In this article, you will learn about possible causes of right kidney pain and how these problems are diagnosed and treated.

Is right kidney pain serious?

The kidneys are located below the rib cage and posterior to the upper abdomen. There is one kidney on each side of your spine. Due to the size and location of your liver, your right kidney tends to sit slightly lower than the left. Conditions that cause kidney pain tend to only affect one side. Right kidney pain can originate from organs, muscles, and other body tissues in that area, or it can originate from the kidney itself.

What causes right kidney pain?

1. Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections , typically caused by bacteria, but sometimes by fungi or viruses, are common infections. Although they usually affect the lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder), they can also affect the upper urinary tract (ureters and kidneys).

If your kidneys are affected by a urinary tract infection, you may experience the following as symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Right/left and upper back pain
  • Shake
  • constant urge to urinate
  • blood or pus coming out of the urine
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

How is urinary tract infection treated?

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For the initial treatment of urinary tract infections, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. If your kidneys are infected (this is called pyelonephritis ), he may prescribe a medication containing fluoroquinolones. If you have a severe urinary tract infection, your doctor may recommend hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics.

2. Kidney stones

Kidney stones are small masses of salt and minerals that form inside the kidneys and can travel through the urinary tract. Kidney stones can be only one granule in size, or they can be as large as a ping pong ball. Kidney stones are also a possible cause of right kidney pain.

Symptoms of kidney stones generally include:

  • pain in the sides and back
  • Constant need to urinate
  • Pain when urinating (dysuria)
  • very little urination
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

How are kidney stones treated?

If the kidney stone is small enough, it may pass on its own. For kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever and recommend that you drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day. He or she may also prescribe an alpha-blocker, a medication that relaxes your ureter, to help the stone pass more easily and with less pain. If your kidney stone is larger or causing damage, your doctor will begin more extensive treatments.

3. Kidney trauma

Kidney trauma is an exogenous kidney injury. Blunt trauma is caused by a non-penetrating blow to the skin, while penetrating trauma is damage caused by an object entering the body. One of the symptoms of blunt trauma is bruising in the kidney area. One of the symptoms of penetrating trauma is a wound. Kidney trauma is evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5; Grade 1 is a minor injury and grade 5 is a ruptured kidney with no blood flow.

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Most kidney trauma can be taken care of without surgery by treating the possible side effects of trauma such as discomfort and high blood pressure . To treat kidney trauma, your doctor may also recommend physical therapy and, rarely, surgery.

4. Polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease characterized by clusters of fluid-filled cysts growing in your kidneys. Polycystic kidney disease, a type of chronic kidney disease, reduces kidney function and has the potential to cause kidney failure.

Symptoms of polycystic kidney disease may include:

  • Pain in the back and sides
  • hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • kidney stones
  • heart valve abnormalities
  • high blood pressure

How is polycystic kidney disease treated?

Because there is no cure for polycystic kidney disease, your doctor will help you manage the condition by treating the symptoms. For example, if one of the symptoms is high blood pressure, they may recommend dietary changes along with angiotensin 2 receptor blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.

5. Kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in kidney tissue. Over time, these cells form a mass called a tumor. Cancer begins when an abnormality in cells triggers a change and they divide out of control. A cancerous or malignant tumor can spread to other tissues and vital organs.

Symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • Persistent pain in the flanks and back
  • blood in the urine
  • feeling of burnout
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • intermittent high fever

How is kidney cancer treated?

Kidney cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage and grade of the tumor, the age and general health of the patient. But the most common treatment for kidney cancer is surgery. However, your doctor may prefer to start with different treatment approaches at first.

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When to see a doctor for right kidney pain?

As soon as you feel pain in your right kidney, you should plan a doctor’s visit without delay. Because, if not taken care of, you may have a kidney problem that can permanently damage your kidneys. You may also experience life-threatening complications in some cases, such as a kidney infection, if you delay treatment.

As a result

If you are experiencing right kidney pain, it may be due to a relatively common kidney problem such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stone. Pain in the right kidney area can also be caused by a rarer condition such as polycystic kidney disease. That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options if you have persistent pain in your kidney area, if the pain is getting worse, or if it’s affecting your daily life.

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