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Friday, April 17, 2015
Constant Kidney Pain
17 year old daughter has experienced constant kidney pain for 18 months. Been diagnosed as a `salt waster` but sodium bicarb capsules not helping. Scans have shown nothing, but one consultant thought he could see `kink` in tubes leading away from kidneys. Pain is getting worse, kidneys are swollen. Any suggestions?
In order to answer your question more thoroughly, I would need more information:
Is her kidney function normal? Are her BUN or creatinine (blood tests) elevated?
Does she have protein, blood, or white blood cells in her urine?
What do the doctors mean when they say "swollen"? (Are the kidneys actually larger than normal? If so, how large are they, in centimeters?)
What do they mean when they say "salt waster"? How was this diagnosis made?
Does she have any other medical conditions, and does she take any medications?
If you would like to send the answers to the above questions, I can try to give a little more help. In the meantime, here is some general information for you:
"Swollen" kidneys may be caused by blockage to urine flow -- although if only one consultant thinks he sees kinks, they probably don't exist or aren't significant. Kidneys may also be enlarged if there is a lot of protein in the urine, or if they are inflamed. There are several diseases that can cause the latter type of swelling, and a thorough medical history, physical exam, blood and urine tests, and often a renal biopsy are required to make the correct diagnosis.
Kidney pain may be caused by swelling, but the pain that your daughter is experiencing is not necessarily from her kidneys. Please see the link to our article on "Kidney Pain" for more info on this subject.
Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University