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Signs & symptoms of kidney blockage

Updated July 20, 2017

A person has two kidney arteries--one delivers blood to the left kidney, while the other delivers blood to the right kidney. Kidney arteries break off into several other smaller arteries. If these kidney arteries become fully or partly blocked, it may lead to kidney failure, according to to health information website Healthline. When a person has kidney failure, the kidneys no longer eliminate excess fluid, electrolytes and waste material from a person's blood, the organs' main function.

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Blockages and Blood Pressure

A partial kidney blockage may not show any signs at all, while a fully blocked kidney will typically show many signs. According to Merck, anyone experiencing symptoms of kidney blockage should seek treatment. High blood pressure, especially in a young person, is one possible indication. A person may also experience pain in their left or right kidney and painful urination.

Typical Symptoms and Testing

Besides having lower back and abdomen pain, someone with kidney blockage may also experience nausea, vomiting and fever. If full kidney blockage occurs for 60 minutes or more, permanent damage will most likely occur, according to Merck. A complete blood count and urinalysis will be able to determine if a person has a blockage, and it can typically be treated. However, the effectiveness of any treatment will depend on duration and degree of the blockage.

Related Illness and Prevention

A person with a history of peripheral artery disease (PVD) is more likely to develop kidney blockage. PVD is caused from the obstruction of large arteries in the arms and legs. Diabetes, tobacco use and being overweight can cause blockage as well. Sometimes, only medication is needed to treat kidney blockage. However, if the kidneys are fully blocked, surgery may be required to open the blocked artery. Medication is preferred over an operation for treatment, but if the artery is damaged, it must be repaired with surgery, according to Healthline. A person can contact their doctor for more information on prevention of kidney blockage.

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About the Author

Amy Manley is a college senior working towards a degree in English with a minor in literature. She is currently finishing up her last semester, will earn her bachelor's degree and then continue on toward a master's. Manley has been writing for 12 years. She is the editor in chief of her student newspaper, "Off The Vine."

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