Causes of kidney pain

Pain in the kidneys or in one kidney can be a sign of many diseases. The most important of them include:

  • Renal colic  ( nephrolithiasis )
  • Nephritis
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Kidney cyst
  • Kidney cancer

Renal colic

Stones or deposits in the urinary tract are what cause renal colic. Urine cannot freely flow because the ureters are no longer open. Renal colic is characterised by the following symptoms:

  • sudden, severe pain in the lumbar region,
  • bladder pressure,
  • blood in the urine
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever and sweating.


There are several types of nephritis: glomerulonephritis, interstitial and pyelonephritis. They can all manifest as kidney pain.

  • Glomerulonephritis – usually occurs a week after an infection in the body, it is caused by viruses or bacteria. Other symptoms of glomerulonephritis besides back pain are: trouble urinating, swelling of the legs and face, loss of appetite.
  • Interstitial nephritis – most often occurs as a side effect of certain medications. The symptoms of interstitial nephritis  include: loin pain, fever, oliguria, body rash, joint pain.
  • Pyelonephritis – one of the most severe types of nephritis, it is caused by bacterial infection. Symptoms of pyelonephritis are: pain in the lumbar region, nausea and vomiting, fever, painful urge to urinate and burning during urination, blood in the urine.


When urine accumulates in the kidney due to obstructed outflow , it is called hydronephrosis. This disease does not give characteristic symptoms (they are difficult to connect with this disease), they are: flatulence, abdominal pain, decreased appetite. Difficulty urinating and pain in the lumbar region become characteristic (if they occur).

Kidney cyst

Kidney cysts are usually not treated. They are typically discovered during an ultrasound that was ordered for another reason. A kidney cyst is a space filled with fluid in the renal parenchyma. If it starts to grow and cause symptoms, it is usually time to get rid of it. In addition to pain in the kidney area, it causes abdominal pressure and stomach problems.

Kidney cancer

It is uncommon, but despite its rarity, it is extremely dangerous. Kidney cancer can go undetected for a long time. As a result, if you have pain in the kidney area, blood in your urine, weight loss, or a lack of appetite, you should see a doctor. Kidney cancer can also cause fever, leg swelling, and overall weakness..



4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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