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Do’s And Don Ts For Kidney Infection

When To See Your Gp

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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.

Read more about treating a kidney infection and the complications of a kidney infection

Whats The Urinary Tract How Does It Work

Your urinary tract is vital to your body because it gets rid of waste and extra fluid. Its made up of both your kidneys, two ureters, your bladder and your urethra. Each organ has an important job :

  • Kidneys: Your fist-sized, bean-shaped kidneys are located on either side of your spine, below your rib cage. Each day they filter 120 to 150 quarts of your blood to remove waste and balance fluids. Your kidneys make one to two quarts of urine every day.
  • Ureters: After your kidney creates urine, the liquid travels through the tube-shaped ureter to the bladder. There is one ureter per kidney. Kidney stones can pass through the ureters or, if theyre too big, get stuck in them. You may require surgery if the stone is too large.
  • Bladder: Between your hip bones is your bladder, an organ that stores urine. It stretches to hold about one and a half to two cups.
  • Urethra: Like a ureter, your urethra is a tube through which urine passes. Its the final stop of the urinary tract where your urine leaves your body. This is called urination.

Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones

The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although there is a risk of recurrence . Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.

Its possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make dietary changes to prevent future stones.

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Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones

If you develop kidney stones composed of calcium, you may be tempted to stop eating foods that include calcium. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. If you have calcium oxalate stones, the most common type, its recommended that you have a diet higher in calcium and lower in oxalate.

Foods that are high in calcium include:

  • Cows milk.

Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.

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  • fever and chills
  • urine that smells bad or looks cloudy

The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.

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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

Although a UTI can be asymptomatic in some people, those who experience symptoms go through a lot of discomforts, such as:

  • Strong, constant need to urinate
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine

In addition, depending on where in the tract the infection is present, the patient may experience extra symptoms.

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.

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Bacteria Are To Blame

UTIs are usually caused by E. coli, bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract and on the skin around the rectal and vaginal areas. When the bacteria enter the urethra, they can make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection.

Girls get urinary tract infections much more frequently than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the rectum and vagina where bacteria are likely to be.

Some people seem to get frequent UTIs, but they often have other problems that make them more prone to infection, like an abnormality in the urinary tract structures or function. The most common functional problem of the urinary tract is called vesicoureteral reflux , a condition in which some urine flows backward, or refluxes, from the bladder into the ureters and even up to the kidneys.

Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sexual intercourse, for example, the bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where urine provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is the reason why females who are sexually active often get UTIs .

Bacteria may also be introduced into a girl’s bladder by wiping from back to front after a bowel movement, which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.

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Consume Apples And Apple Juice

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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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Can Kidney Infection Be Prevented

Most kidney infections are caused by germs travelling up from a bladder infection. So the same things that can help to reduce your chances of bladder infection should reduce your chances of kidney infection. Traditionally, people who got recurring urine infections were advised about measures such as drinking plenty of fluid and taking cranberry juice, and on the way that they wiped themselves after going to the toilet. However, there is little evidence for any of these measures and they are now not usually advised. Anything which increases your risk of urine infections which can be treated, should be treated. For example, any constipation should be treated promptly, as constipation can increase your chances of a bladder or kidney infection. See the separate leaflet called Constipation for more details. Doctors will try to treat anything else which might be contributing, such as kidney stones or an abnormality in the structure of the urinary system.

Pregnant women are regularly tested for urine infections and for germs in their urine. Even if they don’t have symptoms, if urine tests positive for germs, pregnant women are usually treated with antibiotics to prevent any complications.

In some cases people who have recurring urine infections are treated with a low dose of antibiotic continually. This may help to prevent recurrences and to prevent spread to the kidney.

Further reading and references

Diagnosis Of Kidney Infection

  • Urine culture

  • Sometimes imaging tests

The typical symptoms of pyelonephritis lead doctors to do two common laboratory tests to determine whether the kidneys are infected: examination of a urine specimen under a microscope to count the number of red and white blood cells and bacteria and a urine culture, in which bacteria from a urine sample are grown in a laboratory to identify the numbers and type of bacteria . Blood tests may be done to check for elevated white blood cell levels , bacteria in the blood, or kidney damage.

Imaging tests are done in people who have intense back pain typical of renal colic, in those who do not respond to antibiotic treatment within 72 hours, in those whose symptoms return shortly after antibiotic treatment is finished, in those with long-standing or recurring pyelonephritis, in those whose blood test results indicate kidney damage, and in men . Ultrasonography or helical computed tomography studies done in these situations may reveal kidney stones, structural abnormalities, or other causes of urinary obstruction.

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Can Drinking Liquid Help Prevent Or Relieve Kidney Infections

Yes. Drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses a day. Talk with a health care professional if you cant drink this amount due to other health problems, such as urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, or kidney failure. The amount of liquid you need to drink depends on the weather and your activity level. If you live, work, or exercise in hot weather, you may need more liquid to replace the fluid you lose through sweat.

How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed

Kidney Disease Food Do

Its important to detect and treat a kidney infection right away. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms. They will probably ask you to give a urine and/or blood sample, too. In some cases, your doctor might order other tests. These include an ultrasound, an X-ray, a computerized tomography scans, or a magnetic resonance imaging . These tests will provide pictures of your urinary tract organs.

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What Causes A Kidney Infection

The main cause of a kidney infection is Escherichia coli . This bacterium can travel to your kidney from somewhere else in your urinary tract, such as your bladder. Its very common to get a kidney infection if you already have a urinary tract infection . Women tend to get kidney infections and UTIs more often than men. This is due to the shape of female anatomy.

Monitor Weight And Eat A Healthy Diet

People who are overweight or obese are at risk for a number of health conditions that can damage the kidneys. These include diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.

A healthy diet thats low in sodium, processed meats, and other kidney-damaging foods may help reduce the risk of kidney damage. Focus on eating fresh ingredients that are naturally low-sodium, such as cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, and more.

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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs are caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract. This could occur due to several reasons, such as wiping front to back after a bowel movement, having a sexually transmitted disease, or an increased frequency of sexual intercourse.

Additionally, certain lifestyle factors or underlying medical conditions can increase the risk of developing a UTI, as discussed below.

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    Dos And Donts Of Sinusitis That You Should Know

    I. General Information About Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is a condition in which the sinus mucosa becomes inflamed, losing its ability to function normally. Long-term untreated lesions result in mucus accumulation. This fluid binds to the walls of the nose and causes stasis, which narrows and obstructs the sinus passages, resulting in pus inflammation.

    Sinusitis is classified into two types: acute and chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis occurs in a short time, less than 4 weeks, while chronic sinusitis is a condition that lasts more than 12 weeks.

    II. The Leading Causes Of Sinusitis

    Sinusitis can be caused by many factors, but here are some leading causes:

    • Bacteria and fungi: Bacteria and fungi that develop in the sinuses cause inflammation and stagnant mucus, obstructing airflow .
    • Viruses: Most cases of sinusitis come from viruses. Symptoms of viral sinusitis are usually less serious and do not last as long as bacterial
    • Pollutants: Weather changes, car smoke, environmental pollution, etc. are the causes of sinus rhinitis. If not treated promptly, patients may have complications.

    After you know the causes of sinusitis, its time to find out what to do and what to avoid below. Don’t let sinusitis make you more uncomfortable. Here are some dos and donts of sinusitis for you to follow.

    III. The Do’s And Don’ts Of Sinusitis You Should Know

    1. The Dos
    2. The Donts

    The fact is that smoking is one of the common factors causing you to get sinusitis. Try to quit soon!

    Drink Plenty Of Liquids

    Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly water, will help to wash bacteria from your bladder and urinary tract.

    Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts may also help prevent urinary tract infections . However, you should avoid cranberry juice or extracts if you’re taking warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots. Cranberry juice can make the effects of warfarin more potent, so there’s a risk of excessive bleeding.

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    Avoid Thinking You Can Quit The Prescribed Antibiotics Early

    The particular antibiotic prescribed for your type of infection must be in your system for the full length of the period prescribed by your doctor in order to entirely eliminate the threat. Although you will probably start to feel better after just one or two days from the start of the antibiotic treatment, that does not indicate that the antibiotics have completely eliminated the infection.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection

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    If you have a kidney infection, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

    • Fever
    • Pain in your back, side or groin
    • Chills
    • Feeling like you have to urinate often, even if you just went
    • Pain or burning when urinating
    • Pus or blood in your urine
    • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine

    If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. If you are currently taking medicine to treat a urinary tract infection , but you are still having any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

    If your health care provider thinks you might have a kidney infection, he or she might ask you for a urine sample to look or bacteria or other signs of infection. You might also need to have a blood test or imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.

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    Preventing A Uti In The First Place

    Because most kidney infections begin as UTIs that affect your urethra and bladder, preventing a UTI in the first place can help prevent kidney infections.

    While scientists are still learning about all the factors that contribute to UTIs, the following steps can help you avoid an infection:

    Drink lots of water. Liquids that you drink turn into urine, which flushes harmful bacteria out of your urinary tract. Water is the best fluid to drink for healthy urination, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

    Most healthy people should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. You may need more than this, though, if the weather is hot or if youre physically active and sweat a lot.

    If you cant drink this much water because of a health condition, like bladder control problems, kidney disease, or heart disease, talk to your doctor about how to make sure you stay hydrated and are urinating enough to keep your urinary tract healthy.

    Wipe from front to back. For women, wiping from front to back after using the toilet helps ensure that bacteria from your anal region dont enter your urethra.

    While this is a good practice to follow after urinating, its especially important if youve had a bowel movement.

    Urinate when you feel the urge. Holding it for long periods means that your urine sits in place longer, which raises the risk of an infection developing.

    • Diaphragms
    • Unlubricated condoms
    • Spermicides

    Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection

    Common symptoms of a kidney infection include:

    • Fever
    • Pain in your back, side, or groin
    • Chills
    • A feeling of needing to urinate, even though you just did
    • Painful, burning, and/or frequent urination
    • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
    • Blood or pus in your urine

    Symptoms can vary by age. Babies and older people might not have the common symptoms. Instead, they may have slurred speech, dizziness, or confusion. Get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms.

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    How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed

    Your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history and possibly order some tests. These tests include:

    • Imaging tests: An X-ray, CT scan and ultrasound will help your healthcare provider see the size, shape, location and number of your kidney stones. These tests help your provider decide what treatment you need.
    • Blood test: A blood test will reveal how well your kidneys are functioning, check for infection and look for biochemical problems that may lead to kidney stones.
    • Urine test: This test also looks for signs of infection and examines the levels of the substances that form kidney stones.

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