Kidney Disease & Disorders Community
Kidney Spasms
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to kidney disease and disorders, dialysis, self care, and transplants.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Kidney Spasms

Everyday it feels as though my kidneys are spasming. Clenching, and unclenching. Imagine someone reaching inside and squeezing your kidney! It is very painful! I have sharp pains jolt through my kidneys. It is primarily the right one, however the left one is affected often as well. Other symptoms are nasuea, weakness, fatigue, and occaisional painful urination. Does anyone out there no what could be causing this pain? Please let me know.

Also, if I push down on the center of my stomach while I am in pain, I can feel my renal artery pumping blood like crazy. When my kidneys are not hurting, I can't even feel the artery at all. Does this mean anything?
Related Discussions
26 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Are you seeing a doctor for this? Have you ever had kidney stones?
Another possibility is renal colic, this can happen with or without kidney stones.
It is extremely painful, almost like a contraction when giving birth but worse.
Blank
434278_tn?1324709825
I know how you feel, although I haven't had spasms everyday, I have experienced them on occasion.  It is worse than kidney stones.  Undescribible pain!!  It could be a number of things.  Your kidney could be floating, you could have hydronephrosis, your renal artery could be obstructed and the blood supply is cut off intermittantly, and of coarse the old kidney stone is a possiblity.  You really need some test done to see what is going on.  I know how hard it is to find a good urologist.  I've been to 4 myself and am not better.  None of them have taken the spasms seriously.  I pray you get better care than I have.  I personally am going to try to get a diuretic renal gram the day my symptoms are acute as I think I have an intermittant uretopelvicjunction obstruction in my right ureter.  I'm not sure if you are a woman, but floating kidneys are found in women more often than men.  And the more babies you have had, the more likely your problem could be connected. Also the right kidney is affect more often than left. FYI
Praying for your healing.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much for your responses! When I was in middle and high school, I had a few bouts of kidney stones. They put stents in my ureters, and then later reconstructed the right one because it was kinked up. For a few years after the surgery I felt fine. However, this spasming pain I have been having has been going on consistently for almost two years now. Every doctor I see wants to pass it off on kidney stones, yet they cannot see any obstructions on the IVPs, CT Scans, etc. Also I haven't passed a stone since I was about 15!  I have a hard time believeing it is a stone, due to the fact that these spasms have been going on for so long. I had not yet heard of these disorders you guys suggested. I will definately check into them. Do either of you happen to know what can be done to stop and prevent this pain?

P.S) I am a woman...and a Christian ;-) I appreciate your prayers.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I would like to add that often times my pain radiates down into my pelvis, and sometimes feels as though it is originating in my lower pelvic region. Also, when the ureter reconstruction surgery was performed at age 17, my doctor mentioned that my kidney was loacted too far down in my pelvis. Perhaps this is a floating kidney?
Blank
434278_tn?1324709825
Yes, it definitely sounds as though you could have a floating kidney. Of course this is a surgical percedure to correct this.  The test for that is KUB upright & suspine.

Do these spasms totally shut you down?  When I have them, I can't even talk.  Thankfully, I don't have them everyday.

I also sometimes have spasms in the lower front.  Almost in the groin.  Yes, the pain radiating toward the groin area is related to the kidney.  

I don't know where you are from, but I'm from the Arkansas/Louisiana border area and I can't seem to find good urology care here.  I have an appt. with a surgeon in New Orleans April 1st.  I hope I can hold out until then.  I'm pretty sick.  I appreciate your prayers for me as well.  I'm beleiveing God for a miracle.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Floating kidney is very painflu and a possible  cause. Have they ever checked you for UPJ.
The above poster is right the pain does indeed radiate into the groin.

karajo
I know what you mean when you say you can not find a good urologist. It takes a lot of time to find the one that is right, that we trust and know who will be honest with us.
If I didn't proceed further with problems, I would have lost my kidney a while ago. My new uro is doing everything he can to save it, but it is tothe point now they can not do much more to save this one, the problem my other one not much better.
Hang tough both of you, I'm sending you cyber hugs hoping for the best.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hey ya'll...I have been looking into my medical history, and I found out that the doctor who did my ureter surgery diagnosed me with Dietl's crisis. Check out this definition:

Dietls Crisis - n.
A sudden attack of acute lumbar and abdominal pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting, caused by kinking of the ureter in persons with WANDERING KIDNEY.

Its all starting to come together now. For years I've been wondering what could be the problem! Dietl's Crisis is the enigma of nephroptosis. I am going to the urologist Tuesday, and maybe I can finally get some help.

karajo -
I'm from Houston, TX...and from what I understand we have some of the leading doctors in America right here in our Medical Center. Maybe it would be possible for you to come over here? Although, even a short trip can feel like an eternity when you are in severe pain. I will keep you in my prayers.

Allie_24 -
It sounds like you're kidneys are in bad shape. I feel for you Allie. They have never checked for UPJ, but I will def. look into it. The best part is...our God is BIG and he made our bodies, he can certainly heal them.


Blank
434278_tn?1324709825
It sounds like you are onto something.  

I'm not sure I know what to do about my situation.  Maybe you could help me.

6 months ago, I began throwing up. I had been nauseated for months, but had my gallbladder out several month prior.  Drs. kept telling me this was normal after gallbladder surgery.  I have also had a dull ache in my right flank area for about a year.  

Anyway, the end of Aug. (6months ago), I had spasms in the R. kidney, next day I was throwing up, next day I started my cycle. Went to gastro. He did a CT. No dye in R. ureter, hydronephrosis and a uterus displaced toward the right.  Sent me to uro. who did an IVP.  Because there was dye all the way to the bladder, he said it was normal. (even though the R. kidney is twice as big as the L.)  Exatly a month after the throwing up day, I had another one. Spasms on day 1, throwing up day 2, started my cycle day 3.  Dido. Called uro and asked about the spasms.  No return call, So called the next day to make appt.  Nurse then decided to ask dr. about spasms.  He said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my kideny whatsoever, do I still want an appt.?  

Well, we had a pattern now.  So I went to the gyno.  She was very sympathetic.  Seems she had hydronephrosis once and knew how much pain I must be in.  She  did a hysterectomy in Dec. and #2 uro did a retrograde pyelogram. (My renal pelvis looks like a cat and the urter is not attached to the kidney - this uro said everything looked fine)  After the surgery I was better as long as I was laid up resting, but when I began to move, here it all came again.  

So I was beginnig to think, I'm not a dr and 2 other uros said I'm fine, I must be fine.  So I went to internal med. dr. the end of Dec.  He said, arthritis in the kideny and did buches of lab.  ANA was a little elevated and there was a small touch of arthritis on the top of my back.  He said, just take this NASID and you'll be cured!  

So I went back to family dr. and said HELP!!  He said, if the ANA was linked to the symptoms then the sed rate would've been elevated too.  He sent me to uro #3 in little rock.  I think he is more concerned about going against the other uros.  He basically says the same thing.  This is just how your kidney is made and now he thinks the ANA is the base of my problem.  

IVP said mild UPJ obstruction
Diretic Renogram  said partial UPJ obstruction

I have R. flank pain (sometimes w/spasms)
low grade fever everyday
feeling of weakness
nausea (worse in the mornings)
frequent urination
dribbly urination

Uro #3 did a lithotripsy on kidney stone in L kidney Feb 8th.  Did a CT follow-up on the 22nd.  The hydronephrosis is much bigger.  It has gone from 1.63 cm to 4cm in the 6 months.  He said, no, no, no. that is just the way your kidney is made.  When I asked him what he did with all the Cts, retro, & IVP. He admitted they are not compatible and are slow to load on the system and they threw them away.  So he didn't have anything to compare the CT with.  

Right now my family dr (such a blessing!) has ordered a diuretic renogram while the symptoms are acute.  So I'm waiting for the spasm thing to happen to have the renogram.  I've had a rough week.  I'm very weak and the color in my skin is gone.  I'm not sure what I should do.  I know that before they will do surgery on me, a complete obstruction must be demonstrated.  I'm just tired of drs. telling me there is nothing wrong when 3 radiologist have said the exact same thing - UPJ obstruction.

I have a appt. with a surgeon in New Orleans April 1st.  Right now that seems like eternity.  If you have any names in Houston, I am open to ANYTHING.   My husband had open heart Jan 07 in Houston at Methodist (Dr. Lawrie) We were very imressed with dr, hospt. everything.  

Thank so much for praying, I'm praying for you as well.  Kara
Blank
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi.

Have you been previously asessed by a physician before?

Does the pain involve the back and the abdomen?

You have mentioned of associated nausea,weakness and pain in urination. This may suggest an underlying kidney infection. Kidney stones when they pass through the ureters may manifest with severe pain that comes in spasms.

A urinalysis , urine culture and a CT scan may be able to help rule out an underlying infection or the presence of stones.
Blank
434278_tn?1324709825
Hey how are you doing?
Are you able to function OK?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your concern and your prayers. Right now I am doing okay. My pain is intermittent. Sometimes I feel fine, other times, it totally shuts me down. Today is a good day. I feel for you karajo, I really do. I understand your problems with the doctors. I have had several doctors dismiss my problems and suggest that there is nothing wrong at all. We know our bodies, and we know when we are hurting. They can't tell us there is nothing wrong. Unfotunately I do not know a good urologist. I am seeking one as well. The best urologist I have ever seen was Dr. Cesic, but he practices in pediatrics and works out of Texas Children's Hospital. Of course, we can't see him anymore. Right now my biggest problem is insurance. My new insurance policy will not cover anything remotely related to my kidneys until after June 14th because of the pre-existing condition clause. So as of right now, I'm waiting it out and praying for a miracle.
From what you tell me, you sound very sick. I wish I knew more about all this so I could say something that might help. I don't know much about any of this though. If it is a UPJ, that would explain the hydronephrosis, due to the fluid backing up and swelling in your kidney. That also explains the naseau/vomiting. Hydronephrosis causes urinary reflux, which basically causes the urine building up in your kidneys to back up and be vomited.
I am so sorry you are going through all this. I really wish the best for you. Please keep me updated!
Blank
434278_tn?1324709825
I would love to speak with you on the phone or through personal e-mail.  My e-mail is mike-***@****  I won't give my phone # out on this, it's too out there in the public.  

How did your dr. visit go last Tuesday?

There are days that I feel really washed out and weak.  I'm not sure if all of my symptoms are part of the obstruction.  But it sounds like you too have days like that too.  I'm glad I don't work, I would've had to quit or file for disability.  My wonderful family dr. has taken over my care.  I told him I didn't want to go back to the urologist.  But we have concluded that there is something else wrong with me.  Of coarse we are testing for Lupus (so far so good).  I started having symptoms where my heart ran away, dizzy, x-nausea.  He put a 24 hr. heart monitor on me.  So far I haven't heard back from that, but my lab work shows elevated white blood count, neutrophil and an elevated c-peptide.  This could mean I have an insulin producing tumor in my pancreas or duodeum.  It is a non-malignant tumor, but can cause hypoglacemia.  So this could explain the extreme weak times.  I have days that I feel fine too.  Last Wed. & Thurs were great.  Very little pain.  I got to go to church and it was so wonderful.  It snowed yesterday here.  We rarely get snow like this especially in March.  I took some tylenol and ibuprophen and got out there and played with the boys.  I really payed for it today.  I slept till past 3 today and just laid around until just now.

I am listening to some teaching tapes by Kenneth Hagin on the Road Blocks to Healing.  A friend has loaned these to me.  The next ones I'll listen to are on the Authority of the Believer.  I am really standing on the Word for yours and my healing.  Thanking Jesus for taking those stripes on His body for our healing.  This sickness is not from our loving Father.  Blessings to you.  Kara
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
If you would like to send someone your e-mail address, please PM them.
Thanks!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I know how you feel. I was having severe cramps in my sides. I went to the doctor and was told nothing was wrong with me. Come to find out I was taking the wrong medication. They had me taking  Potassium Citrate in the begining and later it was a wrong prescription of potassium Chloride, this caused severe cramps in the kidney area and back area, check your meds to see what you are taking. I didn't know anything was wrong until i took a pharmacy tech class. now i am feeling better than ever before,as in the past year
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I didn't tell you this but  I had a 2.5 centimeter kidney stone that blocked my left ureter they don't know if my kidney is okay or not it will take time to tell of it is functioning okay or not. they had to put a stint in my kidney and to this day we don't know if it is working okay
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Oh my Lord! I'm only 16, and I've been experiencing the exact same thing you described for months now. It really really hurts. Although in my case, it's primarly my left kidney, but also, like you, the other one spasms at times. I've never had kidney stones, or any other major renal problems, but I would love to find out what this is, and get it fixed.
Hope you get to feeling better!!! :)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for taking the time to post this. I have been having these spasms for a year and a half now. It can be painful to the point that I am crying uncontrollably. It started out as just bad spasms, but I have started having trouble expelling the last of my urine. I have a few times, without knowing it, urinated on myself. :( It's usually on the right side, sometimes on the left. It doesn't happen every day, maybe a few times a week, then it won't happen for a little while. I went to a chinese medicine doctor and she told me that my kidneys were very, very weak. Her herbal medicine has helped some. She told me not to drink coffee, tea (even herbal), and to eat everything cooked/warm. She said my body couldn't handle raw foods. She also said anything black (weird, I know) is good to eat for my kidneys- meaning blackberries, black rice, black beans.
Just out of curiosity, have any of you taken lexapro or any other medication prior to all this? I stopped taking it 6 months before this started.
One thing that started happening around the same time is the blood in my periods changed dramatically. There are these tiny tiny pieces of clumped together blood and it's darker. Also, it seems that the spasms happen sometimes when I drink something. Maybe it's just my imagination.

I went to urgent care a year ago for this and was told it was back pain and was reluctantly given a blood test. This doctor does not "want to waste insurance company's money." If any of you have had problems with doctors, you aren't the only one. But there are some really good ones too. I had elevated bilirubin levels, but nothing related to the kidneys. She did a urine test and a basic blood test.

Last night, I went in to urgent care again. I told them what's been happening, and they were very thorough, but found nothing. Urine test, two blood tests (I don't know what they were exactly) for the kidneys came up normal. No blood in my urine which is usually a sign of kidney stones. I did have an elevated white blood cell count. They did a CAT-scan with contrast dye (is that what it's called) on my kidneys. It showed that they were functioning properly- they were processing the stuff normally. The doctor was very helpful and supportive. He said western medicine only goes so far, and that the alternatives have something to contribute. Still, I think I might go get some more tests done to see if I have some sort of kidney disease. There are so many people on here with similar symptoms it's frustrating! I saw a few posts on another sight saying the doctors had difficulty diagnosing their nephropathy (is that how you would say it?). They were saying they had similar symptoms. Perhaps I will go back to the doctor.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
OMG..I am in tears..Yet again this weekend I went to hospital..uncontrolable kidney spasma and low pelvic pain as well as mid abdomen pain...They are always clueless...so glad to see others with same..I don't feel so alone now. I have never posted to anything before. Please I would love to be contacted by those of you with similar issues and for us to find a cause together. Ferra.***@****
Blank
434278_tn?1324709825
Thanks for posting and welcome to MedHelp.  

I had kidney spasms and spent 2 to 3 years going from urologist to urologist.  I wished I could enlighten you on what might be going on.  I had mild hydronephrosis.  Some urologist admitted this, but most told me my kidney was normal all ballooned out, but would write in their dr. notes that I had hydronephrosis.  Later we found out I had lupus and fibromyalgia.  My family dr. has always maintained that there was something wrong w/ my kidney and he thought the lupus was causing inflamation (inflammation) in the ureter, thus causing the obstruction and the backed up urine in the kidney (thus hydronephrosis).  I've been on plaquinel (lupus medicine) for over a year now, and the last CT showed the hydronephrosis was gone.  It's been a long while since I've had the severe kidney spasms.  I still hurt in the rib area and the flank area, especially when I drink a lot of water.  

I also have occasional bilirubin in my urine.  Some of my pain could also be assoiciated w/ the biliary system.

Do you have any other symptoms that you think would not be related to the kidney area?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i feel so sad for you all. i am in the same situation i went to the hospital at end of may for a cyst om my ovarie. they checked my upper boy it was so pain ful so they organised a ultra sound scan for uper and lower body scan. this is when they found a mass on my right kidney. i had a ct scan to comfirm i had a mass 2cm by bloods have come back out of range but they have not told me none of this of what is happening.i am so worried i have lost 2 stone since april i feel sick and dizzy all the time i have lower pain in my back is this normal i am 36 yrs old with three  children . my doctor has told me i am to have more bloods. and i am to have open surgery .
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am having spasms so bad that I can barely walk without doubling over in pain. Getting up from a sitting position is painful, however i have no nausea no vomiting but this pain is almost crippling me.  Its the worst pain Ive ever felt.  I have a history of stones but this pain is totally different from before.  I hope someone comes up with some logic to it because I would like to know what is causing this pain.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have had spasms in my kidney area for almost 2 years now. The general opinion of my doctor is that my back is the problem, I strongly disagree. All blood test and urine tests came back normal, ultra sound on my kidneys, bladder etc showed nothing out of the ordinary, MRI on my back came back clear. Physio didn't help. I only get the spasms when I am in bed and when I get up they can last for up to 3 hours, for a while sleeping sitting up stopped the spasms but that no longer works. Sometimes the spasms are so bad that I cannot stand up straight and they knock the air out of me and have been known to knock me off my feet, literally!  I was waking up every few hours in agony and although I don't care much for taking pills, after a while I had no option as I couldn't cope with the pain and lack of sleep any longer. The doctor put me on 50mg of amitriptyline and although it doesn't stop me having spasms when I get out of bed I am sleeping almost all night. I just wish someone could tell me what is wrong and fix me :(
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have had spasms in my kidney area for almost 2 years now. The general opinion of my doctor is that my back is the problem, I strongly disagree. All blood test and urine tests came back normal, ultra sound on my kidneys, bladder etc showed nothing out of the ordinary, MRI on my back came back clear. Physio didn't help. I only get the spasms when I am in bed and when I get up they can last for up to 3 hours, for a while sleeping sitting up stopped the spasms but that no longer works. Sometimes the spasms are so bad that I cannot stand up straight and they knock the air out of me and have been known to knock me off my feet, literally!  I was waking up every few hours in agony and although I don't care much for taking pills, after a while I had no option as I couldn't cope with the pain and lack of sleep any longer. The doctor put me on 50mg of amitriptyline and although it doesn't stop me having spasms when I get out of bed I am sleeping almost all night. I just wish someone could tell me what is wrong and fix me :(
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have been having left kidney spasms for almost a year,I have been to Our local E.R. so many times it's getting out of control,Doctors think it's not that bad...The pain is so severe I just lay in bed,and then ain't comfortable any position I get into, and cry,and moan...I do have a 3 MM kidney stone in left kidney but it has not moved,but no doctors I have seen will help Me..They won't do the meds that bust it up ,they wont go in thru the Uretha and get it..But these spams are making Me want to just die.I have other health problems,that are not good ,and their painful as well,but I just haven't found the right Doctor to know how bad these spasms are...I feel for You...It hurts to the point I just want God to take You Home...No Doctor will listen...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi
I've also been living with kidney problems for about 10 years now. Its set off by doing fairly mild exercise or having a few (though not that many) drinks. It starts with very sharp intermittent needle like pains in both kidneys, coupled with needing to go too the loo a lot more often. I'll usually feel fatigued and slightly feverish at the same time. The pains willl gradually weaken into more of a dull ache and these days they tend to feel very warm. I also get a non-painful rapid pulsating sensation at times. This can all take weeks or months to simmer down to feeling anything like normal again, during which time I have to take life very carefully.

It dates from a pyloplasty operation I had for hydronephrosis about 15 yrs ago and since all tests have shown normal results. The doctors tend to think I'm just making it up, but this completely restricts what I can do with my life.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi everyone,

A possible diagnosis that I have not seen discussed here that may apply to some of you given your collective symptoms is a parasite infection. This includes worms and Giardia. My boyfriend and I had many similar pains including intense kidney/flank pain often associated with urination and diet. The pain sometimes caused nausea and vomiting to the point of not being able to function during the episodes. We were shuttled around several doctors and treated for different disorders such as kidney stones, hernias, bladder and kidney bacterial infections and peptic ulcers to no avail. Some thought we were crazy. Ultimately, a worm ova (for Schistosoma) was found in both our urine sediments and we were treated with praziquantel. There are other medications specific for different parasites. Check this possibility out if a good diagnosis has not been found, especially if you or someone near you has traveled to parasite areas or tropical zones. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) website is a good resource. Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Hugs4All
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Kidney Disease & Disorders Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
Top Digestive Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
jimgreg
piqua, OH
974371_tn?1364538460
Blank
Margot49
Central Valley, CA