How Are Kidney Infections Treated
A physician will treat the disease based on his or her examination. He or she may start the patient on the standard treatment of a course of antibiotics before the lab tests results are available. The medication may change once the exact strain of bacteria is revealed by the lab tests.
If the treatment is effective, the patient should feel better in two to three days. If not, your healthcare provider will start looking for additional problems. Most antibiotic treatments last for 14 days and it is essential that patients take the pills as recommended for the full 14 days even though symptoms may disappear after a few days. The disappearance of symptoms does not mean all bacteria are killed. Some may remain and the infection may reappear.
There is also a concern that those bacteria that remain may develop resistance to the medication. For some reason the disease is more difficult to treat in men and they may have to take medication for up to six weeks. Patients with severe illness, those that have significant nausea and vomiting, high fevers, significant pain and signs of dehydration may be hospitalized for a few days while the antibiotics are administered intravenously. Urine samples are taken after about six weeks of treatment and examined to insure the bacterial infection is eradicated.
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.
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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For A Wide Variety Of Tests: Walk
Walk-In Lab offers a range of kidney tests. People can choose between kidney function, renal function, or urinalysis screenings.
The company offers several at-home test kits as well as kidney tests that require a visit to a laboratory.
People can purchase a kidney test online and go to one of two affiliated laboratories to provide their samples. The technicians will then test the samples and return the results. Its affiliated labs are Labcorp and Quest.
However, the company states that Labcorp does not allow online lab testing for individuals residing in:
People need to contact a doctor as soon as possible if they experience any symptoms of kidney failure.
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
A number of symptoms can indicate to your doctor that you may have a kidney infection. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely the infection involves the kidney. Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Sudden onset of chills
If you experience any of these sudden onset symptoms, please seek medical attention.
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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 Antibiotics Are Used For The Treatment And Cure Of Kidney Infections
The most important component of the treatment of kidney infection is the prompt administration of antibiotics. As soon as the diagnosis of UTI or kidney infection is made by an analysis of urine, antibiotics need to be started. Typically, a strong antibiotic is started first, one which would be effective in treating all typical bacteria suspected of causing the infection. Once the actual bacteria are recovered and their sensitivity is determined, then a different antibiotic may be selected if the bacteria show resistance to the antibiotic that was originally started.
Several types of antibiotics are available and used to treat kidney infection. The choice depends on specific situations, clinical setting, tolerance, allergies, and ability to take oral medications.
Some of the common antibiotics used include
The doctor diagnosing the kidney infection can determine what is the most appropriate in a given situation.
Similar to any infection, a routine follow-up with the physician treating the kidney infection is important to assure that therapy has been effective. More immediate follow up may be necessary if the symptoms of the infection do not improve after a few days of antibiotics and supportive care. In such cases, further investigation may be necessary to rule out a complicated kidney infection and to assure that the organism causing the infection is sensitive to the prescribed antibiotics.
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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.
What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like
Generally speaking, the symptoms of a kidney infection tend to come on over a period of several hours to a day. The symptoms may include:
- Pain. This is often a dull, aching type of pain that most commonly affects the back, side, or abdomen.
- Urine changes. If you have a kidney infection, you may notice that your urine is cloudy, smells bad, or contains blood.
- Urgent, painful urination. A UTI can irritate the lining of your urinary tract. As a result, you may feel the urgent need to urinate and experience a painful, burning sensation when you do so.
- Fever. People with a kidney infection typically develop a fever, which can often be high. A raised temperature is one of your bodys ways of trying to fight the infection.
- Chills.Chills are a feeling of being cold without any apparent cause. For example, you could be wrapped up under a blanket and still shiver or feel very cold. In extreme cases, chills may lead to episodes of strong, uncontrollable shaking, which are known as rigors.
- Nausea or vomiting. The infection may cause you to feel nauseated or to vomit.
Its important to note that you may not have all of the above symptoms with a kidney infection. If you develop concerning symptoms that may point to a kidney infection, seek prompt medical care.
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Best Tool For Doctors: Healthyio
- Pricing: Depends on healthcare provider
- Test results: Within minutes
- Sample type: Urine sample
Healthy.ios CKD Early Detection Test provides testing from the comfort of your own home and send clinical-grade results automatically and securley to your healthcare provider.
Cost-saving for health systems as a tool to prevent costly disease progression
Opportunity to catch kidney disease early and halt progression
Only available through your doctor
High blood pressure is a risk factor for kidney disease, and an early indication that hypertension is leading to kidney disease is the presence of proteins in your urine. The CKD Early Detection Service uses an at-home urine test to screen the urine of high-risk people for the presence of these proteins. The Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania conducted a trial funded by the National Kidney Foundation to evaluate the effectiveness of a home testing kit combined with a smartphone app to screen for protein in the urine of patients with high blood pressure, but not kidney disease. The study found that the use of an at-home urine test combined with a smartphone app and telephone contact improved urine protein screening rates by about 11% when compared with mailed reminders alone.
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.
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Do Men And Women Feel Different Symptoms
Because of the female anatomy, women are more likely than men to develop a UTI. The female urethra is shorter and closer to the anus, which means bacteria have a shorter distance to travel in order to establish an infection. When a man gets a UTI, it is usually a more complicated condition commonly caused by an enlarged prostate or kidney stones. Both sexes experience the same uncomfortable UTI and kidney infection symptoms.
How Do The Kidneys Become Infected
Acute kidney infections are typically caused by bacteria that has gotten into the urethra and traveled up through the bladder and ureters . Some medical conditions such as bladder dysfunction, bladder obstruction, neurogenic bladder or vesicoureteral reflux along with conditions that require the use of catheters can also increase the chances of kidney infection and damage.
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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.
Treatment For Utis Vs Kidney Infection Treatment
UTIs, including kidney infections, can be treated with a course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic can depend on the type of bacteria thats causing your infection as well as how severe your infection is.
The doctor will often start you on an antibiotic that works against a wide variety of UTI-causing bacteria. If a urine culture is performed, the doctor may switch your antibiotic to one thats most effective at treating the specific bacterium thats causing your infection.
Simple UTIs can be treated with short 3- to 5-day courses of antibiotics. Treatment for kidney infections generally lasts 7 to 14 days, depending on which class of antibiotic is prescribed.
You may begin to feel better after only a few days on antibiotics. However, you should still make sure that you complete your entire treatment course as prescribed. If you do not take all of your antibiotics, the stronger bacteria may not be killed, causing your infection to persist and flare up again.
If youre pregnant, your doctor may also request a repeat urine sample following a kidney infection, even if your symptoms have resolved. This allows them to check to see whether your infection has completely cleared.
If there are still bacteria present in the sample, you may need another course of antibiotics. Persistence of bacteria can potentially harm an unborn baby.
People with severe kidney infections may need to be hospitalized. In this case, you may receive antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
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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.
What Is The Best Way To Prevent Kidney Infections
Although UTIs and kidney infections arenât 100 percent preventable, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Regularly drink plenty of water to help flush your urinary tract. Cranberry juice can also help ward off UTIs.
- Eat a high-fiber diet, as constipation can lead to kidney infections.
- Perform pelvic exercises to help strengthen the bladder, which can prevent slow leaks that lead to bladder infections.
- Donât âhold it.â Use the restroom as soon as you feel the need to urinate.
- Avoid using spermicide-coated condoms or diaphragms and choose lubrication to prevent pain and tearing that can lead to UTIs.
If you think you may have a UTI or kidney infection, visit your nearest GoHealth Urgent Care, we’re a team of healthcare professionals who can help diagnose and treat your symptoms.
GoHealth Urgent Care partners with these regional healthcare providers:
- Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in New York
- Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in San Francisco
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For Collecting Samples At Home: Letsgetchecked Kidney Test
LetsGetChecked offers a finger prick test that tests for urea, creatine, and estimated GFR.
The website features an instructional video explaining how people should collect the sample. LetsGetChecked also provides individuals with all the tools they need, such as a self-addressed envelope, blood collection tube, and wipes.
The company recommends a person take their sample before 10 a.m. on Monday to Thursday, and once they collect their sample, they can return it on the same day. LetsGetChecked also suggests avoiding protein-heavy meals before testing.
People should receive their results within 25 days and can discuss their results with LetsGetCheckeds nurses, who are available any time of the day.
The company states its laboratories are CLIA-approved and are part of the College of American Pathologists program. LetsGetChecked also accepts Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Savings Accounts as payment options.
The test costs $99 as a one-off purchase.
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.
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Diagnosis Of Kidney Infections
Besides discussing your medical history and symptoms, your doctor will do a physical exam and order some tests.
Your doctor will order a urinalysis to look for infection signs, such as high white blood cell count and bacteria. Your doctor may do a urine culture. Bacteria in urine is grown on a culture dish for about one to three days, and an expert can then see which type of bacteria is causing the infection.
How Do You Know You Have It
If symptoms occur, they might be those of kidney infection , or chronic kidney disease .
Other symptoms include:
- Pain in your side, back or abdomen
- Needing to urinate at night
- Repeated urinary tract infections in early childhood
- Single urinary tract infection in a male
Note: sometimes the disorder may not cause symptoms. It is picked up by routine blood tests, or when a patient is investigated for high blood.
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