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Lower Abdomen Pain - Can It Be A Sign Of Kidney Problem?

Dr. Ashok Sarin 88% (41 ratings)
MD, MBBS, FRCP - Nephrology
Nephrologist, Delhi  •  47 years experience
Lower Abdomen Pain - Can It Be A Sign Of Kidney Problem?

The abdomen houses multiple organs and pain in the abdomen could indicate a problem with any of these organs. From a medical point of view, the abdomen and associated pain can be divided into nine areas or quadrants the right, middle and left sideways and the upper, middle, and lower quadrants from top to bottom. The doctor would usually ask the patient to point to the area of the problem for instance, right lower quadrant or upper left quadrant.

With a mental mapping of the organ in each of these quadrants, the diagnosis is arrived at, with confirmation by imaging if required. Some of the most common causes for lower abdominal pain are listed below, and the kidneys are important organs in this area.

  • Lower left abdominal pain is caused because of the problems in the large intestine, small intestine, spleen, left kidney, ureter, ovaries, fallopian tube, urinary bladder and their associated structures.
  • Some of the common issues in this area could be menstrual cramps, urinary tract infections (UTIs), left kidney stones, uterine disorders, intestinal obstruction, ectopic pregnancy, constipation, colon cancers, pelvic inflammatory disorder, Crohn’s disease, inguinal hernia, and a ruptured spleen.
  • Lower right abdominal pain can be due to appendicitis, right inguinal hernia, UTI, right kidney stones, colon cancer, menstrual cramps, uterine disorders, intestinal obstruction, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disorders, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, endometriosis, and lymph node inflammation.
  • As is evident from this list, many of these are related to the urinary tract and kidneys. Whether it is the kidneys per se, the urinary bladder, the ureters, or the associated nerves and blood vessels, UTIs are very common. And if one of these organs is affected, then the chance of the infection spreading to the surrounding organs is very high. There is a constant flow of urine through these structures, and so the infection can pass through easily.
  • A person who has had kidney problems would have very characteristic symptoms. The pain would be in the lower back, on either side of the spine, depending on which side is affected. While the pain experienced due to kidney stones is acute and can be stabbing in nature, the UTI would appear in bouts. The associated symptoms should always be kept in mind when identifying and treating kidney problems.
  • There could be nausea, diarrhoea, blood in the urine, fever, profuse sweating and severe fever, which could help in discovering the problem.
  • These should not be ignored and diagnosis should be confirmed with blood tests and imaging including X-rays and CT scans. The treatment would depend on the condition, and early identification of the problem leads to better prognosis and a simpler treatment. 

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