Pain in the area of either of the kidneys is a symptom. Discomfort or pain does not necessarily indicate of any particular problems or disorders. In fact, most of the time, pain in the area of either kidney is caused by something benign that simply goes away by itself over time. Additionally, even though we may feel pain in the general area of either of the kidneys, it doesn't mean that the pain is necessarily coming from the kidneys themselves. Our bodies are so complex that the pain could be caused by a very large number of internal and external factors affecting our bodies. These factors could be due to inflammation, diet, metabolic issues, environment, lifestyle, or simply from injury due to a blow somewhere near the kidneys.
Although, as we just discussed, pain in the area of either of the kidneys does not necessarily mean that there is a problem at all. Even if there is a problem, pain in the general area of the kidneys does not necessarily mean that the problem is with the kidneys themselves. Now that you understand this distinction, we can discuss the possible problems that can cause pain near your kidneys as a warning of something that may be going wrong in your body. After that we will talk about how to go about the possible diagnosis options.
The two kidneys are located on the sides of your body, just under the lower ribs. Most people tend to imagine that the kidneys are actually a little bit lower and attribute pain in various other spots of the body to kidney pain, when often that is not even where the kidneys are.
Dull pain in one side of the upper back (not lower as some people confuse) may be real kidney pain. Accompanying symptoms like dizziness, fever and a number of urinary system problems may indicate true kidney pain, possibly due to a kidney infections or other health issues. The urinary symptoms to watch for are
If you experience dull pain in the general area of the kidneys, that might be a sign of some types of growths that might occur in cases of Polycystic kidney disease in which the kidneys can get enlarged and become so big that they begin to interfere with surrounding organs, and possibly further cause inflammation. The pain in these cases is usually a dull aching pain, usually felt in the front of the abdomen rather than in the back.
The pain may also be caused by blocked urine flow caused by gradual blockage to urine flow (not a sudden blockage like that of a kidney stone) in cases a kidney may be stretched.
In order to make a proper diagnosis, it is advised that you consult with a healthcare professional. He or she may ask you about your family history and your personal health and drug use history. That will enable them to see if you may be prone to certain types of problems more than others. Typically, after understanding the patient's medical history and lifestyle, a doctor may suggest urine tests called urinalysis that will tell the balances of a number of chemical and nutrients in your body. Too many or too little of certain chemicals may indicate a possible problem.
After simple urinalysis which can be something like peeing in a cup, a doctor may suggest you undergo further tests that are a little bit more involved. Some of these tests may be blood or imaging tests to help further understand the bigger picture of what may be happening with your body. Since the different systems in the body are so interconnected, pain around the kidneys may not be due to the kidneys at all and the healthcare professionals who are treating you must understand the bigger picture in order to make a proper diagnosis.
Some of the other common tests that may be done are: