Considered an acute pain, kidney pain can have several causes. Discover the symptoms, causes and ways to prevent this discomfort.
A kidney pain It’s a very common complaint. However, and most of the time, the complaints result from a confusion with the symptoms of back pains. One of the main reasons for this mistake is related to the fact that kidney pain has an incidence in the lumbar area, since that is where the kidneys are located.
Anyway, one of the main symptoms that contribute to a correct diagnosis is the fact that this pain is often accompanied by pain in the kidneys and vomiting. Still, the best way to identify kidney problems is through blood and urine tests.
The 3 main causes of kidney pain
Chronic kidney disease is a decrease in kidney function, which can be acute or chronic. The causes of this disease can be diverse, but the most common is due to the inability of the kidneys to eliminate certain waste products produced by the body.
Its main cause is diabetes and the symptoms are characterized by swelling in the eyes, hands and feet, foamy urine, increased need to urinate, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
This incapacity, in a more advanced stage, may result in a failure of kidney function, with the need to start a hemodialysis treatment, or even a transplant. Worldwide, according to the most recent data, 1 in 10 adults suffers from chronic kidney disease. In Portugal, the scenario is more serious: it is estimated that 1 in 5 people have the disease.
According to Ana Farinha, from the board of the Portuguese Society of Nephrology (SPN), “screening for chronic kidney disease is not a priority for health authorities and, therefore, patients appear in very advanced stages of the disease, in irreversible situations”.
The nephrologist also warns that this disease is asymptomatic, “which also does not contribute to early detection and, subsequently, to follow-up at earlier stages”.
It is predicted that, by 2040, chronic kidney disease will be the fifth leading cause of mortality and loss of quality of life worldwide.
named pyelonephritis, this is an infection that affects the kidney. Better known as urinary tract infection, it is a pathology more frequently in females.
Effectively, the greater proximity of the female urethra to the vagina and anus, combined with its reduced size compared to the male, allows microorganisms to reach the bladder more easily.
The main symptoms are burning or pain when urinating, urgent and frequent urge to urinate, and the amount of urine released is very small. In a more advanced stage, the signs of the disease manifest themselves through the presence of blood in the urine, pain in the lower part of the abdomen, pain in the kidneys, fever, nausea and vomiting.
Most urinary infections are not significantly serious and are easily treatable with antibiotics. However, infections involving the kidney require special care. This is because a kidney injury, following a urinary tract infection, can cause kidney scarring, high blood pressure or even kidney failure.
Renal lithiasis, renal calculi, also commonly known as kidney stones, is one of the most frequent causes of renal colic. According to experts, kidney stones are the third most common cause of patients going to urology appointments.
This reason is due to the fact that the pain in the kidneys is very intense. As a rule, the pain drifts towards the groin, accompanied by an urgent urge to urinate and constant discomfort in the groin area. bladder.
This downward movement of the kidney stone can lead to the presence of blood in the urine, as it can cause small injuries to the walls of the urethra. Contrary to urinary infections, renal lithiasis is more prevalent in men.
Kidney stones with smaller dimensions do not need treatment, since the “stones” of less than 5 millimeters are expelled in the urine. On the other hand, in some cases, it is necessary to resort to surgery, by placing a catheter in the urethra.
How to prevent kidney pain?
As in all cases, prevention is important. For all this, and in order to reduce the likelihood of developing kidney pain problems, nephrologists advise drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding alcoholic beverages and sticking to a healthy diet.
On the other hand, doing physical exercise, not smoking, limiting food intake to animal protein, are healthy habits that should be part of our routine to avoid symptoms of kidney pain. Not forgetting, of course, the control of diseases inherent to pain in the kidneys, such as hypertension and diabetes.