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Friday, March 6, 2015
Foul smelling urine, left flank pain
I have been having foul smelling urine & left lower back pain for quite a while. When I mentioned this to my doctor he didn`t think much of it. I`m still concerned.
I am also concerned, and agree that further testing is warranted. Depending on your age, gender, and other underlying diseases, there are several possibilities here, and these include:
- Infection of the left kidney: this can easily be ruled in or out by starting with a simple urinalysis, which can detect signs of infection such as white blood cells and bacteria in the urine. If bacteria are present, the urine can be cultured to see what kind of bacteria are present and what antibiotics are appropriate to treat them with.
- Obstruction or blockage to urine flow from the left kidney: this can certainly cause pain, and may also cause infection, as the urine cannot drain properly from the kidney into the bladder. An ultrasound exam will show blockage if present.
- Stone in the left kidney: this can cause irritation, pain, and even infection. An ultrasound or CT scan will show the stone.
- Tumor in the left kidney: this can be suspected if there is blood in the urine; and imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan can easily show whether a tumor is present.
- Infection or tumor in a left-sided non-kidney structure: again, imaging such as a CT scan can be very helpful here.
Also, if you have any of the following, your situation may be even more serious:
- Cloudy urine
- Pain on urination
- The need to urinate during the night, especially more than once
- Weight loss
If an infection, obstruction, or stone is present, it may be dangerous not to have it treated. If you feel that your doctor is not taking your symptoms seriously enough, please seek a second opinion.
Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University