Eleven Possible Sources of Left-Sided Kidney Pain

Sharp or dull pain in the left kidney is possible. It's also possible that you're experiencing stomach or back pain. There are many potential causes, some of which have nothing to do with your kidneys.

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Renal pain is another name for kidney pain. Your kidneys are located on either side of your spine, just below your rib cage. When compared to the right kidney, the left one is slightly elevated.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that help the urinary system remove waste from the body. They perform numerous other crucial tasks as well. The kidneys, for instance, produce a hormone responsible for regulating blood pressure.

It's also possible that the hurting organ or tissue is close by:

  • ache in muscles
  • hurting your muscles or back
  • nerve pain
  • Arthritis and other joint pain
  • rib injury
  • issues with the pancreas or gallbladder
  • troubles digesting (in the gastrointestinal tract)

Left kidney pain may not always require medical attention. However, other symptoms may present themselves, so be aware of when to seek medical attention.

The possible origins of your discomfort will be investigated below. The fact that many conditions known to cause kidney pain can affect only one kidney is often overlooked.

Kidney pain can be caused by not getting enough water. Sweating, throwing up, having diarrhea, and urinating excessively are all ways in which water is lost. Dehydration can also be caused by diseases like diabetes.

Wastes accumulate in the kidneys when you're severely or chronically dehydrated. The following are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • Discomfort or pain on one's sides or back
  • weariness or fatigue
  • hunger pangs
  • Having a hard time focusing


Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Water-dense foods, like raw fruits and vegetables, can supplement your fluid intake. Caffeinated beverages should be accompanied by extra hydration.

The amount of water you need varies with factors like age, location, diet, and activity level. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The need for more water is indicated by a dark yellow color.

Kidney infections are a common source of discomfort. Infection of the urinary tract (UTI) can affect either the bladder or the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder). When harmful bacteria invade the body, it can cause an infection.

Urinary tract infections can spread to either kidney. Pyelonephritis is another name for a kidney infection. Women, and particularly pregnant women, are more vulnerable. Women face this issue because their urethras are physically shorter.

Infection of the left kidney can cause pain and other symptoms.

  • discomfort in the back or sides
  • Ache in the belly or the hips
  • Symptoms of a High Temperature or Chills
  • vomiting or nausea
  • Continual need to urinate
  • Urinary distress or burning
  • urine with a strong odor or cloudiness
  • urine with blood in it or pus


If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. Kidney infections require immediate medical attention. Antibiotics will most likely be required. The kidneys are at risk if the infection is not treated.

Stones in the kidneys are made up of tiny, hard crystals that form over time. Salts and minerals like calcium are the main ingredients in the most common ones. Renal lithiasis is another name for kidney stones.

When a kidney stone shifts or is expelled via urine, pain can result. Kidney pain, among other possible symptoms. Among the symptoms are:

  • acute side and back pain
  • severe discomfort in the lower abdomen and groin
  • Testicular pain can affect one or both testicles.
  • Symptoms of a High Temperature or Chills
  • sickness and throwing up
  • Urinary distress
  • pink, red, or brown urine due to the presence of blood.
  • urine that is cloudy or has a strong odor
  • urinary incontinence


Kidney stones can cause a lot of discomfort, but they rarely cause any lasting damage. Most kidney stones need minor treatment with pain relief drugs Water helps you get rid of the stone. The kidney stones can be broken up with the help of sound waves, which is part of the medical treatment.

A cyst is a benign, fluid-filled, rounded sac. When a single or multiple cysts form in the kidneys, it is called a simple kidney cyst. The majority of cysts are benign and produce no noticeable symptoms.

Too much growth of a cyst can cause discomfort. If it becomes infected or bursts, it can also cause complications. Some of the signs and symptoms of a kidney cyst are pain in the kidneys, as well as:

  • fever
  • pain in the side or back, either sharp or dull
  • distress in the upper abdomen

Hydronephrosis is a painful complication caused by a large kidney cyst. When a cyst prevents urine from draining from a kidney, the organ becomes enlarged.


A simple procedure to remove a large cyst may be recommended by your doctor. To do this, a long needle is used to drain the fluid. In most cases, anesthesia (either general or local) is used. After that, it's recommended that you take antibiotics to ensure you don't get sick.

Many cysts in either kidney is what's known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This illness can be very dangerous. Among the leading causes of kidney failure, polycystic kidney disease ranks fourth, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Adults of any and all races are susceptible to PKD. Most people don't start experiencing symptoms until they're 30 or older. While both kidneys are likely to be affected, you may only experience pain in one. Some of the symptoms are:

  • discomfort in the sides or back
  • oftentimes infected kidneys
  • abdominal distention
  • arterial hypertension
  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat

Polycystic kidney disease most often manifests itself in the form of hypertension. High blood pressure can worsen kidney damage if it is not treated.


Unfortunately, PKD is currently incurable. Medication and dietary changes can be used to manage high blood pressure. Infections of the kidneys or bladder may also necessitate antibiotic treatment. This aids in preventing further kidney damage. Controlling pain and hydrating extensively are two additional treatments.

Some people with PKD may require a kidney transplant in extreme cases.

Glomerulonephritis is a form of kidney inflammation. Diabetes and lupus are just two examples of other chronic conditions that can bring this on. Damage to the kidneys can occur from acute or chronic inflammation.

Kidney pain, either on one or both sides, is just one of the symptoms.

  • urine that is dark pink or black
  • foamy urination
  • bloating; swelling; stomach; face; hands; feet
  • hypertensive crisis


Kidney inflammation treatment depends on the underlying cause. In the case of diabetes, for instance, managing blood sugar levels through diet and medication can be an effective strategy for suppressing inflammation. Doctors may also recommend steroid medication for patients with severe kidney inflammation.

Renal infarction, also known as renal vein thrombosis, occurs when blood flow to a kidney is cut off. This occurs when there is an abrupt reduction or cessation in the kidney's blood supply. A blood clot is just one of many potential causes.

Blockage of blood flow to one kidney is more common than the other. Some of the signs and symptoms are:

  • painful side or flank pain
  • When your lower back hurts, it can be difficult to move around.
  • pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Urine containing blood


The kidneys are particularly vulnerable to this condition. Anticoagulants are commonly used in treatment. The medication eliminates existing clots and stops new ones from forming.

Anticoagulants are either orally taken as a pill or injected into the clot itself. A blood clot may require surgical removal in extremely unusual circumstances.

The most serious cause of kidney pain is bleeding or a hemorrhage. Bleeding inside the kidney can be caused by disease, injury, or a blow to the kidney area. Some of the symptoms are:

  • lower back and rib pain
  • stomach bloating and pain
  • Ureine hematuria
  • vomiting and nausea


Mild kidney bleeding can be treated with pain medication and bed rest. Shock, characterized by low blood pressure, chills, and rapid heart rate, can result from severe bleeding. Fluids to increase blood pressure are part of the urgent care protocol. A significant kidney bleed may necessitate surgical intervention.

Adults younger than 64 years of age typically do not suffer from kidney cancer. Some forms of cancer in older people often begin in the kidneys. The incidence of kidney cancer is higher in men. Cancer of the renal cells typically affects just one kidney.

In its early stages, kidney cancer rarely causes any symptoms. Symptoms at this late stage include:

  • Side or back pain
  • Urine containing blood
  • appetite loss
  • dropping pounds
  • fever
  • tiredness


Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are standard treatments for kidney cancer. The removal of a kidney tumor or the kidney itself may be necessary in some cases.

Men over the age of 40 often suffer from an enlarged prostate. You can find this gland right below your bladder. When the prostate gland swells, it can restrict the kidney's ability to release urine. This can cause discomfort by leading to infection or swelling in either of your kidneys.

Drugs that reduce prostate size are the standard treatment for an enlarged prostate. Radiation therapy and surgical procedures are possible treatment options. Once the prostate shrinks to normal size, kidney problems disappear.

Anemia with sickle cells

The genetic disorder known as sickle cell anemia causes a physical alteration in the red blood cell. Kidneys aren't the only organs that can be harmed by this. Kidney pain and blood in the urine are the results.

Sickle cell anemia can be managed with medication. Symptoms can also be alleviated by a bone marrow transplant.

If you're experiencing severe or persistent pain in your left kidney, you should see a doctor. Get checked out if you experience any other symptoms. Kidney disease symptoms include:

  • fever
  • Urinary distress or burning
  • frequent urination needs
  • urine containing blood
  • sickness and puking

To determine what's causing your left kidney pain, your doctor may order scans and tests:

  • blood test
  • urine test
  • ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • DNA testing is the norm these days.

The majority of kidney pain causes are easily treatable, and they do not lead to permanent kidney damage or complications. However, prompt medical attention is essential.

Self-care for the kidneys is beneficial to health in general. For example:

  • avoided smoking
  • Keeping your daily diet well-rounded and low in salt
  • Involvement in regular physical activity
  • Maintaining a high water intake
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