Causes of kidney discomfort include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, diabetes and high blood pressure. Additionally, alcohol consumption, the use of certain medications and exposure to toxins that damage kidney tissues can also cause kidney discomfort, reports MedicineNet.
Polycystic kidney disease and birth defects in the urinary system that impede urine flow can cause kidney discomfort. The chronic use of medication such as ibuprofen and exposure to toxic pesticides are other potential causes of kidney discomfort, states MedicineNet. Additionally, bleeding or blood clots in the kidney can cause discomfort and may or may not involve the presence of blood in the urine. Emergency medical treatment is necessary if kidney pain is severe and develops suddenly, as this can indicate a circulatory problem in the kidneys.
Underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are common causes of kidney discomfort. Hardened arteries in the renal system and cancer or a tumor in a kidney can also cause discomfort. Kidney discomfort can be chronic or acute in nature, occurring as a dull aching sensation, or as occasional sharp flank pain. Medical professionals refer to sharp, intense waves of pain as “renal colic," a condition that typically occurs when patients pass kidney stones, according to Mayo Clinic.