Kidney Infection Symptoms In Women
Word to the wise: never ignore a UTI.
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know the pain-in-the-ass symptoms that come with it: a burning sensation when you pee, the need to go all the time. Well, those symptoms are also indicators of another serious health issue: a kidney infection.
While kidney infections are rare in otherwise healthy people, most do start as a UTI. As soon as you start having other symptoms , thats when you worry it might be moving beyond the bladder, says Staci Leisman, M.D., internist and nephrologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Its called an ascending infectionit literally moves up from the bladder into the kidneys.
A kidney infection can be easily treated with oral antibiotics , says Leisman. But in rare cases, an untreated kidney infection can progress to septic shock, which can be fatal. Other worst-case scenarios: super-high blood pressure, leading to kidney failure or kidney scars, which can cause chronic kidney disease.
Chances are, if youre experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI, youre going to head to your ob-gyn ASAP. But if for some reason youve been putting it off, and you start to notice any of the symptoms below, you could be at risk for developing a kidney infection.
Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include the following :
- More frequent need to urinate
- Pain or burning during urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Change in amount of urine
- Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder
- Back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting may occur if bacteria spreads to the kidneys
What Are The Symptoms Of A Urine Infection
- Infection in the bladder usually causes pain when you pass urine. You pass urine more frequently. You may also have pain in your lower tummy . Your urine may become cloudy, bloody or offensive-smelling. You may have a high temperature .
- Infection in the kidneys may cause you to feel generally unwell. There may be a pain in your back. This is usually around the side of the back , where each kidney is located. You may have a high fever. You may feel sick, or be sick .
In some older people the only symptoms of the urine infection may be becoming confused or just feeling generally unwell.
The confusion is caused by a combination of factors such as having a fever and having a lack of fluid in the body . The confusion should pass when the infection has been treated.
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Infectious Disease And Your Kidneys
What would you do if you had a fever with irritation or pain when you urinate? Would you wait a few days and then make an appointment to see a doctor? Dont wait. Those symptoms might be from a bladder infection. Bladder infections need to be treated. If a bladder infection is not resolved, it may lead to a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are rare, but they can cause a number of problems. Urine is one of the body fluids that normally have no bacteria. When the bladder is infected with bacteria, the bacteria in the bladder can travel up to the kidney. If this happens, you may have pain in the back or side, chills and fever, irritation or pain when urinating, or orangecolored urine . Nausea and vomiting can also occur. Urine is checked for bacteria in several ways. A test of the kidney, such as a scan or an ultrasound may be ordered. A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.
Most kidney infections start as bladder infections. Bladder infections usually get better with antibiotics in otherwise healthy people. The goal of antibiotics is to kill the bacteria in the bladder and prevent it from spreading. One dose is not enough you need to finish all of the pills in the prescription to be sure the bacteria are gone. If you still have symptoms when you finish the pills, you should call your doctor. You might need another or a different prescription.
What Is The Outlook
Most people improve within a few days of starting treatment. See a doctor if you do not quickly improve. If your symptoms do not improve despite taking an antibiotic medicine then you may need an alternative antibiotic. This is because some bacteria are resistant to some types of antibiotics. This can be identified from tests done on your urine sample.
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Cloudy Or Smelly Urine
One major difference between kidney infections and other vaginal issues is that kidney infections do not come with any discharge. So if youre experience discharge, you can rule out a kidney infection as the culprit. But you can have stinky or cloudy urine, says Leisman. Youre basically growing bacteria in there, which can sometimes create an odor or cloudiness, which is really just the bacteria and the white cells that youre seeing.
What Medicine Treats Bacterial Vaginosis And Reccurent Bv Can Antibiotics Cure It
Bacterial vaginosis can be cured with antibiotics. Even after a woman has been cured, however, BV often recurs. The second course of antibiotics is necessary if a woman experiences recurrent bacterial vaginosis that produces symptoms.
Antibiotics are the recommended treatment for bacterial vaginosis. A few antibiotic remedies are routinely used and include:
- metronidazole taken by either oral form or vaginal metronidazole gel . Oral metronidazole can cause some minor but unpleasant side effects but is believed to be the most effective treatment. The gels do not typically cause side effects, although yeast vaginitis can occur as a side effect of the medication.
- vaginal clindamycin cream
- tinidazole is an antibiotic that appears to be effective in treating bacterial vaginosis and may have fewer side effects than metronidazole.
Recurrence of bacterial vaginosis is possible even after successful treatment. More than half of those treated experience recurrent symptoms within 12 months. It is unclear why so many recurrent infections develop. With recurrent symptoms, a second course of antibiotics is generally prescribed.
Treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women is recommended to decrease the risk of pregnancy-associated complications related to infection. Treatment prior to Cesarean delivery, total abdominal hysterectomy, and insertion of an IUD are also recommended by most experts.
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Can Bacterial Vaginosis Be Prevented
Because the cause and development of bacterial vaginosis is poorly understood, it can be difficult to take measures to prevent it from occurring. Reducing certain risk factors, such as limiting the number of sex partners, avoiding the use of vaginal douches, and taking all medications as directed when being treated for bacterial vaginosis, can help reduce a woman’s risk of developing bacterial vaginosis, and help reduce a woman’s risk of developing bacterial vaginosis.
Burning Pain With Urination
If you want to get fancy, this is called dysuria, and its common in womens health issues like yeast infections and vaginal infections. Inflammation along the lining of the urethra can cause that sort of burning sensation when you go to the bathroom, says Leisman.
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Why Do I Have Vulval Irritation
Cystitis doesn’t normally cause vulval irritation. However you may get some redness, irritation and itching with thrush. BV can cause some irritation but does not usually cause itching.
There are some STIs that can cause vulval irritation.
It is best to see your GP or get tested at a sexual health clinic if you are not sure whats causing your symptoms.
So When Is It Safe To Try Natural Remedies And When Should You Head To The Doctor
Earthman says if you feel symptoms of a UTI coming on, you can start by drinking more water and cutting out caffeine and acidic foods.
If your symptoms persist through a full day or begin to worsen within the day, she recommends seeing a healthcare provider. UTIs, unlike BV or yeast infections, can quickly turn into kidney infections, which can sometimes be life-threatening.
If you also have a fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms with a UTI, Earthman says to head straight to your provider or your nearest urgent care .
When is it an anatomy thing?
If Earthmans patients are following proper hygiene protocols and still experience recurring UTIs, she tends to wonder if a structural abnormality is the root cause. Only a specialist can determine that, so Earthman often refers her patients to a urologist or a urology gynecologist.
Next up, yeast infections. Common symptoms include:
- cottage cheese-like discharge
- pain during sex
While yeast infections left untreated arent dangerous in the same way UTIs can be, theyre certainly uncomfortable.
Since its possible for bacteria to be passed back and forth during intercourse, using condoms or the withdrawal method, which decrease amount of sperm in the vagina, can help decrease your risk.
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What Is The Treatment For A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics. Your health care provider may tell you to take an antibiotic medicine that treats the most common types of infections, until your urine can be looked at to figure out the exact type of infection you have. Once your urine test results are available, your health care provider might tell you to take a different type of antibiotic, depending on the type of infection you have.
If you have a very serious infection, you may need to stay in the hospital to receive treatment.
If your kidney infection was caused by a problem with the shape of your urinary tract, you may need to have surgery to correct the problem and prevent future kidney infections.
Causes Of Serious Bloating You Dont Want To Ignore
Bloating everyones had the feeling once before, especially all those pasta lovers out there.
Bloating is a common side effect of eating too many bloating foods like carbohydrates or downing your oh so good fizzy drinks.
But what about if youre experiencing chronic bloating where you get so bloated you look pregnant?
Perhaps youve ruled out pregnancy, cut back on the bloating food and drinks, but still feel as though you have a bowling ball in your stomach.
Usually are not too worrisome, but if your persistent bloating is accompanied by other symptoms this just might be the canary in the coal mine.
Persistent bloating along with other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, fever, or blood in your stool might be a sign of a more serious health issue than just bloating from a bad meal.
Health issues such as cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions can cause severe bloating.
So differentiating between a simple case of bloating and severe bloating is important.
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How Can You Prevent Them
Theres a laundry list of things to avoid but theyre all pretty easy. Earthman advises:
- avoiding scented soaps and laundry detergents
- changing out of sweaty underwear or wet bathing suits as quickly as possible
- only cleaning your vagina once a day with a mild soap or warm water
- wearing cotton underwear
- taking a daily probiotic
Blood and semen can also alter the pH of the vagina, so Earthman recommends making sure that when you have your period, youre changing pads and tampons out fairly regularly.
What’s The Treatment For Cystitis
In the majority of cases of mild cystitis, it will clear up on its own in a few days with self-care. There’s lots you can do to help relieve your symptoms:
Drink plenty of water. This may help to flush out the infection
Avoid having sex while experiencing symptoms
Holding a warm object, like a hot water bottle or a blanket, to your stomach may help to ease the pain
If you’re still experiencing symptoms, make an appointment with your GP, as you may need a course of antibiotics. Be sure to take the whole course and follow your GP’s instructions on whether to take them after or before meals.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
There are some medicines that do not mix well with nitrofurantoin.
Tell your doctor if you’re taking these medicines before you start nitrofurantoin treatment:
- indigestion remedies known as antacids, particularly those that contain magnesium
- certain medicines for gout, including probenecid or sulfinpyrazone
- cystitis remedies you can buy from a pharmacy
- antibiotics known as quinolones, including nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin and moxifloxacin
Typhoid vaccine given by mouth may not work properly if you’re taking nitrofurantoin. This does not apply to typhoid vaccines given by injection.
Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections
Mismanaged urinary tract infections can cause several dangerous side effects and complications during pregnancy. The biggest concern is that a UTI can become a kidney infection . Kidney infections are associated with low birth weight and early labor. The following birth injuries, obstetrical complications, and neonatal health problems can result from a mismanaged UTI :
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How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- feeling sick take nitrofurantoin with or after a meal or snack. It may also help if you avoid rich or spicy food.
- being sick and diarrhoea drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash to avoid dehydration. Take small, frequent sips if you feel sick. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea or vomiting without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- loss of appetite eat when you would usually expect to be hungry. If it helps, eat smaller meals more often than usual. Snack when you’re hungry. Have nutritious snacks that are high in calories and protein, such as dried fruit and nuts.
- headaches make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Painkillers you can buy without a prescription, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, are safe to take with nitrofurantoin. Speak to your doctor if these do not help with the headaches or the headaches are severe.
- dizziness or feeling sleepy if nitrofurantoin makes you feel dizzy, stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down until you feel better.
How Can I Treat Bv
Unless you have symptoms, there’s generally no need to treat BV. Speak to your pharmacist who may be able to give you advice about what’s available over the counter.
If this first treatment is unsuccessful, you may need to see your GP who may give you a prescription for antibiotics. These come as tablets, vaginal creams or gels. Some are taken as a one-time only dose, while others need to be taken for a few days.
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How Is Reactive Arthritis Treated
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may also include:
- Antibiotics to treat the infection
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Immunosuppressive medicines such as methotrexate to control inflammation
- Strong biological immunosuppressants given as a shot
- Rest to ease pain and inflammation
- Exercise to strengthen muscles and improve joint function
Are Some Women More At Risk For Utis
Yes. You may be at greater risk for a UTI if you:,
- Are sexually active. Sexual activity can move germs that cause UTIs from other areas, such as the vagina, to the urethra.
- Use a for or use spermicides with a diaphragm or with condoms. Spermicides can kill good bacteria that protect you from UTIs.
- Are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can change the bacteria in the urinary tract, making UTIs more likely. Also, many pregnant women have trouble completely emptying the bladder, because the uterus with the developing baby sits on top of the bladder during pregnancy. Leftover urine with bacteria in it can cause a UTI.
- Have gone through . After menopause, loss of the hormone causes vaginal tissue to become thin and dry. This can make it easier for harmful bacteria to grow and cause a UTI.
- Have diabetes, which can lower your immune system and cause nerve damage that makes it hard to completely empty your bladder
- Have any condition, like a kidney stone, that may block the flow of urine between your kidneys and bladder
- Have or recently had a in place. A catheter is a thin tube put through the urethra into the bladder. Catheters drain urine when you cannot pass urine on your own, such as during surgery.
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How Long Will I Take It For
If you’re taking nitrofurantoin to:
- treat a urinary tract infection, then you usually need to take it for 3 to 7 days
- stop urinary tract infections coming back, you may need to take it for several months
- prevent an infection before having surgery, you’ll usually need take it on the day of the operation and for the next 3 days
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
If you have a UTI, you may have some or all of these symptoms:,
- Pain or burning when urinating
- An urge to urinate often, but not much comes out when you go
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Urine that smells bad or looks milky or cloudy
- Blood in the urine. This is more common in younger women. If you see blood in your urine, tell a doctor or nurse right away.
- Feeling tired, shaky, confused, or weak. This is more common in older women.
- Having a fever, which may mean the infection has reached your kidneys
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The Woman With Dysuria
KURT KUROWSKI, M.D., Finch University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois
Am Fam Physician. 1998 May 1 57:2155-2164.
See related patient information handout on the causes of painful urination, written by the author of this article.
Bacterial cystitis is the most common bacterial infection occurring in women. Thirty percent of women will experience at least one episode of cystitis during their lifetime. About one third of patients presenting with symptoms of cystitis have upper urinary tract infections. A careful history to identify risk factors for subclinical pyelonephritis is important. Symptoms of chronic cystitis accompanied by sterile urine without pyuria may represent interstitial cystitis. Dysuria may also be the principal complaint of women with vaginitis or urethritis. A stepwise diagnostic approach, accompanied by inexpensive office laboratory testing, is usually sufficient to determine the cause of dysuria.
An appropriate starting point in identifying the cause of dysuria is to attempt to classify the woman’s symptoms by the specific anatomic site thought to be responsible. Table 1 lists disorders associated with symptoms of dysuria and their characteristic laboratory and physical findings.
Differential Diagnosis of Women with Dysuria
Differential Diagnosis of Women with Dysuria