What Is Flank Pain
The flank is the area on the sides and back of your abdomen, between your lower ribs and your hips. Pain in this area is called flank pain. Several injuries, diseases and infections can cause pain in the flanks.
Flank pain can range from mild to severe. The pain can be sharp or a dull ache, and it may come and go. Its usually worse on one side, but it can occur on both flanks.
Problems in the kidney are common causes of flank pain. Back injuries also cause pain that starts in the spine and travels to the flanks. Healthcare providers treat the condition thats causing flank pain. Treatments include rest and medication.
Prevent Your Bladder From Getting Too Full
Empty your bladder when needed. Empty it completely each time. This will help to reduce your chances of developing two common problems that increase your risk for UTI.
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you have a fever and persistent tummy, lower back or genital pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination.
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection from damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream. You may also need painkillers.
If youre especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection for example, if you have a pre-existing health condition or are pregnant, you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through an intravenous drip.
After taking antibiotics, you should feel completely better after about two weeks.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can cause further problems. These include blood poisoning and a build-up of pus in the kidney called an abscess.
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How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosis Confirmed
If youre feeling signs of a kidney infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can, if possible. A kidney infection can be serious because it can sometimes lead to a dangerous, life-threatening health condition called .
Even if your infection doesnt progress to that, a kidney infection can become chronic, i.e., long-lasting, and can cause permanent damage to your kidneys. Dr. Kaufman recommends heading to your local urgent care facility or emergency room if you have signs of a kidney infection.
For your doctor, diagnosing a kidney infection is pretty straightforward. They should start with lab tests like a urinalysis, which just involves peeing in a cup on your end. After you hand over your sample, the urine is examined under a microscope to check for the presence of bacteria and infection-fighting white blood cells. To see what kind of bacteria youre dealing with, the urine should also be cultured over the course of one to three days, according to the NIDDK. In some cases, your doc might also order imaging tests like a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound to take a closer look at your kidneys.
Less Common Causes Of Lower Right Back Pain
The following conditions may be common in the population, but are less likely to cause lower right back pain than pain in other areas, such as in the abdomen.
Lower right back pain may be an early symptom of the following:
- Gallbladder inflammation. Gallbladder inflammation or dysfunction is typically marked by severe indigestion, particularly following meals. Gallbladder dysfunction typically causes upper right abdominal pain and right-sided back pain.
- Liver problems. Pain related to the liver may be caused by inflammation , an abscess, liver scarring , or an enlarged or failing liver. Symptoms of liver problems include pain in the upper right abdomen and/or back, fatigue, nausea or lack of appetite, and jaundice. Liver problems are relatively rare in persons not already at risk.
If the above conditions are the suspected cause of troubling symptoms, seeking prompt medical attention is advised.
What Causes A Kidney Infection
The commonest cause of kidney infection is the bacteria called E coli . The mode of infection is ascending of the germ from the anogenital area.
The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters , urinary bladder, and the urethra . These bacteria can enter the urinary tract via the urethra. The infection can occur during sexual intercourse or because of poor hygiene habits after bowel movements. On entering the urethra, the bacteria can migrate upwards to infect the bladder and the kidneys . Although pyelonephritis is rarer than cystitis, it is a serious condition and needs prompt medical management. Kidney infections can even occur in the absence of a bladder infection. This may be seen in conditions, such as kidney stones , and with weak immunity, such as diabetes and HIV.
How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing a urinary tract infection and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. While youve probably heard that guzzling cranberry juice or taking certain supplements can keep UTIs away, the science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive way to prevent UTIs, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Heres a more science-backed tip to take note of: Whenever you feel a potential bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could possibly lead to a urinary tract infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow.
Dr. Kaufman also says peeing after you have sex, if you can, might be helpful if you tend to develop UTIs after sex. Theres not a ton of evidence to back this up as a prevention strategy, but it doesnt do any harm to make a habit of it. For people with vaginas that get recurrent infections that only happen after sex, your doctor may recommend a single dose of a prophylactic antibiotic that you can take each time you have sex to help prevent infection.4
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Treatments For Kidney Infection
Antibiotics are used to treat kidney infections, usually in the form of a pill taken orally over the course of several weeks. Bacteria may be resistant to some forms of antibiotics, so your doctor may need to take a blood and urine sample to determine which antibiotic to prescribe.
In severe cases, you may need to receive the antibiotics through an IV.
If the infection returns, a second course of treatment up to six weeks may be required.
Kidney infections treated with antibiotics rarely result in complications.
If your urinary tract is blocked by an enlarged prostate or kidney stones, you may need to undergo a procedure or have a surgery to clear the blockage.
Back Pan Vs Kidney Pain: How To Tell The Difference
Theres usually no easy way to differentiate between back pain and kidney pain, especially for the constant ache of a kidney stone thats not demanding to be passed. Passing a kidney stone is a different story since it hurts so badly, and kidney infections provide clues in the form of other symptoms.
Unsurprisingly, your best bet is to see a doctor for a formal diagnosis. Be prepared for a physical exam, providing your family and medical history and undergoing tests. The tests can include urine analysis or culture as well as a plain abdominal X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
There is no cure or quick fix for getting rid of kidney stone pain, as people who have experienced the excruciating pain know. Dr. Charney said. The only solution is to have a physician prescribe pain medications and sometimes fluids while just giving yourself time to pass the stone. However, there are antibiotics for kidney infections as well as home remedies. The home remedies include using heat to the area where you have discomfort, keeping yourself hydrated and taking over the counter pain meds when needed.
Overall, the best advice to keep kidneys healthy is to exercise, keep hydrated especially in warm weather or when exercising, maintain a healthy weight, and quit smoking. And the best part? That advice works for back pain as well.
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Right Side Rib Pain: Appendicitis
In this section we will talk specifically about appendicitis , one of the most common causes of acute pain under the right ribs, a condition that if not treated quickly can be life threatening.
This pathology can be identified by acute pain , different from typical belly pain, only on the right side. The first of its symptoms is a kind of dull pain in the navel and in the pit of the stomach. At this point it can be confused with an upset stomach, however, as the hours go by, this pain increases and is located on the right side , becoming disabling. Here you will find the symptoms of appendicitis .
One of the best ways we have to identify if we are really suffering from appendicitis is to try to press hard on the area that hurts with our fingers. In case of appendicitis, the pain will become very intense and, generally, people cough or cry out. Another way to diagnose it is by walking, since when people suffer from acute appendicitis, people cannot walk upright, but rather shrink back on themselves so that the pain decreases.
Managing Low Back Pain And Incontinence
If youre experiencing back pain, incontinence, or even both, go speak to your doctor. They may be able to rule out any serious conditions contributing to the issues and they can put together a proper treatment plan.
In some cases, incontinence can be treated and with physical therapy to relieve pain and Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles may go away over time. In other cases, incontinence can only be managed.
Lifestyle changes can be beneficial for assisting with both back pain and incontinence symptoms. Try to become more active, with at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise about three times a week. Try swimming, riding a bike, or simply even walking to get moving.
Also, a healthy diet to relieve pressure on your digestive tract. Caffeine, items high in sugar, spicy foods, and alcohol can increase incontinence symptoms. Try adding more water, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet to relieve constipation and pressure on the bladder. The added nutrition may help with your low back pain as well.
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Is A Kidney Transplant An Option
If kidney failure occurs and is non-reversible, kidney transplantation is an alternative option to dialysis. If the patient is an appropriate candidate, the healthcare professional and nephrologist will contact an organ transplant center to arrange evaluation to see whether the patient is suitable for this treatment. If so, the search for a donor begins. Sometimes, family members have compatible tissue types and, if they are willing, may donate a kidney. Otherwise, the patient will be placed on the organ transplant list that is maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing.
Not all hospitals are capable of performing kidney transplants. The patient may have to travel to undergo their operation. The most successful programs are those that do many transplants every year.
While kidney transplants have become routine, they still carry some risk. The patient will need to take anti-rejection medications that reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infection. The body can try to reject the kidney or the transplanted kidney may fail to work. As with any operation, there is a risk of bleeding and infection.
Kidney transplants may provide better quality of life than dialysis. After one year, 95% of transplanted kidneys are still functioning and after five years, the number is 80%. It seems that the longer a patient is on dialysis, the shorter the life of the transplanted kidney.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
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What Causes A Bladder Infection
Bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder can cause infections. Typically, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination.
Bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of your bladder and multiply quickly. This overwhelms the bodys ability to destroy them, resulting in a bladder infection.
Most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli . This type of bacteria is naturally present in the large intestines.
- a frequent sensation of having to urinate, which is called urgency
- cramping or pressure in your lower abdomen or lower back
When bladder infections spread, they can also cause mid-back pain. This pain is associated with an infection in the kidneys. Unlike muscular back pain, this pain will be persistent regardless of your position or activity.
A kidney infection will often cause:
Youll typically feel quite ill. Kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections and require urgent medical attention.
Anyone can get bladder infections, but there are different risks for women and men.
How Can Parents Help
At home, these things can help prevent recurrent UTIs in kids:
Drinking Fluids Encourage kids to drink 810 glasses of water and other fluids each day. Cranberry juice and cranberry extract are often suggested because they may prevent E. coli from attaching to the walls of the bladder. Always ask your doctor, though, if your child should drink cranberry juice or cranberry extract, because they can affect some medicines.
Good Bathroom Habits Peeing often and preventing constipation can help to prevent recurrent infections.
No Bubble Baths Kids should avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps because they can irritate the urethra.
Frequent Diaper Changes Kids in diapers should be changed often. If poop stays in the genital area for a long time, it can lead to bacteria moving up the urethra and into the bladder.
Proper Wiping Girls should wipe from front to back after using the toilet to reduce exposure of the urethra to UTI-causing bacteria in poop.
Cotton Underwear Breathable cotton underwear is less likely to encourage bacterial growth near the urethra than nylon or other fabrics.
Regular Bathroom Visits Some kids may not like to use the school bathroom or may become so engrossed in a project that they delay peeing. Kids with UTIs should pee at least every 3 to 4 hours to help flush bacteria from the urinary tract.
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Symptoms In The Elderly
Most people who develop a urinary tract infection will exhibit symptoms, such as those listed above. However, elderly people are less likely to display classic symptoms specific to the genital and urinary regions. This may be due to changes in immune function as age increases, as well as the possibility of additional diseases and disorders affecting usual bodily responses.
Additionally, a urinary tract infection may cause certain behavioral changes in an elderly adult, such as confusion, agitation or disorientation. Such symptoms are often categorized as delirium. People with age-related issues such as delirium or dementia are especially at risk of developing a more severe UTI because they may not be able to communicate their symptoms and receive prompt treatment.
Although this connection between UTIs and delirium has been established, the reason why delirium may occur in elderly adults with a UTI is not yet known.
Good to know: If a urinary tract infection is suspected in an elderly person, always contact a doctor as a simple urine analysis test is usually enough to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatments For Kidney Infections
Kidney infections in men or women will typically require antibiotics. While home remedies exist, donât rely on them alone to take care of kidney infections. Delayed treatment can result in a very serious blood infection called sepsis.
Usually, doctors will prescribe empiric antibiotics to cover all the bases of potential bacteria that initially caused the infection until they can target the specific bacteria causing the infection.
A variety of available antibiotics are usually prescribed for at least a full week. Normally, you wonât require a stay at a hospital for a kidney infection if you can move around and consistently keep down oral antibiotics.
Suppose you exhibit severe symptoms, including kidney infection symptoms or back pain, or cannot keep down the medication due to constant vomiting. In that case, you may be hospitalized so that your doctor may administer antibiotics and fluids intravenously. Pregnant women are most at risk of needing such additional care, and may be recommended to stay in the hospital for careful monitoring.
Other people who may require hospital stays due to kidney infections include those with sickle cell anemia, people aged 60 or over, patients in severe pain, and those experiencing severe vomiting. In addition, if the kidney infection progresses enough to create an abscess in the kidney, you may require more serious treatment.
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