency.

  44. Leah says:

    I’ve been having severe kidney pains lately to the point I can’t breathe or move without it feeling like someone has stabbed me in the back and it takes my breath away and causes immense pain. I don’t know how to get rid of it or what it is.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Leah, a doctor can perform an ultrasound to check for kidney stones and order urine tests. Possible causes of sudden kidney pain are listed above in the article.

  45. Neimag says:

    I’ve suffering pain back left ass since oct n i couldn’t sleep as well as sit. Normally i take medicine release pain frm farmacy. Nowdays i doubt may my kidney was promlem. So plz help me.how can i solve this confuses.t.q.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Difficulty sitting is usually caused by nerve or muscle problems in the lower back or upper leg. An orthopedist who can perform appropriate physical examination can tell what is the cause.

  46. clare says:

    Hi I am 38 and have been having terrible pain in my lower back it started as a dull ache three / four days ago but today it has been a sort of pulsating pain that at times is so severe I can not move and takes my breath, I have also noticed that when I go to the toilet to pass urine as I am finishing going I get a very sharp pain in the pee spout area that brings water to my eyes its that sharp which last a few seconds and then gradually wears off, but I have noticed that at times I can leave the loo but feel I need to go again.
    Do you have any ideas?

    • Jan Modric says:

      clare, it sounds like a kidney stone(s), possibly with an infection. Only a doctor can give you exact diagnosis: initially you can expect urine test and ultrasound of the kidneys.

  47. Gaylene York says:

    I`m 52 yrs old. Was diagnosed with a birth defect “crook in my right ureter“. Have micro blood in my Urine all the time. Have regular kidney stones that form in the crook about every month to 3 months. Have experienced extreme pain in my kidney at night by times…one memorable night a few years back. In the last several months…I have been waking up on my back in the night with a heavy severe pain in my right kidney..which makes me afraid to move it hurts so badly. I end up raising my right knee, gently push into the bed and roll myself over to my stomach…then I raise me knee and place it against the bed to hold myself there and eventually the pain subsides. I have had 3 C-sections, and an abdominal hysterectomy some years ago. Am I experiencing some sort of kidney damage? Is this the beginning of kidney failure? Sometimes the pain is so bad that I actually tremble with the pain and beg and warn my husband not to jiggle the bed…and I am soaked in sweat. I really feel like I`m a chronic complainer so I don`t want to bother my doctor with this unless it is serious.

    • Gaylene York says:

      My birth defect was discovered over 30 years ago…and kidney stones have also being going on since I was a teenager.

      • Jan Modric says:

        Gaylene, if you have severe pain you do not need to consider yourself a chronic complainer. Doctors are there to help relieve pain.

        Kidney stones may cause kidney failure when they repeatedly block the urine flow through the ureter. This could slowly lead to kidney enlargement (hydrnephrosis) and eventually in kidney failure – this can be easily checked by blood and urine tests. Kidney failure by itself is usually not painful.

        The main cause of pain in kidney stones is a spasm of the ureter. Depending on the type of the stones, your doctor can suggest you a diet or medications that would result in less stone formation. Another possibility is maybe a surgical correction of the ureter; it is a surgeon or a nephrologist that can say if this can be done in your case. I suggest you to arrange an appointment with a good kidney specialist.

  48. Charity says:

    I having been feeling a very strong throbbing feeling in my mid back area on the left side. I feel it the most when I am moving around. Is this something that I should go to the emergency room immediately for or can I wait until my doc appt on Jan 6

  49. HC says:

    I had a large kidney stone 2yrs ago which developed into septicemia. After antibiotics cleared the infection, I had lithotripsy to remove the stone, which was calcium based. Two days ago I had dull pain when I inhaled deeply only, on the same area as my previous right kidney stone, took Tylenol a few times, and it went away. This morning I felt a sharp pain twice when I coughed, after drinking some water. Urine is fine, and no ther symptoms are present, but I am 23wks pregnant, and worry it may be another kidney stone.

    • Jan Modric says:

      HC, please go to the doctor soon to prevent eventual complications; a kidney stone or infection is possible, among other. If it is an infection, it may develop into a much serious condition in a short time.

  50. Deanna says:

    I just found out have medullary nephrocalcinosis. Only seen my kidney doctor once. But I’m having severe diarrhea and BAD LEFT pain I know it’s my kidney, but can I do

  51. Gerri Brightwell says:

    I’m a woman who’s just turned 50. I have a throbbing pain in my right kidney, frequently around 3-6 am, that generally improves after an hour if I drink a big glass of water. It sometimes occurs during the day too. I’ve had many (about 14) bouts of kidney stones, mostly some years ago now, and although the current pain never gets that intense, it just keeps coming back. I’m on a strong diuretic for high blood pressure (which apparently is also used to prevent kidney stones), and the pain has been a problem since my dose was increased. Any ideas? I live somewhere where health care is very expensive so have not gone back to the doc (after being fobbed off last time I went . . . ).

  52. Kristina says:

    After a night of heavy alcohol consumption I always wake up with bruising on the skin over the area where my kidneys are located. This bruising happens in the same spots on both sides every time and like a typical bruise it is accompanied by tenderness in area and takes a couple of days to heal (day 1-2=purple-blue / day 2-3=green-yellow). I am 100% sure that I am not injuring myself while drinking, the bruising just spontaneously appears. What does this mean? Should I be worried and could this cause any long-term damage?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Kristina, please go to the doctor and describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible. Bruising means bleeding, which, in absence of injury, is not normal under any circumstances. You may have an underlying kidney or other disease and alcohol may be just a trigger.

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  54. K says:

    ——————
    HISTORY
    —————–
    May 22, 2015: Noticed blood in urine for half day and then clear urine. Ultrasound, blood test, complete urine test and 24 hours urine test was normal. Doctor concluded that it might be small stone passed now

    Jul 20, 2015: vomiting, high fever and UTI. Took anti-biotics for 15 days or so. Took one bottle of NEERI syrup based on Ayurveda. Back to normal

    August 15, 2015: After that mild pain from left testis to pelvic bone (lower left abdomen). Coming and going. No severe pain. Took two pain killer in between entire month. Visited gastro specialist and took one more round of anti-biotic for 10 days. Back to normal

    Sep 5, 2015: Early morning got severe pain from testis to lower left side for 1 hour. With 1 pain killer it got ok. No similar pain after then

    Sep 7, 2015: Got MDCT-KUB (non contract CT Scan).
    Report:
    LEFT KIDNEY: normal in size. Mild hyderoureteronephrosis noted up to the level of calculus measuring 10 x 5 mm L5-S1 disc level. Density 1010HU
    Impression given in report “Left Ureteric calculus with proximal hyderoureteronephrosis. (other things are noted in report was normal)
    Also did Colour Doppler test for testes and it was normal.
    Doctor suggested to for surgery to remove but I decided to go for medication (all home remedy, allopathy, Ayurveda) Drinking 6L water per day.
    Visited urologist for second opinion and he suggested KCit syrup 10 ml with oxalobact capsule everyday

    Sep 7 to Sep 22, 2015:
    Drinking 6L water per day
    1 Urimax capsule everyday
    6 Himalayas Cystone tablets: 2 Morning, 2 after lunch and 2 after dinner
    2 lemon in morning and 2 lemon in evening
    KCit syrup 10 ml with oxalobact capsule everyday
    During this day never had pain or sense of passing stone

    Sep 23, 2015: Took KUB x-ray and KUB ultrasound. Stone not found. Visited urologist and he suggested that stone might have passed. He suggested to wait for month and then do a CT scan again.

    Sep and Oct 2015: Had mild flank pain and pain in left testis.

    Oct 14, 2015: Did urine test and urine Culture and sensitivity test. Found infection so took anti-biotic for 10 days and things were normal. After completing anti-biotic again mild flank pain and pain in left testis.

    Oct 31, 2015: CECT Abdomen done.
    Report
    KIDNEYS: Right kidney is normal in size, density and function. Pelvicalyceal system on both sides are normal. Perinephric areas are normal. Left Kidney shows:- PCS with mildly dilated ureter up to the level of calculus measuring 11 X 4.5 mm at S1-S2. Density 342-412HU.
    IMPRESSION: Mild left hydroureter due to lower ureteric calculus. In comparison to previous CT(sep 7), the dilation of pelvicalyceal system is no longer seen in the present CT. (Other thing noted in report was normal)
    ULTRASOUND: Done immediately after CECT Abdomen but stone was not visible

    Dec 5, 2015: KUB ultrasound done but not stone visible.
    Report: No echo reflective stone visible and no hydrosis.

    Till date:
    Trying different home remedy but systems are mild flank pain and pain in left testis. I still feel (in fact sure) stone is not passed. I feel like stone is stuck at ureter-bladder junction but not moving. Testis and flank pain is more at evening and sometime after heavy food. I am hoping to pass stone one day.

    —————————
    QUESTION
    ————————–

    Diagnostics
    1. 4 different ultrasound done by 4 different people, 4 different places in span of 6 months but stone is not visible. Not visible on x-ray. Visible only in CT scan, How come?
    2. Is it something other than stone? Phlebolith, Tumor, blood clot, etc.?
    3. How 5mm by 10mm stone can stay in ureter for 6 months without any obstruction or severe pain?
    4. Density of stone was 1010HU and then ~412HU. It moved 2-3 centimetre down. Does this indicate stone will pass eventually?
    5. Is this Cysteine stone?
    6. In last NOV 2014, I had heavy dose of whey protein with milk. Did it form stone of excessive protein?
    7. Since it is not visible on x-ray, if we assume it is not calcium based stone then is there possibility of dissolving using any medicine?

    Symptoms
    1. Why very dull flank pain and pain in left testis in evening time. Sometime when drinking less water.
    2. Since there is no severe pain and no hydrosis and no obstruction and moved little down in two months (Sep to Oct), can I live with this situation without any issue?
    3. If we do not do anything now then what are the chances of passing stone over a period of time? How long it can take?
    4. If not then what are the possible issues/risk?

    • Jan Modric says:

      K,
      Diagnostics:
      1 and 2. Two different CT scans showed dilated ureter; the first one showed also dilated kidney pelvis but the second one didn’t, which suggests the release of the pressure above the obstruction, supposedly caused by a kidney stone. A radiologist reading the CT scan should be able to differ between a stone and other possible causes of obstruction, like a blood clot, tumor, scar tissue or anatomical abnormality. A stone and a clot can move, other abnormalities do not.
      3. The CT reports *do* mention obstruction, that is its consequence: a dilated ureter. Pain in kidney stones can differ a lot from person to person…
      4 and 5. I can’t predict what will happen with the stone or in what time and is it a cystine stone. Different types of stones are associated with different blood and urine test abnormalities but none of them are mentioned in your report. So, I can’t even say is it a stone or not.
      6. Drinking a large dose of protein with milk by itself does not cause a kidney stone.
      7. About dissolving – I can’t answer this without knowing if it is a stone at all. Some stones can be dissolved but they often recur. I do not recommend any remedies. I doubt that any remedy you have mentioned above can help. You also do not need to drink so much water, except if you actually sweat a lot.

      Symptoms
      1. Obstruction of the ureter, including the one from a kidney stone can cause pain in the flank (kidney) radiating down to lower abdomen, groin or testis on one side. A cramp from a kidney stone can cause sharp pain, but ureter/kidney dilation caused by obstruction can cause dull pain.
      2 and 3. Again, I can’t predict your future symptoms.
      4. The obstruction may worsen again and may again dilate the ureter or kidney. You can ask the nephrologist if an urography (imaging of the urinary tract with the help of a contrast substance) would show more than the CT did. Here are some imaging options mentioned: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2165400-overview#showall . If it comes out you have a stone in the ureter, the stone can be broken (shock wave lithotripsy -SWL) or removed by an endoscope.

  55. Trinity says:

    Constant right side back pain. Was burning and now feels like throbbing. Very fatigued with nausea and zero appetite. Low grade fever but the pain seems to be increasing. Can’t get into the doctor until next week but I don’t think I can wait. Should I go to the ER or wait until the next appointment?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Trinity, I would go to ER. Can’t say what it is, but symptoms you have mentioned can occur in kidney inflammation.

  56. I was diagnosed with acute glomerulonephritis at 15 yrs old due to 2nd degree sunburn it was so serious ,had half dollar size blisters all over my whole body for one week then turned to painful large sores all over my whole body ,the sores got infected and I got very sick.then months after I was still ill and had blood in my urine went to a kidney docters was diagnosed acute glomerulonephritis .I keep myself healthy and thought yrs later I was cured.I had two natural pregnancies that put wear and tear on my body.I’m 40 yrs old and having alot of health problems that is getting worse.my symptoms are fatigue, extreme tiredness,dizziness when unable to eat or drink fluids,high blood pressure especially during times of stress which went from 5-6 months to extremely stressing out each and every day now only get out stress when able to sleep,when I stress out now I’m feeling very sick my blood pressure rises sky high,I feel like I’m going to have a heartache,body swells up hands,below knees,feet,abdominal swells up,extreme thirst and very thirsty frequent urination that changes to not going at all,extreme constapation with extreme cramping pain in my upper abdominal under my diaphragm radiates to my upper middle part of my back.my food not digesting any more,muscle spasms in legs,my joints are being eating away that joints lock up and pop,dry eyes with a permanent sore in eye,stay with sore throat ,off and on I have fluid that builds up in my lungs and heart was diagnosised with pleurisy, having dental problems. These are alot of problems to be a (HYPOCHONDRIAC, friends, family call me this all the time like I pay the doctor to put a disease on discharge papers I rather be healthy as a horse ,I’m not)the reason I can’t get any further help at er is bc I’m not insured before we got married I had Medicaid and never missed a check up w kidney docters and mental health docter,didn’t need at this time to add to Dr Nerologist diagnosed w/ fybermyiagia ,if I had insurance at the time they would done test arthritis,lupus,joint and bone disease since I’m poor they told me I don’t matter if i’m ill with any thing basically if I die I die dr at Biloxi er said all these test are way too expensive and I do not deserve to live,then at mermorial er the er dr took 10 tubes of blood says were going do all test lupus,arthritis, etc then I call for the results they lose it ,they didn’t even offer me to come back in to redo the test (I remember that day my blood was like water and around 6 months to yr later went for more blood work and my blood was so thick like the thickest syrup and resent at health depth went for only free test they offer [aids,hiv came back clean,my husband just recently had 2 total hip replacement surgeries done 1yr apart and they did every test there is includin aids,hiv which came clean both times,were unlike any married couple out there WE HONEST,WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER so yes he’s clean I’m clean so health depth basically waste my time (ALSO AGAIN ALL 3 TUBES OF BLOOD VERY THICK)They have the test for arthritis, lupus, and etc I ask can they do these for free AGAIN MY LIFE NOT WORTH ANYTHING AT ALL.I need help any advice where to goto get help please let me know. ..

    • Jan Modric says:

      Antoinette, one possible reason for lack of urination and constipation is insufficient drinking. When you drink enough your urine should be clear or pale yellow at most. Yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.

      If a kidney inflammation is the cause of your problems, you need to get this tested and treated appropriately. If the money is a problem and you firmly believe you need medical treatment, there is often some solution available, and you can find it, I believe.

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  58. Kim says:

    I am a 37 yr old female. I just left the er today after incredible on and off sharp pains in my upper left abdomen. It started early in the week with an occasional pain and has worsened. If I sit back or lie back the pain goes to my back but otherwise stays towards the front upper left abdomens D bags and hurts off and on at all times. Urine test showed pyuria and dr gave me Bactrim for infection in my urine and said my kidneys were in the front, and even though I was used to experiencing any type of infection like this in my back, that it also presents itself in the front as well and that I have a high white cell count in my urine. It is almost impossible to sit up after lying on my back sleeping because the pain in the front of my abdomen hurts but when I sit up it only shoots pain every now and then. No fever, no nausea, no chills just pain in the front and side/back depending on my position and at times it will just spasm with pain. What do you think? Oh and btw I take diuretics, diamox 250mgs 4x’s a day. I felt they misdiagnosed me and that it may be my pancreas or something over there in the front upper abdomen but I’m wondering your opinion. Thanks.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Kim, pyuria – leukocytes in the urine usually arise only from within the urinary system, in your case probably from the kidneys. Leukocytes in the blood can be also increased. You can feel kidney pain in the back, in front or both, on the right, left or both sides.

      In pancreatitis, leukocytes in the blood can be elevated by not likely in the urine.

  59. Ashok Kanojiya says:

    I am getting a sever pain on both the sides of kidney and I have already removed the sonography but it’s nothing jst a fatty lever but again whole day my stomach keep getting the burning sensation in my kidney area. Doesn’t know what to do as the medicine given by doctor is not helping much…please suggest

    • Jan Modric says:

      Ashok, first a doctor needs to give you a diagnosis and find out if your pain arises from the kidneys or from back muscles. An urine test, for example, can tell if you have an infection of the urinary tract or maybe a kidney inflammation. So, you can suggest your doctor to order urine tests.

  60. I have a dull aching pain under right rib ..also swollen abdomen .and hurts wen I swallow food and drink ..feels like a blockage .

    • Jan Modric says:

      jennifer, if you have gained weight recently, the swollen abdomen can be from the fluid and this from a liver disorder, which can cause right side pain. It sounds serious enough for a doctor visit.

  61. DC says:

    I’m 32 year old male (5ft 11inch / 154 pounds, non smoker, don’t drink) that has been experiencing stomach bloating (left side) & right lower back pain for around 18 months. The back pain is persistent and can last several weeks before I get a few days or even a week of relief. It seems to come back without warning. I would describe it as a throbing, pressure. My back can be sore to the touch and I find myself leaning forwards to stop contact being made with it. I have had a Dr examine me, a colonoscopy an endoscopy & blood tests which I’m told all are good/clear. I also have occasionally sharp pains that feel like they are from deep inside my rectum (normally before bed). The back soreness is so constant and exhausting. Dr suggests there is nothing in right lower back region to cause my discomfort other than muscle related! I’m very frustrated & generally feel weak & unwell.

    • DC says:

      To add to above:
      Lower right back discomfort & soreness worse when driving or sitting on sofa. I can’t get comfortable & feel the need to remove pressure from that part of my back. In general it is most uncomfortable towards the end of the day (the drive home from work & watching evening TV) More often than not I wake feeling rough, all most like a hangover :-/

      • Jan Modric says:

        DC, your back pain could be caused by:
        – Bloating. Did a doctor exclude H. pylori infection of your stomach? Other common causes of bloating are lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, celiac disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or intestinal parasites – none of them can be confirmed or excluded by upper endoscopy or colonoscopy, but can be confirmed by breath tests and stool test for parasites. You may want to try a low-FODMAP diet.
        Herniated disc in the lumbar spine (pain aggravated by sitting, driving, bending, lifting heavy objects). This pain would be at the bottom of your back and possibly radiating down the back side of the buttock and thigh (sciatica).
        – Kidney inflammation or kidney stones can be detected by an ultrasound and urine tests. What you described does not sound as a typical kidney problem to me, though.
        – Myofascial pain syndrome with muscle knots is possible.

        • DC says:

          Hi Jan, firstly thank you for your reply, it is very much appreciated.
          With regards to a stool sample / H. pylori I can advise I have been tested and was informed that was negative. It hasn’t been suggested I undertake a breath test or give urine sample though.

          In desperation to feel better for the last 3 months I have been eating gluten, wheat and dairy free. Unfortunately I have noticed little or no difference. When things are not so good (most of the time) everything I eat appears to bloat me and my back pressure soreness is permanently there albeit worse at certain times.

          It frustrating as I can’t identify a trigger and generally feel cold, weak, lack energy, unwell and wake feeling fuzzy/hung-over.

          Keep up the great work.

          • Jan Modric says:

            DC, bloating is never normal and it always has a cause. Have you tried low fructose diet? In case you have fructose malabsorption, you should see the difference in few days.

            Bloating can arise from few types of causes:
            1. Bacteria:
            —–H. pylori, OK tests said no.
            —–Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) from various reasons. A breath test is available.
            —–Gastrointestinal bacterial infection, including Clostridium difficile – It’s a special stool test for that.
            2. Parasites: Stool test
            3. Food intolerances:
            —-You mentioned lactose intolerance and celiac disease.
            —-Fructose malabsorption. >>Low-fructose diet…or breath test.
            —-Food allergy >> Skin prick test
            —-Splenic flexure syndrome (as a variant of IBS): pain in the upper left abdomen due to gas. Cause? Stress, certain foods you would need to identify, probably including “FODMAPs”
            – A potential problem with 4. liver, pancreas or gallbladder, which would result in fat malabsorption and greasy stools. A low-fat diet would help within few days. Simple blood and stool test would suggest these disorders, but if you do not have any significant changes of stool, this is less likely.
            5. Crohn’s disease (you would likely have loose stools).

            I’m not sure if bloating is causing your back pain, but even if you just discover the cause of bloating and eliminate it, it would be great or you. The fatigued feeling also suggest something may be happening in your bowel.

            I suggest you to make a list of common causes of bloating and then try to eliminate those you can do with diet trials. Basically, either a low-FODMAP or low-fat diet should help (unless you have developed a food allergy or you have IBS). If no help, you can continue with some easy/cheap breath/blood/stool tests.

  62. DC says:

    Hi Jan
    I will certainly try your suggestions.

    Thank you once again.

  63. Malora says:

    I have back pain on my right side now for two months my urine is very smelly and dark this has been like this for this time

    • Jan Modric says:

      Malora, please go to the doctor. Whatever the cause is, it may result in a permanent damage if you wait with treatment for too long.

  64. Jessica says:

    29yrs, female, 5’3″, 123lbs
    BP 145/90 (may have been high since 2013/2014)
    History of pyelonephritis

    Flank pain, right side, deep, hurts with vibration (walking). Overall chills/flu-ish feeling on skin whenever I’m jarred (walking or someone touches me).

    No fever, nausea.

    Wouldn’t culture urine because dipstick markers were negative. Blood draw revealed WBC to be 9x10E9/L, so just within normal.

    Doctor felt confident there’s no kidney infection but the pain is so disturbing. And my BP is so high, when, before my history with pyelo, it rested around 120:60 or something borderline low. I don’t drink a lot, I eat fresh meals most of the time. I’m lightly active throughout the day.

    The ER basically ran the blood and utine and saw no infection and let me go.

  65. Dima says:

    I am experiencing kidney pain and I am worried what it might be. I have been taking spironolactone which is a diuretic for a few years now and never had a problem with it. Four months ago I was having irregular periods and my doctor put me on yaz. I took it for 20 days and stopped it coz of the side effects; kidney pain, dark urine and yellowish skin color. Now my symptoms are kidney pain, frequent urination and at night, eyes puffiness and dry itchy skin. I also have heart burn, craking at corners of the mouth and hair thinning. No recent UTI

  66. natali dubovik says:

    Please help me decide if u should visit a quick care. I’ve had mild to severe pain on my right side, just above my hip bone is the worst but radiates through my hip and under my ribs in the back. My urine was a weak tea color this morning and my joints are so stiff plus my muscles ache so much I can barely stand up straight. I have zero energy, my hair is falling out so much when I brush it and after washing I don’t even want to shower. This has made me so depressed. There are two cyst like lumps on my lower back in the same area. ( deep, not acne). My insurance sucks…5000 deductible so basically yseless. What should I do? I am 49 and feel 149. Any advice?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Natali, a doctor can perform a physical examination and tell is it something important (and it sounds to me that it is). An urine test and ultrasound of the kidney, which should not cost much, can show if the problem is in the kidney. So, yes, I encourage you to get a diagnosis and then you will see what next.

  67. Carol Crawford Merz says:

    I was treated for UTI in Nov15 (3 days of Bacterium) when I saw my Primary for lower pelvis ache, nausea. I developed a sudden low back pain that prompted me to visit ER. The did pelvis ultrasound/blood & urinalysis. I rechecked with Primary. 12/28 @ an employment physical microscopic blood was detected in my urine. I visited my Primary, she ordered renal panel & urine culture. Jan 19…my symptoms progressed: major nausea/chills/weakness in my legs/ >went to Primary in a very confused mental state. He prescribed Levaqiun 725mg @ 1/day, Promethazine 25 mgs every 4~6 & said don’t do any IBUPROFEN until this “settles” more labs/urinalysis (microscopic blood elavated wht blood count) frequency of urination x3 happening. That pm…an off any pain chart episode of urinating & vomiting which lasted for close to 2 hours…I literally passed out from exhaustion. Called 24 hr Nurse Hotline and was advised to seek ER evaluation/treatment. Did so the next am and was treated with 2 bolis IV fluids & a shot of Torredol + an indegestion (pepcid) relief with lidocaine?…I was belching during that time. The ER did another pelvic ultrasound. My symptoms progressed and I feel were prounounced with the Levaquin, my legs, arms, hands & feet ached greatly for the next two weeks. Primary refers me to Urologist who states hematuria & renal colic. Orders a CT Urogram. Three weeks later, I get scanned. Between that period, I was struck with a hard upper back pain, pronounced insomia, & my degenerative cervical spine pain at the top of any pain scale in existence (I have given birth natural 3x & would have rather had that re experience x 10)…went into Primary and begged for some pain management. Hence, a 20 day prescription of Percocet. Still having frequency of urination (like every 10~20 mins), managing nausea/chills. I go back to Urologist with my scan (crazy mishap with the disc the gave me > wasn’t me! The Imaging facility messed up & I waited for the Urologist to get my scan via internet.), he views it before they scoped my bladder, and says I have a 4mm stone in my left kidney. I have current renal colic and blood in my urine(hematuri), have nust gained my appetite back after 3 months and something is or has occurred in my left side. I was given a Prostate med to help dialate/relax my Ureter because “stones of this size can pass”, & Norcos to “take only when needed”. I have pushed fluids all thru this…striving for 64 oz of water. I have had days where my body said “don’t move”, have had improvement with nausea and frequency of urination. My left side is and remains…crampy, sharp to dull continously achey. I have a recheck in two months with the Urologist, 30 days from now with Primary. No guidance on diet, I stopped my morning coffee in Jan, and am about to treat myself to some whole food nutrition. Ive sipped sooooo much lemon parsley water, that alone is…overwhelming. I am 52 yrs old, female (no gyno probs, post menopausal early cessation x 12 yrs now). I developed night sweats in Jan…they have lessened, but are still present. No fever, no burning at urination, no cloudy urine throughout this entire period. I feel inflamed in my torso, have had no edema in my legs and just finished a 10 day course of Ciprofloxacin from my Primary. I haven’t been informed of why all the antibiotics, I had to ask for a vaginal yeast treatment & had extremely difficult times trying to manage my care and/or treatment plan. I no longer have the job I was being screened physicaly for, & 10 weeks without wages, I just had Primary sign SDI paperwork. I hope this helps someone. Be your own advocate. Research. Ask questions. Don’t listen to the ER tell you that it’s just Cystitis & you may benefit from vaginal estrogen cream. Listen to your body! Avoid this renal colic stuff, definitely affects the quality of one’s life!

  68. Nichole says:

    For that past couple weeks I have felt this dull ache come and go right where my kidneys are and it only aches on right side. I feel bloated,nausea,fatigue,and last week both my legs from knee down would make a impression of your fingure when pushed. I do also have IBS. I’m due for my cycle. Now tonight the ache is worse and constant. Do I need to go to the ER?

  69. Maca says:

    I have a dull pain on my bottom back right flank..the dull pain lasted for three days already..like something is swollen but it is not really hurt..uncomfortable feeling..What is it? kidney problem or muscle back problem?

    • Maca says:

      last three days ago..I do have a fever, short fatigue..but now I’m normal..but the small uncomfortable swollen feelings on my lower right back is still going on..

      • Jan Modric says:

        Maca, strained or injured muscle is tender to touch and pain is aggravated by moving the trunk or changing the body position. Muscle strain does not cause fever or fatigue. Also you need to have a reason to believe it’s muscle strain.

        Pain from kidney disorders in general are not affected by the body movements. They can cause fever or fatigue.

        Certain abdominal disorders, such as food poisoning, can also cause pain in the flank, fever and fatigue.

  70. Jo says:

    32 year old female. Daily flank pain for the past almost 4 years. History of kidney stones during pregnancies. The stones cleared up after I gave birth, but the pain remained. I’ve had many tests and they’ve never seen anything significant. I don’t have blood in my urine, no stones, and no trouble urinating. The pain also never moves past my hips, like it’s done when I actually had stones. It is usually in my back, closer to my spine, one side or the other or both. Certain times, haven’t found a pattern yet, I feel it more to my sides, between my hips and ribs. Sometimes it’s stabbing, sometimes is a squeezing feeling. I’m just tired of not being believed since there is no clear answer.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Jo, you did not say which tests did you have. X-ray, MRI and urine tests may not be enough. Sometimes contrast test, such as pyelography, show what’s wrong.

      You may have an underlying condition that makes you prone for kidney stones. There are many such conditions and for you it would be good to get exact diagnosis (name) of such condition.

      Small stones in the kidneys may not be visible on MRI.

      On the other hand, recurrent stones can cause some kidney damage not severe enough to be visible on MRI, but severe enough to cause pain.

      I strongly encourage you to insist on finding exact diagnosis by the help of experienced nephrologist. Without that you may not be able to know the treatment. Make an exact list of your symptoms:
      Pain: where exactly, when, since when, triggers, relievers, radiation. Are your flanks tender to touch…
      Anything other? Cloudy urine, nausea, loose stools

      Any detail you can imagine in a short, exact manner. This can help a doctor a lot.

  71. Courtney says:

    I am only 13, and I get severe pain on my kidney area, and my diaphragm. I don’t know if I should telly doctor. It has hurt for a long time. Especially my left kidney area.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Courtney, yes you should tell your doctor and your parents. Also think if you have any other symptoms, such as nausea, cloudy or dark urine, increased temperature, etc. Also, where exactly do you feel the pain, is the painful area tender to touch and does it change with body movements (bending, twisting). All these details can help a doctor to easier find the cause of your problems.

  72. Remi says:

    I experience brownish orange urine everyday with a radiating pain at the middle left hand sued at my back. Two urine and blood tests never showed the problems. The pain is there and urine is also there. Please what can I do ?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Remi, your symptoms suggest you may have a kidney problem. I suggest you to arrange an appointment with a kidney specialist – nephrologist. Also be sure to drink enough to prevent dehydration.

  73. Kristian says:

    Thanks for information…. Helped alot

  74. SCW says:

    I’m Chronic stone producer. I hate kidney stones.
    I’ve been worked up, given recommendations but as a result of a gastric bypass kidney stone will be my neminesis. A good kidney stone for me is one that just gives me bloody urine and I don’t need a doctors help. I think that I’ve passed so many that my poor tubes are very scared.

  75. Amanda says:

    I have been having pain in my right side flank area for about three months. It’s off and on throughout the day. It a low dull ache and often I get a sharp jabbing pain like I’ve been punched. I went to an urgent care and did a urine test. The provider didn’t explain much. Just said you must have a kidney infection. I get periodic sweats and fever feelings but it comes and goes. Is it possible I could’ve had this brewing for months and not have gotten really sick from it? Should I go in for more extensive diagnostics? He prescribed an antibiotic. I’ve taken it once so far and still have the pain. When should I assume it’s all healed? I didn’t ever have pain while urinating so not sure how it traveled to my kidneys if I didn’t feel it as a UTI. Is this possible? Thank you!

    • Jan Modric says:

      Amanda, an infection can spread to the kidney via the blood from another source of infection, for example from the lungs. In case of a kidney infection (pyelonephritis) an urine culture test would be positive.

      A kidney inflammation (either glomerulonephritis or interstitial nephritis) can also cause pain and fever. When you experience fever, measure your body temperature to check if your body temperature is actually raised. The feeling of fever without actual fever can occur during a kidney stone attack.

      Yes, I encourage you to arrange an appointment with a kidney doctor (nephrologist) and discuss about the tests for kidney stones, kidney inflammation or eventual infection.

  76. Rebecca Rahier says:

    I have severe pain on the left side of my back. Around the flank area. The pain also goes in my lower abdomen with cramping. And bad diarrhea

    • Jan Modric says:

      Rebecca, I can’t say if your pain is from the kidneys or the bowel or something other. If diarrhea continues, I suggest you to have urine and stool tests for infection.

  77. leona sweeney says:

    I had an open pyloplasty about 5 yrs ago. now I ‘ve been getting a lot of pain in my side and my back hurts to the touch. could I have kidney issues again?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Leona, a possible complication of abdominal surgery are adhesions — strands of connective tissue, which are basically internal scars. A surgeon can tell if adhesions or similar complications could cause tenderness in the back.

      By far the most common cause of back pain with tenderness is muscle strain, either due to excessive physical activity or bad posture during prolonged sitting, so you may want to rule this out first.

  78. Have very severe pain, unbearable pain right side under ribcage, now spread to lower back, can’t really deal with pain. After laying at night feels better, but as day goes on goes back to unbearable pain some bowl issues

    • Jan Modric says:

      Melissa, you may want to see a doctor. Constipation and bloating can cause pain, but so does intestinal blockage, which is a serious condition. I can’t give any practical suggestion other than go see a doctor.

  79. Gezahegn says:

    I feel kidney pain at both side at both while I was sleeping and sitting.

  80. taher says:

    I feel a pain on kidney area left side when i move i can feel the pain when i touch it but when i am standing or sitting i dont feel the pain. Its been like 4 months still same went to docs three times did blood urine test for kidney and xray ultrasound. But nothing . all three times dictors told me its a mucle pain but i am confused. Dose a muscle pain takes that long???

    • Jan Modric says:

      Taher, muscle pain can last long if there is a continuous cause for pain, for example overstretching or bad posture during sitting. Muscle pain typically is affected by moving, but kidney pain is less likely.

  81. Brandi says:

    I woke up this morning with both of my kidneys hurting so bad that I couldn’t even walk without it causing even more pain. I don’t drink soda. I don’t have any other symptoms of a UTI. I have taken AZO, for the pain for now along with ibprophin. I have felt tired, actually exhausted all day. I’m worried and I can’t go to the doctor until, Saturday at least. I don’t have any blood in my urine. Only symptoms is the very noticable pain, that is unbearable when I will or move. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Please and thank you ahead of time

  82. Im havnring kidney pain in both kidneys .It started out just in My left one.Im wondering if I may have stones,Im thinking about going to the Emergerncy Room

  83. jadedkrystals says:

    I am a 49 yr old female, I had my gallbladder removed about 8 yrs ago because of a gallbladder attack which sent me to the ER and they found stones blocking the entrance and evey since then I have had dumping syndrome which keeps me almost confined to my house in fear of going anywhere my life has been changed and I am sick all the time w/ something or other and have had IBS symptoms for quite a few yrs, and also had a complete hysterectomy almost 20 yrs ago as well, started having trouble w/ my stomach area hurting shortly after this surgery, my surgeon said it was probably caused by scar tissue and it would make no sense to remove it because it would just come back, I also have acid reflux really bad for a few yrs now and about 3-4 mths ago stated having this pain in my stomach that radiated to my back kidney area and a feeling of fullness under my breast area by my ribs, and a feeling of pain then coolness that runs up both sides into my shoulder blade area, it doesn’t feel like anything deep inside just on the surface, so I went to my doctor, she couldn’t see me so a new one did, my urine was checked he said no blood was present so it couldn’t be a kidney stone which I thought that this pain was caused from, and he said it might be postherpetic neuralgia, a nerve condition caused by my shingles, because it even hurt when my clothes were brushing against my skin, so he gave me gabapentin, that took the pain away but when it wore off it was still there, lasted about a month then went away for about 3-4 months NOW it is right back again in full force pain and tenderness in my belly area and on both sides, gassy /bloating pain in front and pain in back around kidneys and in my upper back below shoulder blades and that feeling of coolness running up my back area as well and cool sensation along w/ the pain also in my stomach and sides (it is weird) and feeling of fullness in front under my breast esp after I eat, etc, and almost a pinched feeling in my right side, been like this for 3 weeks now, trying to just deal w/ the pain because I have no insurance to keep running to the dr’s , it doesn’t hurt when I urinate so don’t really think it is a uti or infection, but it feels like something is inflamed, maybe it is just scar tissue from my surgeries etc or I wonder if Shingles can be inside as well as on the outside??

    • Jan Modric says:

      jadedkrystals, it seems that most of your symptoms arise from your stomach. You probably know which foods to avoid to prevent reflux. You can also try a low-FODMAP diet to prevent bloating. Foods high in soluble fiber (oats, barley, legumes) can also cause a lot of gas.

      Theoretically it could be possible that internal scars (adhesions) contribute to your stomach problems and pains i the back. Adhesions can be sometimes removed during a laparoscopy – an experienced gastroenterologist can say if this would help. It is true that adhesions can return, but their removal might still relieve your pains.

      There is one hypothesis about infection of the vagus nerve or “internal shingles” as you said, but I don’t know much about this.

  84. Heather A says:

    Dull pressure on right kidney area. Barely noticeable during day. Feel it when I sit in recliner at night. Had a hx of uti as a teen and early twenties. No sharp pains. Thoughts? I’m scared to death of cancer. Seems it could be cyst?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Heather, I suggest you to visit a doctor. A simple blood and urine test and ultrasound of the kidneys can provide a lot of information.

  85. thelmacripps says:

    Had ct scan whole body 6 mths now they SED nothing sinister (ther words ) but may be sml aML. ???? Stil waiting to now at they ment. I’m in pain lower flank 13 yrs now. Urine infections over an over lots meds lots things Jus had fibroids removed this week but stil pain in back this last year very hot legs both an big swollen feet always had neat feet not any Mor they say no predicable tic on metmorfin 3 a dy. Ffs

    • Jan Modric says:

      Thelmacripps, frequent urine infections can be due to an underlying condition; I guess you’ll need to wait for CT results and then ask what next.

  86. promise says:

    i always fell pain at my back lower of the ribs but no vomiting, no fever, no urine pain it hots me inside and i dnt know what to do

    • Jan Modric says:

      promise, I don’t know either. If you are worried that is a kidney disorder, visit a doctor. Some kidney disorders may cause pain but no nausea or fever.

  87. Jane says:

    Thank you for this article. My doctor hasn’t done further testing besides urine (no infection or blood) and blood (RBCs are elevated slightly out of range and GFR has dropped since last test ..94 to 67) I’ve had left flank pain for a few months, some crazy drenching sweats, fatigue, and confusion. It’s progressively getting worse. Sometimes it feels bilateral but definitely left side is an issue. Constant pain and worse in the morning and evening. My doctor thinks it’s stress. I’m on a 2 week stress leave.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Jane, I’ll leave this for you to decide. If you believe it is a kidney problem, I encourage you to have further tests (preferably by a kidney doctor).

  88. Rose-Marie Dale-Mehmedoff says:

    I have been having pains across right hand chest area …shortness of breath with exertion. Pain just under front lower ribs when i bend forward..
    Several months ago I had very very painful spazems on mid upper right side of ribcage…
    Happened after standing on cerment floor for 4 hours for work …then sitting or laying down ..spazems happening repeatedly on movement all night …. continued for 6 months on the 3 evenings i worked … had massage to help ease it …
    It now happens very infrequently. ..
    The shortness of breath has gradually got worst over years …Bp good …chol. good ….on antidepressants for many years ..overweight and borderline diabetic. … carer for my mother 81
    Please help with suggestions. ..

    • Jan Modric says:

      Rose-Marie, I don’t know how old are you. Shortness of breath during exertion could be heart- or lung-related, but you would need tests to find out. Spasms may be from tense abdominal or chest wall muscles, but you did not say if you are doing any physical work that could cause that..

  89. AManda says:

    I have a severe pain in my right side of my back around my kidney area. It’s always there but every couple of minutes it feels like someone is punching me there. It hurts to sit, stand, lie down and walk. Can’t even lift a cup. Any ideas ?

  90. Just-a Worthless American says:

    This has occurred in episodes for 4 years only on the right side. I get relief from a vibrator and hard pressure. My gut is blotted during this. The vibration helps to move things around. I take Milk Thistle. Today I don’t feel like running across a field but I can get a few thing done. No health care, no small children and born in New York.

  91. sliney says:

    Upper back pain lyk burning and lower side of the left stomach .please help…

  92. Stephanie says:

    Im just having horrible right side pain when laying down, it is tender when i push anywhere from below my ribs down to my ovaries, has anyone experienced this?

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  94. Jeff says:

    I have this pain that started on my right side. Felt like my skin had been in fire from the center on my back to center of my stomach. Then it was preceded by kidney pain in right side. That lasted for about 4 days then now it is on both sides in my kidney area. Hurts pretty bad. I don’t have any other symptoms, fever, bloody or cloudy urine, etc… just wondering what problems could be.

  95. Farida khan says:

    I am having kidney pain on an off and had done urin infection antibiotic course but still there is pain in the left side . Can’t see doctor it’s weekend at the moment . Keep on drinking water to keep me going .

  96. W.Leo Kikon says:

    I am feeling a pain on my back right side below my ribs end. Is this a kidney problem/pain? Someone please Help…

    • Jan Modric says:

      W.Leo, to little info to comment…Kidney pain usually appear on the back side. Gallbladder pain and “gas pain” can be at the front and back at the same time.

  97. Donna Black says:

    I have had a constant throbbing in my lower back had an ultra sound , ct scan I am waiting for a Mrs scan no stones visible has feels like something is actually moving about inside me .

  98. RACHAEL says:

    I’ve been a “stoner” for many years …. meaning passing kidney stones… well, yesterday morning I passed one that I thought was going to kill me ! I thought well, I’m going to meet Jesus.. long story short I went to hospital got meds injected via i.v. and finally passed the stone .. only to be told the CT scan revealed that I have 2 in my left kidney and 1 in my left and one in my ureter yet to drop !!! Well today I am having some kind of CRAZY PAIN IN MY FLANK.. pain pills aren’t helping it’s getting unbearably bad .. what is it ?? Should I go to er again ?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Rachael, it’s quite possible that the stone in the left ureter is causing flank pain. So…you should know what to do.

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