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difference between back pain and kidney infection

How can I tell the difference between a kidney problem and general back pain?

A: Ouch either way, sorry.

According to this website I found, kidney pain is usually accompanied by tenderness at the site, but strictly back pain is not:

http://health.discovery.com/centers/pain/back/back_kidney.html

It might also depend on other symptoms now or before. You say you are peeing a lot– does it hurt? Have you had bladder infection symptoms in the last week or two? Any blood in your urine? If any of these are true, it is likely a urinary tract infection in your kidneys and you should get in contact with your doctor right away.

You can also get over the counter test strips for urinary tract infections. If you really hate to go to the doctor (and who doesn’t?) you can try one of those. You might also try drinking a couple quarts of Gatorade. I say that rather than water because I had a friend with a UTI who drank so much water it threw off her electrolyte balance and she ended up in the hospital!

Did you do something that might have strained your back. Did you get whacked in the area of the kidneys? Those would be clues that might lead you to think a back injury or kidney injury unrelated to a UTI.

Here is a really good flow chart for diagnosing back pain:

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/531.html

If you go through these and it looks like a kidney infection then you should call your doctor asap or maybe even go to emergency. A kidney infection can be serious and since last Tuesday is kind of a long time.

Take care of yourself, and call your doctor tomorrow either way. I hope it is something simple.

Hugs, Andrea

Q: How can a doctor tell the difference between a kidney infection and a UTI?
I was told I have a UTI and I am on Cipro but my lower back is hurting so bad but only on one side and I dont have any burning on urination or any fever. The only thing I have is trace of bacteria in my urine and a severe lower back pain. How do they tell the difference? My CBC came back good except for low level of B-12.

A: hi there, has your doctor concidered the possibility of kidney stones. Its a very simple diagnostic and i think what you are experiencing is renal or uteric colic pains ( which are the pains to your back) as the kidney stones are passing through to your bladder.
It may be a possibility!
Ask yourself this
Did your back hurt when you went to the doctors? did you tell him this if so?
Are you feeling or being sick?
Is your urine bloody or cloudy?
Do you get a frequent erge to urinate?

Q: Difference between bladder infection and kidney infectionn?
This past Monday, I was diagnosed with another bladder infection,but this one seems to be giving me more pain. I’ve been taking my antibiotics regularly and drinking plenty of water, but I keep having pains in my lower back and abdomen. I don’t have a fever or anything, but could this have turned into a kidney infection? I’m 30 weeks and don’t want to risk going into preterm labor, so what are the differences?

A: I’ve had both. In my experiences are the difference in the pain level and some additional symptoms. Some of the basic symptoms like cloudy urine were similar.

With my bladder infections I never had a fever or severe pain — I never had pain in my back.

With my kidney infection I had a high fever (103), chills, nausea/vomiting, *severe* back pain (I was on pain meds in the hospital) — the pain literally felt as if someone was stabbing a soldering iron in my back.

Bottom line: I felt VERY SICK with my kidney infection. I was in the hospital and then in bed for a few days. With a bladder infection my daily life was never affected (other than urinating).

Q: Back Pain from Kidney Infection Still HURTING ?
I went to the doctor last Saturday.
I was diagnosed with strep throat and kidney infection. I never knew i had anything wrong with my kidneys until now. They gave me antibiotics and I’ve been taking them but tomorrow is my last pill and i still have back pain. The pain is to the point i cant bend over to put my leg in my pants or sit here at the computer for long. I don’t know what the difference is between the computer and the couch but there’s a huge one to my back.. so can anyone tell me whats going on?

A: Sometimes it takes a couple rounds of medication before you feel completely better. You may need to go and get another prescription from your doctor!

Q: Kidney Infection.. still with back pain. ?
I went to the doctor last Saturday.
I was diagnosed with strep throat and kidney infection. I never knew i had anything wrong with my kidneys until now. They gave me antibiotics and I’ve been taking them but tomorrow is my last pill and i still have back pain. The pain is to the point i cant bend over to put my leg in my pants or sit here at the computer for long. I don’t know what the difference is between the computer and the couch but there’s a huge one to my back.. so can anyone tell me whats going on?

A: I had a severe kidney infection 2 years ago…HORRIBLE!! I had terrible back pain that lasted a while. I was vomiting a lot though and my doc said I could have pulled a muscle from dry heaving (Sorry for being graphic) Anyway, just take some advil for the pain, and if it lasts another week, go back to your doc! Good luck, feel better and DRINK WATER!!! haha. You know you get kidney infection generally from bladder infections and dehydration. Stay healthy!

Q: how do i know the difference between a muscle strain and kidney infection?
idk wat i have becuz i feel dizzy when standing i have a headache and my middle back hurts but idk if it’s a kidney or just a muscle see i can’t really move on that side that it hurts and i can’t breath deep becuz it hurts too..and yesterday i had a chest pain. and i’ve been having stomache pains and i have been feeling nausea’s i getting hot flashes with sweat but idk what is it! and sometimes i run out of breath! very easily
whats pulsating mass? …and i really haven’t checked my temperature although i should have

A: Do you have a fever or feel a pulsating mass anywhere on your back?

EDIT: To be honest, I’d need a lot of info to be able to tell you if you have a kidney problem. There’s lots of different symptoms associated with it, so it’s a better idea to just go straight to a doctor rather than typing out your whole history of present illness on here.

Q: Is the narcotic in oxycodone the same as codeine? Whats the difference between the two?
I have severe kidney infections mixed with a 4mm kidney stone. They gave me oxycodone and i just ran out. But i do have some tylenol with codeine left over from my back injury a few months ago. Now i just want to know if i take the tylenol with codeine will it pop up something different than oxycodone on a drug test? I need some help quick i am in alot of pain. So is codeine and oxycodone the same thing?

A: APAP Oxycodone is generic for Percocet. Unlesss specifed, it has no Codiene.

Q: i went to the er and the doctor said i have a uti.?
i was wanting to know whaT the difference is between a uti,kidney infection, & a bladder infection? my symtons include lower back pain, urgency,burning,pain. ands
some light ting of blood on the toliet paper, not alot,and very light, i also have a lil side pain on my right side ( the middel of my side). i have had uti’s before, can they make different symtons each time???

A: I am the person to ask. Not only am I in the medical field, but I have experienced all three of these conditions many times. 1) UTI-Urinary Tract Infection, consists of infections in your bladder, ureters, and urethra.(Not including the kidneys). 2)Bladder infection- consists of only an infection of the bladder. 3) Kidney infection(pyelonephritis) is an infection of the kidney, which also can include any of the above things as well. A UTI can usually be handled and treated without any problems by antibiotics and careful hygeine. You should stay away from baths and sexual intercourse until the antibiotics are gone and your Dr. has rechecked you to make sure that all signs of the infection are gone. If a UTI is left untreated it can lead to a kidney infection, which can become a very serious problem that can lead to hospitalization and renal(kidney failure). So be sure to drink plenty of fluids, H2O especially. Take your medicine as prescribed, and don’t forget to have a follow up appointment with your physician. Good Luck….I am not trying to give you medical advice, I am just trying to state some facts pertaining to the question you have asked. If you need advice then you need to contact a medical proffesional in your area.

Q: I had a UTI but now I have scabs ! HELP?
2 weeks ago i was diagnosed with a moderate-severe UTI and was prescribed Cifox tablets in 250mg. Before I was diagnosed I was experiencing a heavy discharge which was pretty much odourless which is different to my usual heavy discharge which has a strong smell but my doctor said that it is just hormones and i will grow out of it. (i am 15) The discharge was yellow-green in colour and I was experiencing itchiness on my vagina and between my bum cheeks. I researched online and came to the conclusion that i had a yeast infection so I started using canesten cream on it. I didn’t notice any change after a couple of days and I was still extremely itchy. 2 days after, I woke up with a sore throat and a pounding headache so I took some painkillers and then went to play golf. When I got home I went straight to bed with the headache. I then woke up to find that I had a 104 degree temperature. My dad called the doctor and he took a urine sample and said I had a severe kidney infection and prescribed me the antibiotics. The day I finished the antibiotics I began to get a pain in my back and front near the ureter so I went to my doctor who took another urine test and said I was clear but I was just tender after the infection. I then noticed that I had scabs between my legs and vagina. I wear a pantyliner everyday so it could just be that but I have been very sensitive in my vagina the past few days and I am still experiencing itchiness. I tried putting sudocrem on it but it doesn’t seem to make a difference and I am very uncomfortable. Please somebody help me! I’m about to go back to school and I don’t want to have to deal with this!

*Sorry it’s so long and detailed! :(

A: I’m really sorry you’re so uncomfortable. I think probably all of the irritation is from the cream you used initially for the yeast infection. That stuff has all sorts of chemicals in it, and you probably irritated the sensitive skin. If it’s still itchy you can try taking benadryl. It’s over the counter for allergies, but if your body is still reacting to the chemicals in the cream it should help. Your kidneys are located near your lower back, so the pain there is from the infection irritating them too. Make sure you drink lots of water and take it easy. Wearing loose fitting clothes will probably make you feel a little more comfortable too. Maybe wear skirts for a little while.

Q: shadow on lung on ct scan?
Hi my mum has had primary renal cancer in 2008 and had her right kidney removed it was a stage 3 cancer, she has twice sine then had secondaries in her liver the last met being 1 month go for which she had RFA treatment.

We went for a ct scan y’day and it showed the liver is clear again, but it has shown a small shadow at the bottom of her lung, the Dr first asked how she was and when she said she had been treated for a chest infection he said ‘i’m glad to hear that otherwise he was about to tell he had found a secondary met on her lung, but as she had been treated for a chest infection it must be that’, my concern is my mum has had this cough off and on since Jan, it is paining her in her chest even more so on lying down, but she is not unwell in her self e.g no temp. she had been bringing stuff up occasionally, but not green in fact most of the time it is clear, the G.P has been saying her chest sounds clear and only treated her with antibiotics cause its been going on so long, she finished the antibiotics 2 wks ago and she said it did ease it a bit, but the cough and pain has started to get worse again.

What i want to know is can a ct scan show the difference between cancer on the lung or infection, as like I said he did say he would of told us it was cancer if it wasn’t for the fact she had been treated for this chest infection(??), or is it likely that he does suspect cancer as he is bringing her back for another ct scan in 2/3 months instead of 6months.

A: That is a very strange thing for a doctor to say. They would be able to tell the difference between an infection and cancer and her doctor would not be making that call it would be the radiologist. Infection can sometimes appear shadow-like, but cancer doesn’t. He is having her come back in 2-3 months so that it can be compared to this CT and see if there are any changes.

Q: shadow found on lung on ct scan?
Hi my mum has had primary renal cancer in 2008 and had her right kidney removed it was a stage 3 cancer, she has twice sine then had secondaries in her liver the last met being 1 month go for which she had RFA treatment.

We went for a ct scan y’day and it showed the liver is clear again, but it has shown a small shadow at the bottom of her lung, the Dr first asked how she was and when she said she had been treated for a chest infection he said ‘i’m glad to hear that otherwise he was about to tell he had found a secondary met on her lung, but as she had been treated for a chest infection it must be that’, my concern is my mum has had this cough off and on since Jan, it is paining her in her chest even more so on lying down, but she is not unwell in her self e.g no temp. she had been bringing stuff up occasionally, but not green in fact most of the time it is clear, the G.P has been saying her chest sounds clear and only treated her with antibiotics cause its been going on so long, she finished the antibiotics 2 wks ago and she said it did ease it a bit, but the cough and pain has started to get worse again.

What i want to know is can a ct scan show the difference between cancer on the lung or infection, as like I said he did say he would of told us it was cancer if it wasn’t for the fact she had been treated for this chest infection(??), or is it likely that he does suspect cancer as he is bringing her back for another ct scan in 2/3 months instead of 6months.

A: Ask for the OFFICIAL radiologist interpretation. Terms such as “shadow” or “spot” are very nebulous and misleading. I would be very concerned whether or not this represented a metastatic lesion. It sounds like she has an oncologist, I would ask their opinion. It may be nothing but pneumonic infiltrates (ie from pneumonia or infection) usually appear much different than mass lesions or metastatic lesions on CT. Mets usually are very round with smooth borders and are solid. Renal cell carcinoma has a high prediliction for lung mets. Get the honest answers and deal with them.

Hope that helps

Q: Does anyone else feel a kind of stiffness or soreness in the liver?
Hello! I have sort of a strange and off the wall question, but I am a little concerned. I am hoping someone can help me out here please! :D

OK, 6 months ago I caught Hepatitis A from some jerk who cooked at a restaurant and did NOT wash his hands. He touched my plate and I was served contaminated food. Well, I went to the hospital and after a few weeks I recovered from the ordeal. It was no joke! I could have gotten another infection because I stayed at work and school so much! I was lucky nothing else happened!

Well, anyway… I never really did get my full appetite back yet. It’s been 6 months and only do I SOMETIMES feel hungry. I am never ’starving’ anymore. It is difficult to remember to eat, and since I am working full time again I almost forget every day.

Well, lately, for the past few weeks, I have been feeling some…. stiffness, if you will, right in the CENTER of the front of my body (under the breasts and between the ribs type area). As far as I am concerned I am only feeling my liver. It is a little stiff and sore to the right as well, but that once again is my liver.

I am 21 years of age, no drinking, no smoking, no drugs, no nothing! Ever! My sworn word! I have doctor records and everything! I am about 130 pounds and have what you may call a ‘pear’ shaped body. I eat maybe some soup, a few apples, tea, water, bananas, and cheese every other day or so. No microwaved meals or crappy fast food restaurants. But not really nutritional either I guess.

I am in a relatively good mood and I can not notice the stiffness it if I am busy or working. But it is just so curious to me why I feel this way!

I checked up with my doctor 2 weeks ago and got a blood test as well. He says he can’t find anything wrong and that my liver enzymes have completely returned to normal.

A little gas, but nothing too different. I feel VERY small pains in my kidneys as well, but I could just easily compare them to any other little pains I have felt my whole life. If I gently push into the center of my body a little… then I can feel my liver act up again and is a little sore. I did gain some weight after the Hepatitis A, but that’s because I couldn’t exercise with the nausea at the time. I was 125 pounds now I am 130 pounds . Not much difference o_0.

I was wondering if anyone else feels this way as well??? Even a little? It would help if you ever caught Hepatitis A as well so maybe I could relate to you a little better. If not, then can anyone shed any light??? Please??? I am just very curious, that’s all! But I would still LOVE an answer! Thank you!

A: Hepatitis will really clang your liver good… Fortunately the liver can heal itself better than just about any other organ. It just needs time, and good nutrition.

A couple of things that might help… Vitamin E will help newly formed scar tissue/fibrosis to resolve and Lecithin will help the liver clean itself by promoting bile production / flow.

Eat a well balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids and you’ll be back to normal in a few more months.

Good Luck & GodSpeed

Q: Pains in areas where my liver, right ribs and kidneys are, swollen and extremely hot in that area…?
This is a detailed description because I want to get as much advice as possible because Im afraid of what it could be.

I noticed quite a few months ago now, maybe over 6 months ago that my right side (like my ribs or maybe under or just underneath) were sticking out slightly or swollen compared to my left, jsut noticable by touching, I forgot about it then a few months later it started to get tender and I sometimes got a dull aching there and up and down my right side, then sometimes pain in my lower back, at the hospital they just gave me some antibiotics for a ‘urine’ infection. A few days ago I noticed that my right ribs were still slightly prominent compared to my left and that general area seemed swollen, then over the last few days it has started aching again, around the rib area, situated mostly just below my right ribs and my right ribs are especially tender when touched. The pain is getting worse and has now spread to a dull aching pain up and down my right side, sometimes I get a small sharp shock of pain, like splinters of pain in my right ribs and every now and then in my side, and it also feels slightly like pins and needles in my lower right side, roughly where my liver is but this pain doesnt feel too deep its closer to the surface. I dont seem to be having any other symptoms, some lower back ache. I went to the hpspital and they have booked me in for an ultra sound scan in a few days but now the area feels more swollen and is very warm compared to other parts of me to. Im so afraid that it could be a tumor under my skin but maybe Im just being stupid? Should I go for the scan? what does an ultra sound scan pick up? and what do you think it could be considering what I described? Im on my period now and it just seemed to get worse with that also but it may be a coincidence? How do I tell the difference between a muscle strain, and ulcer and a tumor? Im so confused and afraid. I’d appreciate any advice.

A: I definitely would have the ultrasound done.
With the ultrasound, they can view the liver,
the biliary area under the liver, the gallbladder,
the kidneys, and the ducts from the kidneys
to the bladder and even the bladder.
It depends on whether they are asking for
the liver (hepatitic) or kidney (renal)area to be viewed.

If the liver is enlarged in size…it could be
that there is damage to the liver cells, and
inflammation has developed in the liver.
This can be treated if they find out the cause…
the cause could be alcohol consumption,
medication toxification, chemical exposure,
hereditary conditions, fatty liver disease,
viral infections, parasitic infections,
auto immune disease, mushroom poisoning,
and others.

However, this could be a gallbladder problem,
if stones have started to develop inside the
gallbladder and have moved into the ducts.
Or if a growth of some sort has developed
in these ducts or an infection. Anything
that would block the flow of the bile coming
from the liver..can cause discomfort and
pain that may come and go.

It could also be a pulled muscle. It is hard
to tell for certain because pain is a symptom
of something being wrong.

An ultrasound will show how well the blood is
flowing through the liver and if there are any
cysts/cancer tumors/benign growths.

They would also be able to see if the kidney
has any stones or cysts/growths.
Usually, they can tell if the infections has
gone up to the kidneys or have stayed in
the bladder area by doing urine testing and
also blood testing to see your white cell count.

I hope this has helped you and that it isn’t
anything serious. Best wishes

Q: Pains in areas where my liver, right ribs and kidneys are, swollen and extremely hot in that area…?
This is a detailed description because I want to get as much advice as possible because Im afraid of what it could be.

I noticed quite a few months ago now, maybe over 6 months ago that my right side (like my ribs or maybe under or just underneath) were sticking out slightly or swollen compared to my left, jsut noticable by touching, I forgot about it then a few months later it started to get tender and I sometimes got a dull aching there and up and down my right side, then sometimes pain in my lower back, at the hospital they just gave me some antibiotics for a ‘urine’ infection. A few days ago I noticed that my right ribs were still slightly prominent compared to my left and that general area seemed swollen, then over the last few days it has started aching again, around the rib area, situated mostly just below my right ribs and my right ribs are especially tender when touched. The pain is getting worse and has now spread to a dull aching pain up and down my right side, sometimes I get a small sharp shock of pain, like splinters of pain in my right ribs and every now and then in my side, and it also feels slightly like pins and needles in my lower right side, roughly where my liver is but this pain doesnt feel too deep its closer to the surface. I dont seem to be having any other symptoms, some lower back ache. I went to the hpspital and they have booked me in for an ultra sound scan in a few days but now the area feels more swollen and is very warm compared to other parts of me to. Im so afraid that it could be a tumor under my skin but maybe Im just being stupid? Should I go for the scan? what does an ultra sound scan pick up? and what do you think it could be considering what I described? Im on my period now and it just seemed to get worse with that also but it may be a coincidence? How do I tell the difference between a muscle strain, and ulcer and a tumor? Im so confused and afraid. I’d appreciate any advice.

A: If the skin feels hot to the touch, then a localized infection may be present, possibly in your appendix. The appendix is in the exact area that you are describing (right side below the ribs). You may have an inflamed appendix, which is potentially quite dangerous.

Your condition requires medical evaluation. Do not delay

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