Home Remedies for Kidney Pain
Kidney pain can be the result of a multitude of things, from urinary tract infections to kidney stones. While we suggest that anyone who experiences kidney pain visits their urologist, there are ways to treat kidney pain from the comfort of your own home.
If you or a loved one are experiencing mild to moderate pain in your kidney, this list of home remedies should offer relief. Below, you’ll learn the most common causes of kidney pain and how to treat this type of pain at home.
It’s important to note that while kidney pain is a common symptom of urinary issues, it may be a warning sign of a more serious problem. If kidney pain is recurrent, severe, or accompanied by other symptoms, contact your urologist immediately.
What Causes Kidney Pain?
The most common causes of kidney pain are:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Bladder infection
Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection that occurs in any part of your urinary tract — your kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. The most common symptoms of a UTI are frequent trips to the bathroom, burning sensations when urinating, dark colored urine, urine that appears to have blood in it, bladder discomfort and kidney pain.
UTIs can occur in both the lower and upper urinary tract. Infections in the upper urinary tract are kidney infections. The symptoms of a kidney infection include pain in the upper abdomen, fever or chills, nausea and vomiting.
Kidney infections can become serious very quickly, and are usually the result of an untreated UTI or bladder infection. Contact your urologist if you are experiencing the symptoms of kidney infection.
Kidney stones are also extremely common. In fact, one in 10 people will experience a kidney stone at some point in their life. Kidney stones are hard, mineral based masses that typically form in the kidneys or urinary tract and cause an immense amount of pain. About 90 percent of stones can be treated to pass through the system on their own, but some are too large and will require surgery to remove.
Kidney stone symptoms are typically severe pain in the back and side, and pain that radiates and fluctuates between the lower abdomen and groin. In addition, urination will likely be painful, discolored and odorous. Kidney stones may also cause nausea and vomiting.
A bladder infection is simply a bacterial infection in the bladder. Bladder infections can also be referred to as urinary tract infections since your bladder is a part of the urinary tract. The symptoms of a bladder infection are pain while urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, frequent urination, foul-smelling urine and cramping or pain in the lower back or abdomen.
Pain in the kidneys could also be an indicator of kidney cancer, bleeding in your kidneys, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), or blood clots in your kidneys. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your urologist if pain is persistent or severe, or if you are experiencing the symptoms of a kidney infection.
10 At-Home Solutions for Kidney Pain
Now that we’ve discussed what might be causing your kidney pain, let’s dive into the 10 ways you can alleviate this type of pain at home.
For Urinary Tract Infections
Since three of the most common causes of kidney discomfort (UTI, bladder infection and kidney infection) occur in the urinary tract, here are some remedies to relieve pain in the kidneys related to the urinary tract:
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to relieving pain in the kidneys since water will help flush bacteria out of the body. Plus, staying hydrated will help clear out the urinary tract as a whole and work to eliminate any possible infections.
Many specialists recommend the 8×8 rule, meaning you should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. However, water intake is highly dependant on you and your health, so take this article into consideration when determining your daily amount of water intake.
2. Drink Cranberry Juice
While not scientifically proven, cranberry juice is known to be a remedy for urinary tract infections. If you choose to alternate between cranberry juice and water, be sure to choose a cranberry juice that isn’t packed full of additional sweeteners. A cranberry supplement or pure cranberry juice is always the best way to go!
3. Take Probiotics
It’s no secret that probiotics are beneficial for you, especially when it comes to fighting bacteria and kidney pain. Studies show that probiotics can improve kidney function and assist in processing waste too.
4. Drink Parsley Juice
While the thought of drinking parsley juice likely doesn’t sound appealing, it can increase urination and help flush out bacteria. Parsley juice is a nutrient-dense diuretic, which can aid in increasing the frequency of urination.
You can also mix parsley into a smoothie to make drinking it more bearable. Check out these recipes for inspiration!
5. Take a Warm Epsom Salt Bath
A warm bath filled with Epsom salts will help relax you while relieving intense kidney pain. While it won’t eliminate pain long-term, it can help ease the discomfort.
6. Apply Heat
Heat therapy can be very useful for kidney pain reduction as well. Place a heating pad on the affected area for around 20 minutes at a time for successful pain reduction.
7. Use Non-Aspirin Pain Killers
Non-aspirin pain killers such as Ibuprofen, Motrin and Advil can help reduce pain in the kidneys, too. If you are experiencing a fever with kidney discomfort, take Tylenol to relieve the pain and potentially break the fever.
For Kidney Stones
While most of the remedies above will help ease kidney stone pain as well, there are more specific solutions for kidney stones, such as:
1. Monitor Your Alcohol Consumption
Interestingly enough, alcohol — specifically wine — can be useful for preventing kidney stones and providing pain relief. The antioxidants in wine are beneficial for kidney health and the extra fluid intake will help flush any stones out of your system as long as they’re passable.
However, you don’t want to drink only alcohol. Limit your libation intake to 12 ounces of beer or five ounces of wine per day in addition to water.
2. Add Citrus To Your Water
Lemon juice contains citrate, which is known to prevent calcium stones from forming and break apart existing stones. Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water will help work against kidney stones and flush them out of your system.
Plus, as we mentioned earlier, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will help relieve kidney discomfort.
3. Choose Acidic Beverages
Basil, celery and pomegranate juices are known to fight kidney stones and relieve pain in the kidneys as well. Each contain antioxidants which will improve your kidney health and flush toxins out of your kidneys.
However, these types of juices aren’t for everyone so we suggest asking your urologist before drinking basil, celery or pomegranate juice.
Not All Kidney Pain is Treatable With At-Home Remedies
While these solutions may help relieve, or in some cases eliminate, mild kidney pain, they will not stop infections from spreading. When left untreated, even the occasional UTI can turn into something more severe, which is why it’s always in your best interest to contact your urologist when you are experiencing any type of pain in your kidneys.
Based on your symptoms, an in-office visit may not be required. Talk to your urologist and ask questions about the type of pain you are experiencing. They will be able to tell you if at-home remedies are possible, or if you need to schedule an appointment.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. And don’t forget to download our Nutrition & Lifestyle Guide before you go for more health and wellness tips from our urological experts!