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
How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed
Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.
Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.
Kidney Stones Or Urinary Tract Infection Which Is It
We hardly consider basic bodily functions until they become a problem. Pain with urination or in your lower back can be alarming requiring intervention.
Did you know that UTIs and kidney stones have extremely similar symptoms that appear similar, but they affect your body in different ways? Treating the symptoms requires a proper diagnosis. This is not a time for self-diagnosis. Here are ways to learn the differences between the two conditions.
What is a UTI ?
A UTI is an infection that can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys. The urinary tract is responsible for passing urine and eliminating waste from the body. Bacteria causes UTIs in the urinary tract. Women are more likely to get UTIs than men with 20% of women getting at least one UTI in their lifetime.
Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract. About 1 out of every 11 people in the United States will get a kidney stone. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes.
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When To Seek Immediate Medical Attention
UTIs are uncomfortable, but theyre not an immediate medical emergency. Some people make the mistake of assuming the same is true with a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are serious conditions and they do require medical attention. Untreated, a kidney infection can quickly cause long-term kidney damage or kidney scarring. These infections can also cause , which can lead to shock.
Because of this, a kidney infection can be fatal if allowed to progress. Dont take any chances by not having it treated by a medical professional.
Sex Affects Women’s Kidney Infection Risk
Frequent Intercourse, New Partners Among Risk Factors for Women Under 50
Jan. 5, 2005 — A young woman’s sex life may influence her risk of kidney infection.
New research shows that women younger than 50 who have sex at least three times per week, take a new partner, or recently used spermicides have a higher risk of kidney infections.
Diabetes, urinary incontinence, and a history of a urinary tract infection are also important, according to a study in the Jan. 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The findings could help more women avoid kidney infections.
Kidney infections are common. Every year, they send more than a quarter of a million Americans to doctors’ offices and 200,000 people to hospitals.
Most of those patients are women. It’s rare for women who are otherwise healthy to be hospitalized for kidney infections. Instead, they usually get treatment with antibiotics.
Until now, little was known about kidney infections in younger women. Closing that knowledge gap was the goal of Delia Scholes, PhD, and colleagues. Scholes is a senior researcher with the Center for Health Studies at Group Health Cooperative, a Seattle-based health plan.
Several kidney infection risk factors stood out:
It’s likely that infections can travel up to the kidneys from lower parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder. So preventing infections of the bladder, which have many of the same risk factors, may help avoid kidney infections, say the researchers.
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What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated
If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.
Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.
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
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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.
Causes Kidney Stones Vs Utis
UTIs occur when bacteria make their way into the urinary tract and begin to multiply, which can lead to symptoms. Women are more likely to develop more UTIs than men because the female urethra is shorter, which means bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to establish an infection. If left untreated, these UTIs can continue to spread upward into the kidneys.
Kidney stones are generally the result of a less severe UTIs progression due to lack of treatment, but they can sometimes occur in other ways as well. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, a component of urine, the urine becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
The symptoms of a kidney infection usually start in the bladder or urethra, which spread to one or both of your kidneys.
If not treated properly, the infection can cause permanent damage to your kidney, which can be life-threatening.
The common symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Abdominal pain.
- An urge to urinate frequently
- Blood in the urine
What Is A Bladder Infection Or Urinary Tract Infection
Any infection that affects a part of your urinary tract is known as a urinary tract infection . One that only affects your bladder is a bladder infection. Doctors may narrow it down to the area that is affected, for example:
- If your urethra is affected, it is known as urethritis
- If your bladder is affected it is known as cystitis
- If your kidneys are affected it is known as pyelonephritis. This is a serious infection that can lead to kidney damage if a bladder infection is left untreated.
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Why Do Utis Return Despite Treatment
There are about a half-dozen oral antibiotics that treat UTIs. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe one drug, then switch to another after a urine culture identifies which bacteria is at work. Adjusting the medication can take time, and recurrent infections may occur in the meantime.
Sometimes a person starts to feel better and decides to stops taking the antibiotic contrary to the doctors instructions and another infection soon follows. Its never a good idea to stop taking antibiotics before your dosage is complete.
But even people who take medication as the doctor prescribes may get recurrent infections, Dr. Vasavada says.
If youre a younger woman who is sexually active, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to take before and after sexual activity. For post-menopausal women, a vaginal estrogen cream may help reduce infections.
If infections persist, your doctor may test for other health problems in the kidney, bladder or other parts of the urinary system.
Always Wipe From Front To Back
After urinating, reach behind your buttocks and wipe from the front of the vagina to the back. When you are finished, take a separate piece of toilet paper to clean the anus, starting at the perineum and wiping back between your buttocks. Doing so prevents introducing bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
Kidney Infection Symptoms In Women
Word to the wise: never ignore a UTI.
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know the pain-in-the-ass symptoms that come with it: a burning sensation when you pee, the need to go all the time. Well, those symptoms are also indicators of another serious health issue: a kidney infection.
While kidney infections are rare in otherwise healthy people, most do start as a UTI. As soon as you start having other symptoms , thats when you worry it might be moving beyond the bladder, says Staci Leisman, M.D., internist and nephrologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Its called an ascending infectionit literally moves up from the bladder into the kidneys.
A kidney infection can be easily treated with oral antibiotics , says Leisman. But in rare cases, an untreated kidney infection can progress to septic shock, which can be fatal. Other worst-case scenarios: super-high blood pressure, leading to kidney failure or kidney scars, which can cause chronic kidney disease.
Chances are, if youre experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI, youre going to head to your ob-gyn ASAP. But if for some reason youve been putting it off, and you start to notice any of the symptoms below, you could be at risk for developing a kidney infection.
What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like
The majority of kidney infections start off with a UTI, which occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. If this bacteria multiplies and travels to your kidneys, it can cause a kidney infection. As the urethra is shorter in women, kidney infections are in fact more common in women than in men.
As well as the infamous feeling of a persistent urge to urinate and a burning sensation when you do make it to the bathroom, kidney infections can cause a whole host of other symptoms, these include:
- Fever and chills
- Pain in the back, side, groin, or abdomen
- Cloudy urine or urine that smells bad
Kidney disease can easily be treated with antibiotics so if you are experiencing the above symptoms, its important to reach out to your doctor to avoid any potential complications by leaving the infection untreated.
How Do You Know If A Uti Has Spread To Your Kidneys
Kidney infections are caused by bacteria traveling from your bladder into either one or both of your kidneys. And while UTIs can be treated with a course of antibiotics, if it goes untreated, it can spread to the kidneys and cause an infection.
If your symptoms get worse or dont improve within a few days, its possible that the infection has moved beyond the bladder and towards the kidneys. Remember, a kidney infection can be treated so if you suspect somethings not quite right, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.
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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.
Complications Of Kidney Infections
Most kidney infections are treated successfully without complications, although some people may develop further problems.
Complications of a kidney infection are rare, but you’re more likely to develop them if you:
- are a child
- rapid heartbeat
Blood poisoning is a medical emergency that usually requires admission to a hospital intensive care unit while antibiotics are used to fight the infection.
If you’re taking certain medications for diabetes, such as metformin or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be temporarily withdrawn until you recover. This is because they can cause kidney damage during an episode of blood poisoning.
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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.
The Symptoms Of Kidney Infections In Women
28 September, 2018
Because of womens anatomy, were more prone to kidney infections. Just a simple urinary tract infection can become complicated, travel to one of the kidneys, and cause the unpleasant consequences that some of us are unfortunate enough to already know about.
In this article, well take a look at the symptoms of kidney infections in women so you can be more prepared.
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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.
How Are Kidney Stones Treated
Treatment includes noninvasive surgery to break up the stones so they can pass easily, typically using either shock waves or lasers.
- Shock wave lithotripsy: Shock waves target the stones from outside the body in an attempt to break them into tiny pieces.
- Laser lithotripsy: A long, thin telescope is inserted into the urethra and goes up into the bladder and then the left or right kidney. A laser is applied to shatter the stones into tiny, passable pieces.
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What Causes A Bladder Infection
Bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder cause bladder infections. Normally, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination.
Bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. This overwhelms the bodys ability to destroy them, resulting in a bladder infection.
According to the
- a frequent sensation of having to urinate, which is called urgency
- cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen or lower back
When bladder infections spread, they can also cause mid-back pain. This pain is associated with infection in the kidneys. Unlike muscular back pain, this pain will be persistent regardless of your position or activity.
A kidney infection will often cause fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Youll typically feel quite ill. Kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections and require urgent medical attention.