How Do I Know If I Have A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
It may feel like all urinary tract infections are the same they all feel pretty uncomfortable! But a UTI can occur anywhere within your urinary system and its important to know what to look for in case it travels to your kidneys. Read on to learn more about UTIs and Kidney Infections, and how to tell the difference between them.
Are There Any Complications From A Kidney Infection
Most people who develop a kidney infection make a full recovery if treatment is given promptly. Possible complications which occur in a small number of cases include:
- Sometimes germs from a kidney infection get into the bloodstream, particularly if treatment is delayed. This may cause blood poisoning . This can be serious or even life-threatening.
- In pregnant women who develop pyelonephritis occasionally, it may result in the baby being born early or with a lower birth weight.
- A kidney abscess can develop. This is a collection of pus that forms within the kidney.
- The infection can sometimes cause some permanent damage to kidney tissues.
These complications are uncommon but may be more likely if:
- You become severely ill with the kidney infection.
- You have kidney stones.
- Your immune system is suppressed – for example, if you have cancer, if you are taking medication such as steroids or chemotherapy, or if you have AIDS.
- You have poorly controlled diabetes.
- You are an older person .
- You are pregnant.
Emphysematous pyelonephritis is also a rare complication. In this condition the kidney tissues are rapidly destroyed by the infection and the bacteria can release toxic gases which can build up in the kidneys. You become very unwell if you develop this complication. This complication seems mostly to affect people who have poorly controlled diabetes.
The Doctors: Visceral Pain
Dr. Travis explained that Visceral Pain comes from the internal organs, but it is not always clear where it is coming from, because it could manifest somewhere else in the body.
That is because of the nerves that run through your body. Thats why, for example, Heart Attack symptoms can include arm pain.
How do you tell the difference? Dr. Travis used Dr. Jim Sears as a model to explain how he examines a patient. To determine the difference between a Pulled Muscle and Appendicitis, he explained that he would have the patient bend the knees and relax the abdomen.
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The Role Of Uti Testing
UTI testing may be performed if a doctor suspects a UTI based on a patients symptoms and a physical examination. Laboratory tests can diagnose or rule out UTIs. UTI testing can also identify the bacteria or other microbes that are causing the infection, which helps doctors decide how to best treat the infection.
What Are Kidney Infections
Your kidneys are the 2 bean-shaped organs that filter waste products out of your blood and make urine. Sometimes a kidney gets infected by bacteria.
Kidney infections are usually caused by the spread of bacteria up your urinary tract to your kidneys
A kidney infection usually causes chills, fever, and back pain
Kidney infections are more common in women than in men
Most kidney infections can be cured with antibiotics
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How Can Doctors Tell If I Have A Kidney Infection
Your doctor can tell if you have a kidney infection based on:
Testing your urine
Your doctor may do blood tests to see if the infection has spread to the bloodstream.
Your doctor may also do imaging tests of your kidneys and urinary tract. The imaging tests are to look for a blockage and other abnormalities that might have caused the kidney infection. You may need imaging tests if you:
Still have fever after taking antibiotics for 3 days
Often get kidney infections
Have a blood test that shows you have kidney damage
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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Causes Of Kidney Infections
Bacteria or viruses
Most kidney infections are caused by bacteria or viruses. The urinary system is designed in a way to keep bacteria out. Most of the time, the urinary tract flushes out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. However, sometimes your body is unable to fight the bacteria.
Experts say this usually begins as a bladder infection most often caused by bacteria that lives in your bowel, called E. coli. The bacteria then travels upstream to one or both of your kidneys. About one in 30 urinary tract infection cases leads to a kidney infection.
In some cases, a kidney infection can result if bacteria enters the body during surgery and then travels to the kidneys through the blood.
Is There Treatment For Utis
Most UTIs are easy to treat. Treatment for UTIs is generally antibiotics, which get rid of the infection. You can also take over-the-counter pain medicine if you want.
Antibiotics are usually quick and effective most symptoms go away within a day or 2 of taking medicine. But be sure to finish all of your medicine, even if your symptoms go away. If you stop your UTI treatment early, the infection might still be there or could come back.
If your symptoms dont go away after a few days, or for more severe infections like a kidney or prostate infection, your doctor or nurse may recommend more tests, different medication, or refer you to a specialist.
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Blood Urea Nitrogen Test
The blood urea nitrogen test checks for other waste products in the blood, such as urea nitrogen.
Urea nitrogen occurs as proteins from food break down, and elevated levels may be a sign that the kidney is not filtering these waste products effectively.
A typical BUN level falls between 7 and 20 milligrams per deciliter. Higher values could be a sign of an underlying condition affecting the kidneys.
With that said, many other things can affect BUN levels, such as medications or antibiotics. A diet that is very high in protein diet may also affect levels.
Doctors will typically compare these results to the results of a creatine test to get a better understanding of how well the kidney is filtering this waste.
Imaging tests may help doctors identify any physical changes to the kidneys, such as injuries or kidney stones.
How To Tell If You Have A Kidney Infection: Symptoms And Signs
Have you ever experienced a urinary tract infection ? The burning sensation when you pee and the urge to visit the bathroom slightly more often than usual are both things that anyone who has had the infection is sure to look back on with not so fond memories. Whats important to note though, is that these symptoms are also common indicators of something more significant: a kidney infection.
According to the NHS, kidney infections are actually quite rare, with estimates suggesting that one out of every 830 people will develop a kidney infection every year in the UK . Still, knowing the common symptoms and signs of a kidney infection is crucial so you can avoid any potential complications and make sure your kidneys remain healthy and in good working order!
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How Can I Make Sure My Kidney Infection Is Completely Gone
If you recently had a kidney infection, the health care professional will often repeat urine cultures after your treatment ends to make sure your infection has completely gone away and has not come back. If a repeat test shows infection, you may take another round of antibiotics. If your infection comes back again, he or she may prescribe antibiotics for a longer time period.
If your health care professional prescribes antibiotics, take all of the antibiotics as prescribed and follow the advice of the health care professional. Even if you start to feel better, you should finish all of your medicine.
When Should I Go To The Doctor
A kidney infection can develop quite quickly over a few hours or days, so dont wait to see the doctor. Any of the above symptoms of a UTI or kidney infection should trigger a visit to your doctor for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.
A doctor will analyze a sample of your urine. If you test positive for a kidney infection, youll be prescribed oral antibiotics and, in some cases, a medication that helps relieve pain with urination. If treated promptly, a kidney infection shouldnt cause serious harm.
If you experience a fever over 101°F, pain, are unable to drink or take oral medication along with some of the other symptoms, get to the nearest urgent care or ER. For more serious infections, your doctor may keep you in the hospital for observation with IV antibiotics followed by outpatient oral antibiotics.
After completing the full course of prescribed antibiotics, you should feel better. If you dont, talk to your doctor, as you may need another course of antibiotics.
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Pixel By Labcorp Kidney Health Test Package
LabCorps kidney test is available for individuals aged 18 years and older. For the test, people need to provide a blood and urine sample.
According to LabCorps website, once customers buy a test, a physician reviews and approve their test request. Then, the individual visits one of the companys testing centers, where a trained technician takes their sample.
People generally receive their results through their online accounts, and if they require prompt attention, the company may contact them by phone or mail.
In addition, LabCorp states it performs its tests in CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified labs. The company also accepts HSA and FSA as payment options.
Advantages and drawbacks
Some advantages of LabCorps kidney test include the below.
- The company accepts HSA and FSA as payment options.
- Doctors review the customers test requests.
- The company may call a person if they need to discuss their results.
However, people cannot perform this test at home. Instead, they need to visit a Pixel by Labcorp facility to provide their samples.
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.
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Who Is More Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Anyone can get a kidney infection, but it is more common in some people, such as:
- Women: A woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s. Having a shorter urethra makes it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract. The urethra is also closer to the anus in women. Bacteria can spread from the anus or vagina into the urethra, and then travel up the urinary tract. Pregnant women are even more likely to have a kidney infection.
- People with diabetes
- People with a weakened immune system: This could be caused by a disease, such as diabetes or HIV, or by certain medicines called immunosuppressives. People who have had a kidney transplant or other organ transplant take immunosuppressives.
- People who have nerve or spinal cord damage that keeps them from feeling pain in and around their urinary tract: This can keep them from noticing symptoms of a bladder infection, which can lead to a kidney infection.
- People who use a catheter to drain urine from their bladder
- People with vesicoureteral reflux : People with VUR have urinary tracts that allow urine to flow backwards from the bladder to the kidneys.
How Do Doctors Treat Kidney Infections
Your doctor will:
Give you antibiotics for 5 to 14 days
Take another urine sample shortly after you finish your antibiotics to make sure the infection is gone
You may need to stay at the hospital to get antibiotics directly into your vein for a few days if you:
Are throwing up a lot
Have signs of a severe infection, such as low blood pressure or confusion
After you leave the hospital, you will take antibiotics at home.
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Treatments For Kidney Infections
Your doctor may first prescribe a general antibiotic. When the lab results come in, they may switch to a specific antibiotic that treats the type of infection you have. It’s common to have antibiotics prescribed for at least two weeks. It’s important to complete the antibiotic course so that the infection doesn’t return.
If your infection is severe, you may have to be hospitalized. Antibiotics, as well as fluids, may be given through an IV in your arm to ensure the drug will reach the kidneys.
If your infection is due to an underlying medical problem such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate, you might have to be referred to a specialist for treatment.
Blood Tests To Diagnose Kidney Infection
The kidney is one of the vital organs in the human body. It filters waste products of the blood into urine and excretes from the body. Any dysfunction of the kidneys can result in the accumulation of waste products in blood along with excess fluid. Infection is a major cause which can cause acute kidney injury and sometimes can proceed into chronic renal failure.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications which occur due to a chronic kidney infection. Children are more susceptible to develop complications due to kidney infection. This is because post infection induced kidney injury scarring can occur in the developing kidney of the child. In order to minimize the bad outcomes, the clinicians practice many diagnostic blood tests for a kidney infection.
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What Is Kidney Infection
Infection in the urinary tract can involve the lower tract especially the bladder , prostate or the upper tract and kidney . It is usually a bacterial infection. The disease occurs in roughly three to seven of every 10,000 people in the United States. The occurrence in pregnant women is about 2 percent. It is readily treatable if diagnosed early.
A bacteria called Escherichia Coli causes about 90 percent of kidney infections. The bacteria migrate from the genitals through the urethra into the bladder and up the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys.
Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus infections, can enter the kidneys from the bloodstream.
Signs Of A Kidney Infection To Know And When To Go To The Hospital
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 Procedures And Tests Diagnose Kidney Infections In Men And Women
The most important test in diagnosing kidney infection is a urinalysis . Urinalysis is a test to analyze urine sample and evaluate for an infection in the urine. Urinalysis is done by collecting a clean catch, midstream urine in a sterile collection cup. The urine may be analyzed by the doctor in the office using or by analysis in a laboratory.
Because urine is normally sterile, any finding suggesting an infection may be considered abnormal and supportive of a kidney infection.