Complications Of Kidney Infections
If not properly or well treated, kidney infections can contribute to complications. Complications as a result of kidney infections include kidney abscess, blood poisoning, severe infection, kidney failure, high blood pressure, or premature labor or birth if you are pregnant.
Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.
Gi Issues Caused By Kidney Stones
Normally, kidney stones cause symptoms such as pressure and pain in your lower back, fever, frequent urination, discomfort urinating, and bloody or discoloured urine. However, sometimes kidney stones can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort.;
If youre experiencing sudden low back pain and gastrointestinal discomfort, dont ignore the possibility that it might be kidney stones.;
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
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What Are Causes And Risk Factors For A Urinary Tract Infection
The urine is normally sterile. An infection occurs when bacteria get into the urine and begin to grow. The bacterial infection usually starts at the opening of the urethra where the urine leaves the body and moves upward into the urinary tract.
- The culprit in at least 90% of uncomplicated infections is a type of bacteria called Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli. These bacteria normally live in the bowel and around the anus.
- These bacteria can move from the area around the anus to the opening of the urethra. The two most common causes of this are improper wiping and sexual intercourse.
- Usually, the act of emptying the bladder flushes the bacteria out of the urethra. If there are too many bacteria, urinating may not stop their spread.
- The bacteria can travel up the urethra to the bladder, where they can grow and cause an infection.
- The infection can spread further as the bacteria move up from the bladder via the ureters.
- If they reach the kidney, they can cause a kidney infection , which can become a very serious condition if not treated promptly.
The following people are at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
The following special groups may be at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
Pregnancy And Urinary Tract Infections
Pregnant women with a UTI that develops into a kidney infection are at higher risk of developing additional complications, which may affect both them and the fetus. Such complications include anemia, premature labor, low birth weight and, in very rare cases, stillbirth.
Fortunately, early medical intervention means that urinary tract infections in pregnant women can usually be treated successfully. If the affected person has a lower urinary tract infection, a course of oral antibiotics is the most common treatment method. If an upper urinary tract infection is suspected, the doctor may recommend administering antibiotics intravenously in hospital instead.
Once the infection has cleared, a doctor may choose to prescribe low-level, prophylactic antibiotics for the remainder of the pregnancy to reduce the risk of a UTI returning.
Pregnancy can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI. This is due to numerous factors, including hormonal changes and the increased weight of the uterus putting pressure on the bladder.
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Quiz Time How Much Can You Remember
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
The Aftermath Of Gastroenteritis: Fluid And Electrolyte Loss
Loss of fluids and electrolytes during multiple episodes of diarrhea predisposed Mrs. A to the possibility of hypovolemia and electrolyte imbalance. Changes in electrolyte levels may cause muscles to improperly initiate and propagate action potentials leading to decreased muscle function. The most common electrolyte lost during diarrhea is potassium. Since potassium is generally stored intracellularly, sudden changes in extracellular levels of potassium cause dramatic changes such as generalized muscle weakness.
Mrs. A also had a decreased appetite and reported that she had minimal to no solid food intake. This exacerbates the body’s inability to replenish the losses of both fluids and electrolytes. The disease process itself may also be considered contributory. Increased stress in the body due to any form of insult will promote a beta-adrenergic response. This causes an increased influx of potassium into the cells. In other words, decreased food and fluid intake and intracellular shifts cause further electrolyte depletion. To read more about the other possible effects of massive electrolyte loss, please refer to the case of Mr. Q.
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Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.
Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are an extremely common condition, and most people recover quickly with antibiotic treatment. However, if left untreated the infection can spread throughout the urinary tract system, increasing in severity and causing complications.
In some cases, the infection can reach the kidneys in the upper urinary tract, an infection known as pyelonephritis. Without medical intervention, this can lead to permanent kidney damage. Possible complications from untreated UTIs include:
- Formation of abscesses within or around the kidneys
- Swelling of the kidneys, also known as hydronephrosis
- , also known as blood poisoning
All of these complications are serious and require immediate medical attention.
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What Causes A Kidney Infection
Scientists believe that most kidney infections start as a bladder infection that moves upstream to infect one or both of your kidneys. Most often, the infection is caused by bacteria that normally live in your bowel. The urinary tract has several ways to prevent infection from moving up the urinary tract. For example, urination most often flushes out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. Sometimes your body cant fight the bacteria and the bacteria cause a UTI. If you dont get medical treatment to stop the infection, the bacteria may infect your kidneys.
In some cases, your blood can carry bacteria or viruses from another part of your body to your kidneys.
Diarrhea Frequent Urge To Urinate Frequent Urination And Pain Or Discomfort
- Medical Author: Dan Brennan, MD
Reviewed on 6/15/2020
These symptoms are present in a wide variety of medical conditions, including urinary tract infections, food poisoning, and irritable bowel syndrome. Keep track of how you are feeling. Your doctor may need to run a test on a urine sample to make a diagnosis. If you are concerned about your symptoms, then you should contact your doctor right away.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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Prevention Methods For Women
In addition to the above prevention methods, women can also:
- Avoid contraceptive methods that contain spermicide
- Avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method
- Avoid the use of feminine products on genital regions, such as deodorant sprays and douches, which have the potential to irritate the urethra
- Receive vaccination against certain E. coli strains
Risk Factors For Developing Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are a very common condition, especially in women, and account for between 1 to 3 percent of all general practice consultations.
Gender is a primary risk factor for urinary tract infections. UTIs are much more common in women than men, and it is believed that roughly half of all women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. Conversely, under the age of 50, only five to eight men out of every 10,000 report experiencing a UTI.
Although there are a number of risk factors specific to either men or women, the majority of risk factors are not gender-specific, including:
- Age. The likelihood of a UTI increases with age. Over the age of 50, incidences of UTIs increase for both genders, with less disparity between the number of cases in men and women
- Urinary catheters can cause bacteria to enter the urinary tract
- Family history of UTIs
- Urinary tract blockages and conditions which may impair urine flow, such as kidney stones, chronic constipation or abnormal urinary function/structure
- Diabetes, specifically diabetes mellitus or type two diabetes, due to high urine glucose levels increasing the risk of infection
- Poor personal hygiene may increase the presence of bacteria in the urinary area
- Reduced mobility may result in longer gaps between urinations, resulting in a higher risk of infection
- A weakened immune system reduces the bodyÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to defend against infection
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When To See Your Gp
See your GP;if you have a fever and persistent;tummy, lower back;or genital pain,;or if you notice a change;to your usual pattern of urination.
Most kidney infections need;prompt treatment with;antibiotics to stop the infection from damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream. You may also need painkillers.
If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection; for example, if you;have a pre-existing health condition or are;pregnant, you may be admitted to hospital;and treated with antibiotics through an intravenous drip.
After taking antibiotics, you should feel completely better after about two weeks.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can cause further problems. These include blood poisoning and a build-up of pus in the kidney called an abscess.
When To Seek Medical Attention
If you experience any symptoms of a kidney infection or a UTI more generally, its important to see a health professional to have them evaluated right away.
This is true especially if certain symptoms seem to appear suddenly, indicating that your UTI is spreading or growing more severe.
A kidney infection that isnt treated effectively can become chronic , potentially causing permanent damage to your kidneys that impairs their function.
An untreated kidney infection can also lead to dangerous complications in the short term, such as a blood infection . Symptoms of sepsis include:
- Fever and chills
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How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools often as a result of bacteria. There are two main types of diarrhea: acute and chronic. Acute diarrhea lasts for a few days as a response to an infection, whereas chronic diarrhea lasts for several weeks and is often associated with an intestinal disorder or condition, like celiac disease or Crohns disease.
Fever and uncontrollable shivering: Fever or chills is a common symptom of majority of infections associated with high bacterial count.
Nausea: Nausea, and maybe even vomiting, may occur as a result of a kidney infection. The infection itself may make you feel as if you are sick to your stomach. Nausea in a kidney infection may be a result of intense pain, dehydration, or the improper function of the kidneys.
Fatigue: You may feel fatigued or low energy as a result of your body fighting off an infection.
Back pain: Back pain, or flank pain, can result from a kidney infection close to where the kidneys are located. If the pain does not subside even after taking pain medications, speak to your doctor right away.
Bloody urine: If the kidney infection is severe, you may notice blood in your urine as a result of red blood cells mixing with urine. This is common if kidney function becomes disrupted and unable to filter properly.
Pain in the lower abdomen: Lower left abdominal pain may be related to a kidney infection, which not only causes abdominal pain, but pain while urinating as well.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will usually be able to tell whats causing your pain by your description of your symptoms, along with a physical exam. Testing your urine can also help your doctor identify what type of infection you have. Usually, a sample of your urine is taken in your doctors office and sent to a lab to check for infection.
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Prevention And Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Antibiotics are started as soon as the doctor suspects pyelonephritis and samples have been taken for laboratory tests. The choice of drug or its dosage may be modified based on the laboratory test results , how sick the person is, and whether the infection started in the hospital, where bacteria tend to be more resistant to antibiotics. Other factors that can alter the choice or dosage of drug include whether the person’s immune system is impaired and whether the person has a urinary tract abnormality .
Outpatient treatment with antibiotics given by mouth is usually successful if the person has:
No nausea or vomiting
No signs of dehydration
What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are painful accumulations of minerals that form in your kidneys and can cause serious pain. Often smaller stones can pass freely through your urinary tract without symptoms, but larger stones can become stuck in the urinary tract causing severe abdominal or lower back pain and other symptoms.
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Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.