Causes And Risk Factors Of A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses that spread in your urinary tract, but bacterial infections are much more common.
In fact, about 90 percent of kidney infections are caused by a single type of bacteria, Eschericia coli, or E. coli, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The infection is thought to occur from bacteria that travel from your gastrointestinal tract to your skin surface, through your urethra to your bladder, then through the tubes that connect your bladder and kidneys.
Normally, urine flushes any potentially harmful bacteria out of your ureters before they can cause an infection. But sometimes this doesnt happen due to the following conditions:
- Structural abnormalities in your ureters or kidneys
- Enlarged prostate
- Urine backflow from your bladder to your kidneys
Its also possible for bacteria from your bloodstream to enter your kidneys and cause an infection. This happens most commonly with staphylococcus, or staph, bacteria.
Kidney infections that spread from your bloodstream tend to develop after surgery or as a consequence of another infection elsewhere in the body. For example, if an artificial joint or heart valve becomes infected, the kidneys can become secondarily infected.
Its very uncommon for kidney surgery to lead to a kidney infection.
A number of factors can increase your risk of developing a kidney infection:
This reduced urine flow can make it easier for bacteria in your bladder to migrate into your kidneys.
How Do You Know You Have It
If symptoms occur, they might be those of kidney infection , or chronic kidney disease .
Other symptoms include:
- Pain in your side, back or abdomen
- Needing to urinate at night
- Repeated urinary tract infections in early childhood
- Single urinary tract infection in a male
Note: sometimes the disorder may not cause symptoms. It is picked up by routine blood tests, or when a patient is investigated for high blood.
Kidney Disease In Cats Faqs
What is the life expectancy of a cat with kidney disease?
The life expectancy of a cat with kidney disease varies depending on the underlying cause and the stage at which it is diagnosed. Cats in the earlier stages can, if the underlying disease is treated appropriately, live a normal life.
Are cats in pain with kidney disease?
For most conditions listed above, I wouldnt classify kidney disease in of itself as painful. The systemic effects and long-term implications, however, can certainly be debilitating and often lead to painful conditions.
Can a cat recover from kidney disease?
Some cats that experience acute kidney insults can recover, although there may be long-term effects that can lead to chronic kidney failure. Cats in chronic kidney failure will not recover, in the sense that they will have no lingering effects of the disease, as it is not curable. However, cats can go on to live a relatively normal life, with some lifestyle changes and long-term management.
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Types Of Uti And Treatment Implications
The comments that follow focus on urethritis, cystitis, and pyelonephritis. The management of asymptomatic bacteriuria, chronic Foley catheterârelated bacteriuria, and prostatitis is not discussed.
A long-standing issue is whether UTI represent surface mucosal or parenchymal infections or both. Infections of the urethra are viewed as superficial, whereas pyelonephritis is considered a parenchymal infection. Cystitis ranges from mild to invasion of the wall of the bladder. So, which is more important: Adequate urine or serum concentrations of antimicrobial agents?
Data from UTI in animal models are helpful. High urine drug concentrations are necessary to sterilize urine for pyelonephritis, it is necessary to have effective tissue concentrations of the antimicrobial agent. The serum concentrations of anti-infectives correlate with the drug concentration in renal tissue . Glomerular filtration Â± net tubular secretion determines urine concentration. Thus, for patients who have renal insufficiency with therapeutic serum drug levels and adequate arterial perfusion of the renal parenchyma, the delivery of therapeutic drug concentrations to both the parenchyma and the urine should not be a problem. For patients with chronic insufficiency and cystitis, there is a possibility that the urine drug concentration may be too low to eradicate the etiologic organism.
Diagnosis Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Blood and urine tests
Blood and urine tests are essential. They confirm the decline in kidney function.
When loss of kidney function reaches a certain level in chronic kidney disease, the levels of chemicals in the blood typically become abnormal.
Urea and creatinine, metabolic waste products that are normally filtered out by the kidneys, are increased.
Blood becomes moderately acidic.
Potassium in the blood is often normal or only slightly increased but can become dangerously high.
Calcium and calcitriol in the blood decrease.
Phosphate and parathyroid hormone levels increase.
Hemoglobin is usually lower .
Potassium can become dangerously high when kidney failure reaches an advanced stage or if people ingest large amounts of potassium or take a drug that prevents the kidneys from excreting the potassium.
Analysis of the urine may detect many abnormalities, including protein and abnormal cells.
Ultrasonography is often done to rule out obstruction and check the size of the kidneys. Small, scarred kidneys often indicate that loss of kidney function is chronic. Determining a precise cause becomes increasingly difficult as chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage.
Removing a sample of tissue from a kidney for examination may be the most accurate test, but it is not recommended if results of an ultrasound examination show that the kidneys are small and scarred.
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Causes Of Kidney Infections
A kidney infection happens when bacteria infects your kidneys. The bacteria are usually a type called E. coli, which live in your bowel.
The bacteria get in through the opening of the urethra and move upwards through your urinary tract, first infecting your bladder and then your kidneys.
It’s thought the bacteria can get into your urinary tract by accidentally spreading from your anus to your urethra. This can happen if you wipe your bottom after going to the toilet and the soiled toilet paper comes into contact with your genitals. It can also happen during sex.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can develop if bacteria or fungi infect the skin and the infection spreads through your bloodstream into your kidney. However, this type of infection usually only occurs in people with weakened immune systems.
What Is The Outlook For Kidney Infections
With treatment, the outlook for kidney infections is very positive. It is vital that you take all of any prescribed medications for the infection. You may begin feeling better shortly after beginning a treatment, but still need to take the entire prescribed treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/22/2019.
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What Are Kidney Infections
Kidney infections, also referred to as pyelonephritis, are a serious type of urinary tract infection . This infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract, spread to the bladder, and then continue spreading until they reach one or both kidneys.
Kidneys are vital organs in your body since they are responsible for trapping and removing waste products and toxins through urine. Depending on the individual, you may start experiencing symptoms of kidney infection as soon as two hours after your kidneys get infected.
Kidney infections usually occur when the bacteria multiply and are not treated in time. Fortunately, most complications can be avoided with quick treatment.
What Can I Do To Help Prevent My Child From Getting A Kidney Infection
If you suspect your child has a UTI, get them prompt medical treatment to help prevent the UTI from turning into a kidney infection. Here are some tips for preventing UTIs.
While preventative antibiotics have been found to reduce the number of recurrent UTIs, there isnt any evidence that their use decreases the risk of kidney infection or scarring. Uncircumcised boys that are less than one year old are ten times more likely to get UTIs than circumcised boys, but by age two the risk decreases and circumcision does not have an effect on infection rates.
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What Is A Uti Anyway
A UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens when bacteria enters into any part of your urinary system, which includes the urethra, the bladder, the kidneys or the uterus. If not flushed out of the system, the bacteria can lead to an infection, or a UTI.
If youve ever had a UTI , you probably havent forgotten the symptoms. UTIs are very unpleasant, to say the least, and are often accompanied with one or more of the following:
A burning sensation when urinating
A strong urge to urinate often, usually passing only small amounts of urine at a time.
Cloudy and/or strong smelling urine
Vesicoureteral Reflux Is A Serious Condition
It is important to know that your child may outgrow VUR. The average age when a child may outgrow VUR is five or six years old. Children are more likely to outgrow VUR with lower grades of Reflux. This is what your doctor or paediatric urologist calls spontaneous resolution. If your child has been diagnosed with VUR it is really important that VUR be treated to avoid long-term complications.
The likelihood of spontaneous resolution varies according to a childs age, grade of VUR, and whether the VUR is on one ureter or both.
VUR Resolution Chart Percent Chance of Reflux Resolution After A Specified Number of Years1.
American Urological Association
More severe grades of reflux are associated with lower rates of spontaneous resolution and a higher incidence of renal scarring.2
Continual UTIs can permanently damage the kidney
When a child has VUR, urine backs up into the kidney. Sometimes the urine contains bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection . Bacteria in the kidney can lead to damage over time, which may eventually lead to kidney failure and/or high blood pressure. Some kidney infections that develop suddenly can even be life threatening. The risk of kidney damage is greatest during the first 6 years of life. The goal is to find VUR early and prevent infection that could result in kidney damage.
Antibiotics are not an effective treatment for preventing kidney disease3
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Use Your Health Insurance Just Like You Normally Would To See Your Doctor
During your UTI treatment, you can take steps to ensure that you get the maximum effect out of your antibiotics while promoting your own comfort.
- Use a heating pad on your abdomen to soothe any pain and discomfort and relieve pressure.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria in your urinary tract.
- Avoid any food and drink that may irritate your urinary system. This includes coffee, alcohol, and sugary sodas that contain citrus juice or caffeine.
Who Is More Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Anyone can get a kidney infection, but it is more common in some people, such as:
- Women: A woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s. Having a shorter urethra makes it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract. The urethra is also closer to the anus in women. Bacteria can spread from the anus or vagina into the urethra, and then travel up the urinary tract. Pregnant women are even more likely to have a kidney infection.
- People with diabetes
- People with a weakened immune system: This could be caused by a disease, such as diabetes or HIV, or by certain medicines called immunosuppressives. People who have had a kidney transplant or other organ transplant take immunosuppressives.
- People who have nerve or spinal cord damage that keeps them from feeling pain in and around their urinary tract: This can keep them from noticing symptoms of a bladder infection, which can lead to a kidney infection.
- People who use a catheter to drain urine from their bladder
- People with vesicoureteral reflux : People with VUR have urinary tracts that allow urine to flow backwards from the bladder to the kidneys.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
First, kidney infection starts with symptoms of lower urinary tract infection such as discomfort with urination and frequent urination. However, once the infection has travelled up to the kidneys, you will start to experience more severe symptoms such as:
- Fever and chills
- Frequent urination and pain during urination
- Blood or pus with urine
- Children younger than 2 years old may only have a high fever without other symptoms
- Older people may not have any symptoms related to the kidneys instead, they may exhibit confusion, disordered speech, or hallucinations.
What Is A Kidney Infection Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, occurs when harmful bacteria reach your kidneys as part of a urinary tract infection .
Most UTIs dont involve the kidneys. They affect only your lower urinary tract, meaning your urethra and bladder. But sometimes an infection that begins there moves into your upper urinary tract, affecting one or both kidneys.
Its also possible to get a kidney infection following surgery, if bacteria enter your body during the procedure and travel through your bloodstream to your kidneys. In this case, your lower urinary tract may not be affected.
If you have symptoms of a UTI or bladder infection such as pain with urination, smelly urine, low back pain, or discolored urine its important to seek medical treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to your kidneys.
Kidney infections can be quite painful and require prompt evaluation and treatment. If your infection isnt treated soon enough, it may permanently damage your kidneys or spread to your bloodstream, possibly leading to and the impairment of other vital organs.
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Common Test For Bladder Infections Misses Too Many Cases
Urine tests are the gold standard for diagnosing bladder infections. But one common test, the urine culture, can easily miss infections. Ian Hooton/http://www.sciencesource.com/hide caption
Most women know all too well the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection. They also know theyll probably have to trek to the doctor for a urine analysis so they can get a prescription for antibiotics.
Surely theres got to be a better way.
The first step for women with a history of urinary tract infections may be skipping a standard test isnt that good at spotting bladder infections anyway.
Fewer tests should be done, says Dr. Michael Donnenberg, a professor of medicine at The University of Maryland School of Medicine who wasnt involved in the study. Its even a poorer test than we thought.
Urinary tract infections lead to 8 million doctor visits a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That adds up to plenty of expense and inconvenience that in many cases may not be worth the trouble.
Doctors have two choices for urine tests: the dipstick test, which gives near-instant results and is useful for ruling out infection, and the urine culture. That is done in a lab and takes one to three days.
The urine culture, formally called a midstream urine culture, accurately identified most women who had bladder infections with E. coli bacteria, which cause at least three-quarters of infections, the study found.
How Dermatologists Help Patients With Kidney Disease
Kidney doctors, called nephrologists, often care for patients with kidney disease. When a kidney disease affects the skin, a nephrologist may team up with a dermatologist. Some skin conditions that develop due to kidney disease can be difficult to control. For example, if a patient has extremely itchy skin, it may be impossible to sleep through the night. A board-certified dermatologist can help a patient get some relief. This may involve using the right balance of moisturizers and medication that you apply to the skin. Some patients get relief with a treatment called UVB phototherapy.
The right skin care may also help. If the kidney disease is causing extremely dry skin, these tips from dermatologists may help:
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic kidney disease in the United States, 2019. Page last reviewed Mar. 11, 2019. Last accessed Feb. 27, 2020.
ImagesImage 1: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Images 4, 5, 7, 8, 11: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
ReferencesAmin A, Burgess EF. Skin manifestations associated with kidney cancer. Semin Oncol. 2016 43:408-12.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic kidney disease in the United States, 2019. Page last reviewed Mar. 11, 2019. Last accessed Feb. 27, 2020.
Galperin TA, Cronin AJ, et al. Cutaneous Manifestations of ESRD. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 9:201-18.
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What Are The Causes
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from faeces in your gut colonising the skin around the opening of your urethra and then entering the urinary tract.
Anyone can get a UTI at any age but women are more prone to getting them because they have a shorter urethra than men, making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
It is estimated that around half of all women in the UK have had a UTI.
How Long Does A Uti Last
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If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.
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