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.
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.
What Is The Outlook For Kidney Infections
With treatment, the outlook for kidney infections is very positive. It is vital that you take all of any prescribed medications for the infection. You may begin feeling better shortly after beginning a treatment, but still need to take the entire prescribed treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/22/2019.
- National Kidney Foundation. Urinary Tract Infections Accessed 5/23/19.
- National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Pyelonephritis: Kidney Infection Accessed 5/23/19.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
Kidney infection or pyelonephritis is a serious medical condition in which there is an infection of one or both the kidneys. If you have a kidney infection you may experience the following symptoms:
Drink Lots Of Liquid Especially Water
Liquids can help flush bacteria from the urinary system. Water is best. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day. If you need to drink less water because of other health conditions, such as bladder control problems, kidney failure or heart disease, ask your health care provider how much liquid is healthy for you.
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Are Kidney Infections Serious What Is The Prognosis
Generally, urinary tract and kidney infections are common conditions with an overall favorable outlook.
- A kidney infection can be managed at home if the infection is diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics.
- Severe or complicated infections may require more intensive treatment and possible hospitalization.
- Personal hygiene is important in the prevention of recurring kidney infections.
- Cranberry juice is a simple natural remedy to prevent recurring kidney infections.
Rarely, serious complications from a kidney infection occur.
What Bacteria Causes Kidney Infections
The most common bacterium that causes urinary tract infections is Escherichia coli, which you might know better as simply E. coli. Responsible for about 90 percent of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections, E. coli can be found in the colons of humans and animals and in their fecal waste. Bacteria can develop in the urinary tract through the urethra and move into the kidneys, which may lead to kidney infections.
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How Can You Make Sure Your 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.
Avoid Alcohol And Coffee
The kidneys most important role is to filter out harmful substances and toxins, and both alcohol and caffeine can require extra work from the kidneys. This may hinder the process of healing from an infection. Alcohol and antibiotics also shouldnt be mixed, so avoid alcohol during your treatment for this reason as well.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Contact your GP if you have a high temperature, persistent pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination. Contact your GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you have blood in your urine, you should always see your GP so the cause can be investigated.
Kidney infections require prompt treatment with antibiotics to help relieve symptoms and prevent complications developing.
Your GP can carry out some simple tests to help diagnose a kidney infection.
See diagnosing kidney infections for more information
Causes Of Kidney Infections
A kidney infection happens when bacteria infects your kidneys. The bacteria are usually a type called E. coli, which live in your bowel.
The bacteria get in through the opening of the urethra and move upwards through your urinary tract, first infecting your bladder and then your kidneys.
It’s thought the bacteria can get into your urinary tract by accidentally spreading from your anus to your urethra. This can happen if you wipe your bottom after going to the toilet and the soiled toilet paper comes into contact with your genitals. It can also happen during sex.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can develop if bacteria or fungi infect the skin and the infection spreads through your bloodstream into your kidney. However, this type of infection usually only occurs in people with weakened immune systems.
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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
Can I Go To Work With A Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections are treated on an outpatient basis with oral antibiotics. Symptom relief typically occurs after a few days of treatment, so it may be possible to go to work at that point. Many patients, however, require a week or two before they feel well enough to work. As always, never go to work with a fever.
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There Are A Lot Of Variables To Consider When Diagnosing A Uti
Women who have had UTIs before most likely recognize their symptoms. However, something that causes you to urinate more frequently and causes discomfort isnt necessarily a UTI.
My first goal when speaking with a patient is to get as much information as I can, so I can determine the best diagnosis and treatment plan, says Dr. Talbott. Urinary tract infections can be confused with sexually transmitted diseases, or they can be more complicated if you have diabetes or other diseases that contribute to a suppressed immune system. It is also challenging when addressing a pediatric patient, or in the elderly with multiple complex health issues.
If youre experiencing fever, nausea, or pain, you most likely have a kidney infection. However, if you have thick white discharge, you might have a yeast infection. Blood in the urine may also suggest a bladder infection, while a discharge with a fishy odor may indicate bacterial vaginosis.
Giving your doctor as much information as you can helps him or her determine the most likely way to get you feeling better fast, says Dr. Talbott.
What Are The Best Antibiotics For A Kidney Infection
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste materials from the body and forming urine. When bacteria enter the kidneys, usually through the tube known as the urethra that connects the bladder to the outside of the body, an infection may develop. Antibiotics are almost always used to treat these infections. Some available antibiotics for a kidney infection include fluoroquinolones, beta-lactam antibiotics, trimethoprim, and co-trimoxazole. Choosing the best antibiotics depends upon the severity and frequency of the infections as well as the overall health of the patient.
Fluoroquinolones are commonly used to treat a kidney infection. These medications are in a class known as broad-spectrum antibiotics. This means they may be used to treat a wide variety of infections, including kidney infections. This type of antibiotic is used primarily when there has been an ongoing history of kidney problems. A rash resembling measles may occur in some patients taking this type of antibiotic.
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Who’s Most Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Women and children are most at risk of developing a kidney infection, as well as other urinary tract infections such as cystitis.
In women, the urethra is closer to the anus than in men, making it easier for bacteria from the anus to enter the urethra accidentally. The female urethra is also much shorter than the male urethra . This makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder and move into the kidneys.
Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:
Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Common symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Pain in your back, side, or groin
- 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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Kidney Infection Treatment Options
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics, pain relievers, and fever reducers. Uncomplicated kidney infection and few complicated kidney infections will be treated on an outpatient basis by a general practitioner, but people with a complicated kidney infection likely require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.. Pregnant women may require additional consultation with an obstetrician or gynecologist.
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.
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What Is A Kidney Infection
A kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis, is when bacteria or viruses cause problems in one or both of your kidneys. Itâs a type of urinary tract infection .
Your kidneysâ main job is to remove waste and take extra water from your blood. Theyâre part of your urinary tract, which makes liquid waste and removes it from your body. Like the exhaust system on your car, you want everything to work like it should so waste moves in one direction only: out.
Your urinary tract is made up of your:
- Kidneys. These clean waste from your blood and make urine .
- Ureters. These thin tubes, one for each kidney, carry urine to your bladder.
- Bladder. This stores urine.
- Urethra. This tube carries urine from your bladder to outside your body.
If any of these parts gets germs in it, you can get a UTI. Most often, your bladder gets infected first. This can be painful but isnât usually serious.
But if the bad bacteria or viruses travel up your ureters, you can get a kidney infection. If left untreated, a kidney infection can cause life-threatening problems.
How Is A Kidney Infection Treated
A kidney infection needs to be treated urgently with antibiotics. If it’s not treated quickly, the infection can get worse and cause . This can cause permanent damage to your kidneys and can even lead to death.
The infection usually starts to clear up within a few days of taking the antibiotic, but you must take the entire course of antibiotics to make sure the infection is completely cleared.
Your antibiotic may need to be changed to a different one after few days if:
- you are not getting better or
- your urine test results show a different antibiotic is needed.
For a severe kidney infection, your doctor may admit you to the hospital. Treatment in hospital may include antibiotics that you receive through a vein in your arm . You may also be prescribed medicine such as paracetamol for pain and fever.
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Risk Factors For Kidney Disease
Since kidney disease can become serious before symptoms are present, it’s important to have a high index of suspicion and be aware of conditions which predispose you to kidney disease. People who are at greater risk of developing renal failure include those with:
- Long-standing high blood pressure
- Heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure
- Other vascular diseases such as cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease
- A family history of kidney disease
- Prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Celebrex
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.
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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.
What Causes A Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections develop from a bladder infection . Bacteria travel up the tube between the bladder and kidney to infect a kidney. These bacteria are usually those normally living in the bowel – eg, E. coli. Most people with cystitis don’t get a kidney infection.
Some kidney infections develop without a bladder infection. This is sometimes due to a problem in the kidney. For example, people are more prone to kidney infections if they have a kidney stone or an abnormality of the kidney.
It is usually only one kidney that develops an infection. A kidney infection can occur at any age. It is much more common in women. This is because women are more at risk of developing a bladder infection . In women, the urethra is closer to the anus, which makes it easier for bacteria to get from the bowel to the urethra. The urethra is also shorter in women than in men, so bacteria can reach the bladder more easily.
Kidney infections are also more common in children, in older people and during pregnancy. They are uncommon in men.
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Tea Tree Essential Oil
E.coli bacteria account for about 80% of urinary tract infections, which eventually lead to chronic kidney infections.
Tea tree essential oil is considered as a great remedy against the E.coli bacteria.
Although it is rich in anti-inflammatory and antiseptic compounds, a 2006 study has confirmed the presence of antimicrobial properties as well.
A study was published in 2002. It shows tea tree oil has preventive effects against E.coli.
Another study was published in the Journal of Applied Bacteriology Banner. It states that tea tree can neutralize the bacteria.
You can use this oil for both massage and bath to soothe infection.