Is chronic kidney disease painless?

This “expert” thinks so:

How Much Are Docs Responsible for Patients’ Opioid Abuse?
F. Perry Wilson, MD, looks at the data on how patients get hooked

I’m a nephrologist. I specialize in chronic kidney disease – a completely painless condition. But there has been a coordinated and I think well-intentioned campaign to increase physicians’ awareness of patient pain. Some have argued that the adoption of pain as the “fifth vital sign” has led to an increased rate of opioid prescription, addiction, and overdose…

The major unknown here is the rate of transition from licit to illicit opioid use. And that data is harder to find than, well, street fentanyl nowadays. We also need to know the reason for that initial opioid prescription. It is a very different thing to receive oxycodone after you have your wisdom teeth removed and to receive it for chronic low back pain, and the risk of transition to opioid use disorder is much higher in the latter…

Do you suffer from back pain? The opioid war has now labeled you a faker and potential drug addict.

If you complain of back pain to a doctor, expect your pain to be disregarded and dismissed. After all, back pain can’t be a symptom of a more serious condition (like kidney disease), right? If your doctor isn’t concerned about your back pain, why should you worry about it? I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

8 thoughts on “Is chronic kidney disease painless?

  1. Back pain real and can be severely debilitating and disabling from a weeks to years. No one has any right to down play anyone’s pain unless they can feel it. I had both back pain and wisdom tooth removal pain… After a while, I stopped taking the pain meds out of fear of becoming addicted. Geesh this sounds strangely familiar like someone has been listening to and recording my conversations. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read a comment the other day about a mother who chose to give her daughter Advil after the extraction of wisdom teeth, instead of the meds prescribed by the oral surgeon, because of her fears about addiction. Thing is, if acute pain is inadequately treated, it can become chronic pain. Years from now, if that woman’s daughter is still suffering from tooth and/or facial pain, it will be too late to adequately treat it.

      Are your conversations so interesting that others would want to record them? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • They possibly are although I don’t think they are but my mom listens to my convo’s to keep me safe or something, not totally sure. I also had shots for pain in my spine which sucked but I’m alot better than I was when my back was 1st injured. Now I use herb

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Back pain is what my partner lives with … it real alright. And interestingly enough, his ‘specialists’ have just asked him to have kidney tests done in case its his kidneys and not his back … because his back ‘should be better by now’ pfft.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have stenosis in my lower spine and at times it doesn’t feel all that great (hurts like a mofo). I can’t say it’s the worst pain I have, but it’s the most resistant to any kind of drug, including opioids. Just because a condition is non-life threatening doesn’t mean individualized treatment shouldn’t be attempted. In my case, anti-inflammatories would probably help greatly, but I can’t take them. This notion that a person can “get used to it” is so frickin’ stupid. Yeah, we get used to it. But our lives are severely affected by it…the things we’re able to do, our ability to work, to hold relationships, to enjoy life. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like being followed by a very large, dark cloud. On a long enough timeline, pain is lethal.

    Painless CKD hasn’t been my experience. I’ve had renal pain off and on for 10 years. Whether that’s from the nephropathy or being an eager crystal/stone former, I dunno. I’ve always been told there’s no reason for my flank pain, and I say that I must be unreasonable. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • What would be the purpose of a doctor using the description, “a completely painless condition”? Is he saying that patients who complain of pain with this condition are faking it? Is he saying that every one of his patients who suffers from this condition doesn’t have any pain at all? That he’s never prescribed a painkiller for CKD? What medical condition is completely painless? Why would he use these specific words?

      I don’t understand how someone can spend years and years becoming a nephrologist, yet not understand anything about pain. It boggles my mind. Yes, boggles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A simple answer is that he’s an overeducated idiot. He believes since he has that education, he’s omnipotent. I’ve encountered several doctors like that and I don’t care for them. The ones who are smart enough to admit that they don’t know everything aren’t so bad.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s like he’s dismissing pain. Like he’s saying that pain doesn’t matter, even if you have a chronic condition. I wonder if he’s always felt this way, or if his opinion has more to do with the opioid war.


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