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HomeFactsCan You Have A Kidney Infection Without A Uti

Can You Have A Kidney Infection Without A Uti

Apple Cider Vinegar For Utis

UTI Compications

Apple cider vinegar is widely known and used for its amazing health benefits, and its a natural remedy for UTIs, too. Its acidifying nature is great at clearing UTIs, and it helps prevent bacteria from spreading, stopping the infection before it reaches the kidneys. Try Braggs organic raw apple cider vinegar. Its gluten-free and contains Mother of Vinegar, a healthy bacteria that occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. Its also loaded with vitamins and prebiotics, which relieve and prevent UTIs.

A version of this article first appeared in our print magazine.

Infections Can Also Be Caused By:

  • Kidney stones, enlarged prostates, and other conditions that obstruct the urinary tract, preventing proper emptying of urine from the body
  • Spinal cord injury and other conditions that prevent you from properly emptying your bladder
  • Menopause or medications that alter the hormones in your body, thus changing the bacterial environment in your urinary tract system
  • Any condition that suppresses the immune system
  • Certain sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and mycoplasma

In rare cases, a virus or fungus can cause UTIs.

Can A Uti Make You Tired And Weak

Does a UTI make you tired? Actually, it can. Though Id never heard the term before, I found out there was such a thing as a hidden or silent UTI. Looking back, I realized that every time Id suffered a UTI, I always felt fatigue first. It was my bodys way of trying to fight off infection, Mashunkashey said.

After that ER visit, I took the antibiotics the doctor prescribed and headed home. I reclined my seat and relaxed the whole ride, knowing I finally had the information I needed to spot infections early so they wouldnt damage my system and make me miss out on work and family fun.

Sure enough, several months later I started feeling exhausted again. My gut reaction was to power through it, but then I remembered my vacation. Being proactive, I quickly asked my doctor to test my urine. As I suspected, it was another sneaky UTI, she said. I felt empowered knowing I didnt have to suffer for days or weeks before more serious symptoms may have shown up.

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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infections

Normally, bacteria are flushed out by the flow of urine. However, several problems can increase the risk of a kidney infection. These problems can include:

  • Structural abnormalities blocking urine flow.
  • An enlarged prostate gland compressing the urethra.
  • Backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys.
  • If your immune system is affected .
  • Pregnancy, during which time the enlarging uterus can squeeze the ureters and reduce the flow of urine, allowing the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.

How Long Can A Uti Go Untreated

How to get rid of a urinary tract infection (UTI) without ...

While on vacation, Mashunkasheys fatigue got worse. By the second day, her sneaky symptoms had her frightened enough to visit the emergency room closest to her hotel.

When the doctor told me it was a UTI, I was stunned. I dont believe it, I responded. I dont have any of the symptoms. None whatsoever! Yet there was the proof on my chart, confirmed through a urine test. After my history of UTIs, I felt I was somewhat of an expert. I thought I knew how to recognize them. But this infection completely snuck up on me.

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How Is The Infection Spread

It is difficult to spread a UTI between individuals, as the type of bacteria causing the infection is almost never contagious.

The most common way that a UTI is contracted is through the movement of bacteria from the anus to the urethra, either when wiping after going to the toilet or during sexual intercourse. Taking care during each of these activities can help to prevent the transfer of bacteria, which may then have the opportunity to overgrow.

Vigorous sexual intercourse may also lead to symptoms of UTI or cystitis in women , although there may be no bacteria present.

Is It A Kidney Infection Or Something Else

Your symptoms could also result from another common illness. Some similar conditions you may mistake for a kidney infection include:

  • Other UTIs. Other types of UTIs, such as those affecting the urethra and bladder, can also cause symptoms like urgent and painful urination, abdominal pain, and urine thats cloudy, foul-smelling, or bloody.
  • Kidney stones.Kidney stones are hard deposits of materials like calcium or uric acid that form in the kidneys. When they become lodged in the kidneys, they can cause pain in the abdomen, side, or back, as well as nausea and vomiting.
  • Lower back pain. If low back pain is your primary symptom, you may have a condition thats affecting your lower back. Examples include injuries, degenerative disc disease, and nerve compression.
  • Pregnancy. Symptoms like frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal cramping can all be early signs of pregnancy.

Its always a good rule of thumb to seek medical attention if you experience any new or concerning symptoms. A healthcare professional can work with you to determine what may be causing them.

Heres an idea of what you can expect when you seek care for a possible kidney infection.

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Why You Cant Trust Uti Test Strips

UTI test strips are commonly used as an initial indicator for UTI. Studies have shown these test strips are unreliable, and cannot be used to rule out infection.

Youve probably seen a UTI test strip if youve ever been to a doctor for a suspected UTI, but you can also buy them online or over the counter, to use at home.

Home UTI test strips often contain only two of the indicators listed below.

How Are Utis Treated

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UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. It’s important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.

If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but it’s harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.

If you’ve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms aren’t much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.

Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.

People who get a doctor’s help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .

A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.

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Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent A Kidney Infection

When it comes to preventing a kidney infection, its all about preventing UTIs that affect your urethra and bladder. Here are some ways you can help avoid an infection:

  • Wipe from front to back. For women, this ensures bacteria from your anus doesnt enter your urethra.
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush the urinary tract.
  • Dont hold it. Use the bathroom when you need to go.
  • Avoid using spermicide and diaphragms, and choose another form of birth control, such as lubricated condoms.
  • Use the bathroom after sex to reduce bacteria that colonizes the urethra. There is no convincing data that it is effective, but it isnt harmful, Dr. Sussman added.
  • Postmenopausal women who develop recurrent cystitis may benefit from vaginal estrogen to reduce vaginal dryness.
  • Dont rely on over-the-counter remedies to treat your UTI, like cranberry juice or D-Mannose, to prevent a UTI or kidney infection. Several studies have shown no benefit with cranberry supplements or juice, Dr. Sussman said.

Reasons Your Negative Uti Test Could Be Wrong

Lets just put it out there that if you have received negative results for a urine culture, but you still have symptoms, it is very possible you have a UTI. Unfortunately, these testing issues can add another layer of confusion and uncertainty when seeking answers.

This happens very frequently, and we can help explain why below. Its also a good idea to have an understanding of how a standard urine culture works.

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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

  • Pelvic pain

Signs Of A Kidney Infection To Know And When To Go To The Hospital

Kidney Infection

    Youre probably not constantly on the lookout for signs of a kidney infection. But getting a urinary tract infection can open you up to also getting an infection in one or both kidneys, which means this is an illness that should be on your radar. Yep, it’s an unfortunate truth: A urinary tract infection can lead to a kidney infection, which is medically known as pyelonephritis and can be incredibly serious. So if youre experiencing symptoms of a UTI and thinking, Eh, I can wait a few more days to get those antibiotics, think again. Heres what you need to know about the signs of a kidney infection, its underlying causes, why its so important to get treatment as soon as you can, and more.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection

    Most kidney infections actually start with a bladder infection which can include symptoms like:

    • Pain when the bladder fills, and throughout the pelvic area
    • The need to urinate frequently
    • The overwhelming urge to urinate, even after youve just done so
    • Cloudy, bloody or smelly urine

    If the infection subsequently moves from the bladder to the kidneys, you may also experience infection symptoms like:

  • Severe pain and tenderness in the sides, abdomen, or back
  • Kidney pain
  • Chills
  • difficulty starting a stream of urine
  • pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • diarrhoea
  • Confusion
  • Urine Having Leukocytes Without Nitrates: Causes And Treatments

    When nitrates are positive in your urine, it probably means that a urinary tract infection caused by gram-negative bacteria is present. On the other hand, leukocytes are cells of the immune system that respond to a pathologic microorganism. When they are found in someones urine, a urinary tract infection is also most likely the reason. But what happens if you have been told by your physician that you have leukocytes in your urine but no nitrates?

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    Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics Long

    While there are some common side effects and risk for creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is safe to take antibiotics preventively under the guidance of your physician.

    If you have recurring UTIs , you may benefit from a low-dose prophylactic antibiotic, Dr. Sussman said. Some may require intermittent treatment at the sign of symptoms, while others may require a single dose after sexual intercourse or when symptoms occur. However, its important you discuss the underlying causes with your doctor before being prescribed antibiotics prophylactically.

    Complications Of A Kidney Infection

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    If it isnt treated promptly, a kidney infection can lead to a number of potentially serious complications.

    Youre more likely to develop a complication from a kidney infection if you have:

    • Prior kidney disease
    • A history of kidney infections
    • A structural abnormality in your urinary tract

    The following complications can result from a kidney infection:

    High Blood Pressure Your blood pressure can rise to unhealthy levels as your immune system tries to fight your infection.

    Kidney Failure If its serious enough, an infection can stop your kidneys from effectively removing waste products from your blood.

    Scarring If you develop scars in your kidneys from an infection, your kidneys may not be able to function properly, potentially leading to chronic kidney disease.

    Blood Infection One of the main jobs of your kidneys is to filter waste products out of your blood. A kidney infection can spread to your entire bloodstream in this process.

    A bloodstream infection can, in turn, lead to sepsis, which is a severe inflammatory reaction to bacteria. Sepsis can be life-threatening.

    Renal or Perinephric Abscess If the infection in your kidney is not treated promptly, the bacteria may create an abscess, or pocket of pus, inside or next to your kidney.

    Pregnancy Complications A kidney infection during pregnancy raises the risk of low birth weight in your baby.

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    The Uti Test Was Never Meant To Be Used For Everyday Utis

    In the 1950s a scientist named Kass conducted two small studies on two groups of females with acute kidney infections. One group of participants were pregnant females, the other non-pregnant females.

    Kass discovered that a certain concentration of bacteria in a cultured urine sample was enough to indicate a kidney infection with 80% accuracy.

    Kass suggested that a kidney infection was present when a certain amount of bacteria was found in the urine. This is called the Kass threshold, and you may have seen reference to it on your UTI test results.

    The Kass threshold means a concentration of 100,000 colony forming units of bacteria per milliliter of cultured urine must be present to indicate an infection. It is a very specific threshold without much room for interpretation.

    The key point here is that the Kass test was already only 80% accurate for acute kidney infections. It was never validated for use in lower urinary tract infections, like bladder or urethral infections.

    Yet, this test was embraced by the medical community and has been the global standard UTI test for more than 60 years.

    The Kass threshold has since been found to be far too high to detect many lower urinary tract infections. That is, much lower counts of bacteria in the urine can indicate a UTI.

    Because modern urine culture tests are based on the Kass test, any bacteria count that is below the Kass threshold will not be considered an infection, and antibiotic susceptibility testing will not be done.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection

    A number of symptoms can indicate to your doctor that you may have a kidney infection. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely the infection involves the kidney. Symptoms of a kidney infection include:

    • Sudden onset of chills

    If you experience any of these sudden onset symptoms, please seek medical attention.

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    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis

    UTIs can cause such signs as:

    • pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
    • an increased urge or more frequent need to pee
    • fever
    • waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
    • belly pain in the area of the bladder
    • foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood

    If you have any symptoms of a UTI, you’ll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable you’ll be. Call your doctor’s office or clinic. If you can’t reach your doctor, you can visit an urgent care center or hospital emergency room. The most important thing is to take action as soon as possible.

    How Serious Is A Uti

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    Urinary tract infections can be painful and uncomfortable, but they ultimately dont pose a serious threat to your health as long as you seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

    Read on to learn more about when urinary tract infections turn into kidney infections, the differences between the two, and what you can do to properly treat and prevent them.

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    What Causes A Kidney Infection

    Most often, the bacteria that cause a kidney infection are the same as those that cause ordinary urinary tract infections. Bacteria found in bowel are the most common type. In rare cases, kidney infections can be caused from bacteria found on the skin or in the environment.

    Bacteria enter the body from the skin around the urethra. They then travel up the urethra to the bladder. A kidney infection happens when the bacteria escape the bladder and urethra and travel up the ureters to one or both kidneys. Usually it is only one kidney that develops an infection.

    Sometimes, conditions that create a reduced urine flow can contribute to kidney infections. Chiefly because bacteria can more easily travel up the ureters when urine flow slows or stops altogether.

    A kidney infection can occur at any age and is much more common in women than men. This is because women are more at risk of developing a bladder infection, which can then spread to the kidneys. This happens because a womans urethra is closer to the anus allowing bacteria to be easily introduced from the bowel and to travel up the urethra.

    Other common ways bacteria can find its way into the bladder include:

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