What Is Kidney Pain
Kidney pain is discomfort that comes from the area where your kidneys are. It’s often described as a dull ache, you feel in your sides, back, or belly. But pain in these areas isn’t always a sign of a kidney issue. It’s easy to mistake kidney pain for ordinary back pain. But there are some differences in how kidney pain feels and where it’s located compared to back pain.
Kidney pain has many possible causes, and some could be serious. It’s important to let your doctor know if you notice pain that you think may be coming from one or both of these organs.
Where are your kidneys?
Your kidneys are two small organs shaped like beans. You have one on each side of your body. They’re each about the size of your fist. They’re below your rib cage on both sides of your spinal cord.
Your kidneys have important jobs. They clean out water, acids, and waste from your blood. They make urine so your body flushes out the waste. If they’re diseased or damaged in some way, they can’t do their work to maintain a healthy balance of salts, minerals like calcium, and water in your blood.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help you manage your blood pressure, keep your bones strong, and make red blood cells.
So it’s important to watch for any signs of kidney disease or damage, like pain.
What About Kidney Stones Are They Involved Here Somehow
Sort of. A kidney stone isnt an infection, but a collection of salt and minerals that hardens and turns into a stone.; While some stones may be small others can be much larger. They may stay in the kidney, or begin to move into the ureter, the tube that connects the kidney and the bladder. When this happens, kidney stones can become extremely painful.;
Kidney stones can be tricky, since they may have many of the same symptoms as a UTI or a kidney infection pain when urinating, needing to urinate often, and cloudy or strong smelling urine, blood in the urine, fever, nausea or vomiting. And while stones often pass on their own, larger stones sometimes need to be broken up, or removed.
Sometimes, kidney stones can lead to a urinary tract infection or a kidney infection, so its important to get them checked out by your doctor. And, since the symptoms are so similar, getting a checkup is probably a good idea anyway just to rule out the possibility of an infection, and to make sure the stone is moving along as it should.;
Swollen Or Puffy Face
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the face.
What patients said:
My sister, her hair started to fall out, she was losing weight, but her face was really puffy, you know, and everything like that, before she found out what was going on with her.
My checks were always puffy and tight. Sometimes they would even hurt.
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When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and have pain that will not go away in your tummy, lower back or genitals.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you cannot get a GP appointment and need urgent medical attention, go to your nearest urgent care centre .
If you do not have a local UCC, go to your nearest A&E.
Why Does Infection Cause Fever
A fever is a temporary increase in the bodys temperature in response to a disease or illness.
Medically, it is defined as having a;temperature;above the;normal range;due to an increase in the bodys temperature;set-point. There is not a single agreed-upon upper limit for normal temperature with sources using values between 37.5 and 38.3;°C .
The increase in set-point triggers increased;muscle contraction;and causes a feeling of;cold. This results in greater heat production and efforts to conserve heat. When the set-point temperature returns to normal, a person feels hot, becomes;flushed, and may begin to;sweat.
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When Does A Uti Turn Into A Kidney Infection
What happens if a UTI goes untreated? If left untreated, the E. coli or other bacteria that caused your urinary tract infection can move farther up your urinary system.
When they reach your upper urinary system , you may experience a kidney infection, medically known as pyelonephritis.
Most people seek medical help and receive treatment before they get to this point.
Most often, the bacteria involved in a kidney infection are the same that caused the initial bladder or urethral infection. In rare instances, bacteria from your skin or the environment can cause a kidney infection.
Any condition that reduces or obstructs urine flow increases your risk of contracting a kidney infection as it allows bacteria to more easily flow from the bladder, up the ureters, to the kidneys. These conditions include:
- Kidney, bladder, or ureter stones
- Masses in the abdomen or pelvis caused by cancer or other disorders
Consume Apples And Apple Juice
Apples are also nutrient-dense. Their high acid content may help the kidneys to maintain acidity in the urine, possibly inhibiting further growth of bacteria. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial in helping the kidneys to heal following the infection. Learn more about the many health benefits of apples.
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Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
Typically, a kidney infection develops after a UTI has already affected your urethra the tube through which urine exits your body and your bladder. This area is known as your lower urinary tract.
If you recognize the earlier signs of a UTI, you can seek treatment and usually avoid a kidney infection. But its possible that your symptoms wont be severe enough to get your attention until the infection has spread to your kidneys.
Whether or not youre also experiencing kidney-specific symptoms, its important to look out for signs of a UTI affecting your lower urinary tract:
Painful Urination Known as dysuria, pain during urination is usually caused by inflammation in the lining of your urethra.
Frequent Urination A UTI can cause frequent and intense urges to urinate, even when youve recently emptied your bladder.
Thats because an inflamed bladder from your infection may be more sensitive to pressure from your urine, giving you the sensation that your bladder is full even when its not.
Upset Stomach Nausea Vomiting
Why this happens:
A severe build-up of wastes in the blood can also cause nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.
What patients said:
I had a lot of itching, and I was nauseated, throwing up all the time. I couldn’t keep anything down in my stomach.
When I got the nausea, I couldn’t eat and I had a hard time taking my blood pressure pills.
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What Is A Viral Fever
Most people have a body temperature of about 98.6°F . Anything a degree above this is considered a fever. Fevers are often a sign that your body is fighting off some type of bacterial or viral infection. A viral fever is any fever thats caused by an underlying viral illness.
A variety of viral infections can affect humans, from the common cold to the flu. A low-grade fever is a symptom of many viral infections. But some viral infections, such as dengue fever, can cause a higher fever.
Read on to learn more about viral fevers, including common symptoms and treatment options.
Viral fevers can range in temperature from 99°F to over 103°F , depending on the underlying virus.
If you have a viral fever, you might have some of these general symptoms:
Signs Of A Kidney Infection
What does a kidney infection feel like? According to the NIDDK, the most common kidney infections symptoms are:
But depending on a persons age, they may not experience all of these kidney infection symptoms. Children younger than two may only experience high fever as a sign of kidney infections, the NIDDK says, and people older than 65 might only present with cognitive issues, like confusion, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.
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Back Side Or Groin Pain
Your kidneys are located deep against the back muscles in your upper abdominal area, so its common to experience pain in that region. If Im examining you, Im going to first tap you on the back where your kidneys are and people with a kidney infection will likely jump right off the table from the pain, says Leisman. Thats because your kidneys are in a capsule where theres not a lot of space, so if it gets inflamed at all, its incredibly painful.
First Lets Understand How A Kidney Infection Happens
Bacteria or a virus that normally lives in the bowel can travel from the bladder to the urethra or ureter and into one or both kidneys. Medically known as pyelonephritis, kidney infections will often begin as a urinary tract infection before spreading to the kidneys.
A UTI can be so mild you might not even notice the symptoms, but normally people will start to take note when they experience:
- Pain during urination due to the inflammation of the lining of the urethra
- Frequent urination. This occurs because your inflamed bladder makes it feel like you need to pee again.
You should not wait to see Oxford Urology Associates with these UTI symptoms. Treating the urinary tract infection may prevent it from developing into a kidney infection.
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What Causes A Viral Fever
A viral fever is caused by infection with a virus. Viruses are very small infectious agents. They infect and multiply within the cells of your body. A fever is your bodys way of fighting off a virus. Many viruses are sensitive to shifts in temperature, so a sudden increase in your body temperature makes you less hospitable to viruses.
There are many ways that you can become infected with a virus, including:
- Inhalation. If someone with a viral infection sneezes or coughs near you, you can breathe in droplets containing the virus. Examples of viral infections from inhalation include the flu or common cold.
- Ingestion. Food and drinks can be contaminated with viruses. If you eat them, you can develop an infection. Examples of viral infections from ingestion include norovirus and enteroviruses.
- Bites. Insects and other animals can carry viruses. If they bite you, you can develop an infection. Examples of viral infections that result from bites include dengue fever and rabies.
- Bodily fluids. Exchanging bodily fluids with someone who has a viral infection can transfer the illness. Examples of this type of viral infection include hepatitis B and HIV.
Kidney Infection Symptoms And Complications
Typically, the infection causes painful urination . This discomfort may also be followed with other symptoms such as:
The symptoms can develop quickly, within a few hours. Kidney infection can be serious and should not be left untreated the treatment is necessary!
With quick and appropriate treatment, it should be harmless and doesnt pose to other health risks, though it often makes patient feel very unwell. If the infection is left untreated, it can be potential to cause serious complications such as:
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How Is A Viral Fever Diagnosed
Both viral and bacterial infections often cause similar symptoms. To diagnose a viral fever, a doctor will likely start by ruling out a bacterial infection. They can do this by considering your symptoms and medical history, as well as taking any samples to test for bacteria.
If you have a sore throat, for example, they might swab your throat to test for bacteria that causes strep throat. If the sample comes back negative, you likely have a viral infection.
They can also take a sample of blood or other bodily fluid to check for certain markers that might indicate a viral infection, such as your white blood cell count.
In most cases, viral fevers dont require any specific treatment. Unlike bacterial infections, they dont respond to antibiotics.
Instead, treatment usually focuses on providing relief from your symptoms. Common treatment methods include:
- taking over-the-counter fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce a fever and its symptoms
- resting as much as possible
- drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and replenish fluids lost while sweating
- taking antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir phosphate , when applicable
- sitting in a lukewarm bath to bring your body temperature down
What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract consists of:
- The kidneys: The majority of humans have two kidneys, one on either side of the abdomen. Kidneys clear poisonous substances from the blood.
- The ureters: Urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Each kidney has one ureter connecting it to the bladder.
- The bladder: This is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine.
- The urethra: A tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In males, the urethra travels down the middle of the penis to an opening at the end. In females, the urethra runs from the bladder to just above the vaginal opening. The urethra in females is shorter than in males.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Health Check Certified By: Dr. Gerald Morris
A nasty and uncomfortable kidney infection results when bacteria enter via the bladder and ascend to invade one or both kidneys. A kidney infection, medically known as pyelonephritis, wont cause serious kidney damage if treated early.
Here are the 11 most telling signs that youve fallen victim to a kidney infection
Over The Counter Medications For Urinary Tract Infections
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
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Kidney Infection Home Remedies
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
Kidney Infection Risk Factors
Anyone can get a kidney infection. But just as women get more bladder infections than men, they also get more kidney infections.
A womanâs urethra is shorter than a manâs, and itâs closer to their vagina and anus. That means itâs easier for bacteria or viruses to get into a womanâs urethra, and once they do, itâs a shorter trip to the bladder. From there, they can spread to the kidneys.
Pregnant women are even more likely to get bladder infections. This is because of hormone changes and because a baby puts pressure on the motherâs bladder and ureters and slows the flow of urine.
Any problem in your urinary tract that keeps pee from flowing as it should can raise your chances of a kidney infection, such as:
- A blockage in your urinary tract, like a kidney stone or enlarged prostate
- Conditions that keep your bladder from completely emptying
- A problem in the structure of your urinary tract, like a pinched urethra
- Vesicoureteral reflux , which is when pee flows backward from your bladder toward your kidneys
Youâre also more likely to get an infection if you have:
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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.