kidney pain in a skier

Kidney pain in a skier, whilst it’s very rare it can be related to body dehydration. Classically though, it is usually encountered in individuals with kidney stones, so again not likely encountered on your off-piste snow expedition, unless you have a pre-existing kidney problem.

location of kidneys

Region Kidney pain or renal colic involves the lower back region radiating towards the bladder.This is the area approximately where the rib cage finishes right down to the the pelvis region.

This type of pain can involve any segment of that region.In its acute form, it is a sharp stabbing pain which has been compared to the sharpest pain sensation known to man.

For most of us any sensation experienced in the above regions may be due to muscular strain ,or local soft tissue injury.

Short term remedy is use of painkillers or analgesics.

On many occasions it is easy to ski in excess of half a day without fluid replenishment. In retrospect I would recommend fluid replenishment at least when going beyond the boundries. Under supervision, on groomed runs, you have less of a worry,as you are close to civilization.

If kidney pain is present ,this is indicative of either loss of the ability of kidney to excrete wastes,or concentrate urine,or conserve electrolytes or generally maintain fluid balance.

Symptoms to look out for when dehydrated and kidneys may ,but are not necessarily compromised are:
- headaches
- dizziness
- fainting
- postural hypotension ( feeling gitty and dizzy upon standing up from a lying down position,is usually an idication of more serious kidney involvement).

Signs - decreased urine production < 400ml/day/in adults.

Sympotoms when

* dehydrated lost 2% blood volume

If you are of reasonable fitness level,and consider yourself quite athletic ,your symptoms may include reduction of optimal performance, flushing, racey heart rate,increased body temperature,rapid and progressive onset of fatigue.

* dehydrated lost 5-10% blood volume

With increasing loss of blood volume your heart rate increases accompanied by increased respiration.Fatigue is slowly getting the upper hand, and malaise is becoming prominent.
You may start to feel sleepy ,nauseous ,tingly in hands and feet.The vision will start to become blurry. Muscles become spastic and don’t always obey your commands .
Simple task of passing urine will become painful. Early stages of delirium begin to manifest themselves.

* dehydrated lost 10-15% blood volume

This loss of fluid is boardering on being fatal.Your simple kidney pain is now a sign of kidney failure. Assuming average blood volume is 4.5litres,you would need to lose between 450-770ml of fluid to arrive at this state.
To keep up with replenishing fluid loss via sweating and urine output you need to drink a minimum of 3litres/day.When you exercise ,this number becomes greater.

Replenish the body with not just water but electrolytes.

These include-

-sodium salts
-pottasium salts

A modified rule of thumb is 8 teaspoons of sugar with 1 teaspoon of table salt mixed in 1 litre of water.

Surfing down the slopes takes some fluid out of you,so for us skiers hydration is on top of this agenda.Enjoy the slopes.