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How Do They Treat A Kidney Infection

When To See Your Gp

How to Treat a Kidney Infection

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

What Can I Do To Help Prevent My Child From Getting A Kidney Infection

If you suspect your child has a UTI, get them prompt medical treatment to help prevent the UTI from turning into a kidney infection. Here are some tips for preventing UTIs.

While preventative antibiotics have been found to reduce the number of recurrent UTIs, there isnt any evidence that their use decreases the risk of kidney infection or scarring. Uncircumcised boys that are less than one year old are ten times more likely to get UTIs than circumcised boys, but by age two the risk decreases and circumcision does not have an effect on infection rates.

Antibiotics For A Kidney Infection

Antibiotics are the main treatment for a kidney infection, and are usually the only treatment thats needed.

If your doctor strongly suspects that you have a kidney infection based on your symptoms, you may be immediately prescribed an antibiotic that targets the most common bacteria that cause kidney infections.

Once your lab test results are in, your doctor may adjust your prescription based on the exact type of bacteria causing your infection. These antibiotics may be taken by mouth or IV.

Usually, your symptoms will start to get better within a few days of starting on antibiotics. But even if you feel better, its important to take the full course of antibiotics youve been prescribed.

Depending on the specific drug you take, your course of antibiotics will typically last for 5 to 14 days. Taking the full course ensures that all bacteria causing your infection are eliminated.

Antibiotics used to treat kidney infections include:

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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.

Can I Prevent A Kidney Infection

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You cant always stop a kidney infection from developing, but you may be able to reduce your risk by drinking lots of water. This helps to flush bacteria out of your ureters and keeps your kidneys healthy.

You can also reduce your risk of developing a kidney infection by peeing as soon as youve finished having sex and peeing as soon as you feel the urge to go to the toilet. This helps to stop bacteria from building up in your urinary tract and reduces the chances of an infection developing.

Women should also wipe from front to back when using the toilet, to reduce chances of bacteria getting into the urethra.

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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 that do require medical attention. Untreated, a kidney infection can quickly cause long-term kidney damage or kidney scarring. These infections can also cause sepsis, which can lead to .

Because of this, a kidney infection can be fatal if it progresses. Its important to have it treated immediately by a healthcare professional.

Note that kidney stones, if left untreated, can also cause a blockage that can lead to infection and sepsis. This may require a procedure done with intravenous antibiotics by a urologist.

What If Im Pregnant

If you have a kidney infection and youre pregnant, you’ll probably need to be treated in a hospital. You may need different antibiotics and doctors may want to attach a drip so that your medication can be delivered straight into your bloodstream.

Your doctors may also need to take regular blood tests and urine samples to monitor your progress.

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What Causes Kidney Infections

A kidney infection is caused by a bacterial infection that moves from your dog’s bladder up the ureters, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. The most common bacteria that are seen in kidney infections are E. coli and Staphylococcus. Other bacteria such as Proteus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and pseudomonas can also cause bladder infection and can be seen in dogs with kidney infections.

What Is A Kidney Infection Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention

Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infection) | Causes, Pathophysiology, Signs & Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, occurs when harmful bacteria reach your kidneys as part of a urinary tract infection .

Most UTIs dont involve the kidneys. They affect only your lower urinary tract, meaning your urethra and bladder. But sometimes an infection that begins there moves into your upper urinary tract, affecting one or both kidneys.

Its also possible to get a kidney infection following surgery, if bacteria enter your body during the procedure and travel through your bloodstream to your kidneys. In this case, your lower urinary tract may not be affected.

If you have symptoms of a UTI or bladder infection such as pain with urination, smelly urine, low back pain, or discolored urine its important to seek medical treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to your kidneys.

Kidney infections can be quite painful and require prompt evaluation and treatment. If your infection isnt treated soon enough, it may permanently damage your kidneys or spread to your bloodstream, possibly leading to and the impairment of other vital organs.

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Treatment Of Kidney Infection

Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.

You may also need painkillers.

If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.

Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.

People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.

Things You Can Try Yourself

If you have a kidney infection, try not to “hover” over the toilet seat when you go to the loo because it can result in your bladder not being fully emptied.

It’s also important for most people with a kidney infection to drink plenty of fluids because this will help to flush out the bacteria from your kidneys. Aim to drink enough so that you’re frequently passing pale-coloured urine.

If you have kidney failure, get advice from your doctor on how much to drink.

Make sure you get plenty of rest. A kidney infection can be physically draining, even if you’re normally healthy and strong. It may take up to 2 weeks before you’re fit enough to return to work.

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When To Seek Urgent Care Or Go To The Hospital

Some symptoms point to a more severe infection that needs prompt medical attention.

Go to an urgent care center or hospital if you have any of the symptoms below, which may or may not occur alongside the other UTI symptoms listed above:

  • back or side pain
  • nausea or vomiting

Kidney infections can cause potentially serious complications. If you feel like something isnt right, dont hesitate to seek care as soon as possible.

Without treatment, a kidney infection can cause serious complications. These can include:

What Do I Need To Know About A Kidney Infection In My Child

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A kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection . A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is a bacterial infection. The infection usually starts in your child’s bladder or urethra and moves into his or her kidney. One or both kidneys may be infected. Kidney infections are more common in children younger than 3 years.

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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.

Home Remedies And Treatments For Kidney Infections

Some people prefer to treat medical conditions with home remedies or complementary remedies.

Because of how serious kidney infections are, its important that you dont rely on home remedies. Instead, take the prescription antibiotics a doctor gives you and use home remedies to help ease symptoms or pain.

You can also use home remedies to avoid UTIs and improve kidney function.

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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.

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Kidney Infection Medications

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Most antibiotics cause gastrointestinal problems including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. All antibiotics can cause a serious secondary diarrheal infection due to a bacteria known as Clostridium difficile. The most serious side effects of fluoroquinolones are psychiatric disorders, heart problems, and tendon problems.

Analgesics like acetaminophen are relatively safe when taken as directed. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal: nausea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Acetaminophen, however, can be toxic in excess. Acetaminophen overdose damages the liver and could require emergency treatment and hospitalization.

Side effects will vary based on the medication. This is not a complete list, and you should consult with a healthcare professional for possible side effects and drug interactions based on your specific situation.

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How Are Utis Treated

UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. Its important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.

If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but its harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.

If youve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms arent much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.

Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.

People who get a doctors help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .

A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.

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Can Kidney Infections Be Prevented

You can reduce your chances of developing a kidney infection by keeping your bladder and urethra free from bacteria. This can include drinking plenty of fluids, keeping your genitals clean and treating any constipation.

The symptoms of a kidney infection usually develop quite quickly over a few hours or days.

Common symptoms include:

  • pain and discomfort in your side, lower back or around your genitals
  • high temperature
  • shivering or chills
  • feeling very weak or tired
  • loss of appetite

You may have other symptoms if you also have cystitis or urethritis . These additional symptoms may include:

  • pain or a burning sensation during urination
  • need to urinate frequently or urgently
  • feeling that you’re unable to urinate fully
  • blood in your urine
  • cloudy or foul smelling urine
  • pain in your lower abdomen

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Diagnosis Of Kidney Infection

Your GP will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Theyll examine you and ask you to give a urine sample. This urine sample can be tested to see if you have an infection. This is sometimes called a dipstick test. Your GP will also send a urine sample to a laboratory to find out which type of bacteria is causing the infection.

If you have a severe kidney infection or your GP is unsure if you have a kidney infection, they may arrange extra tests. These may include:

  • blood tests
  • scans which can check for problems such as blocked tubes or kidney stones

What Are The Symptoms Of An Acute Kidney Infection

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Signs and symptoms vary with age:

  • Newborns: no fever but poor feeding and vomiting
  • Children < 2: may have a fever , a poor appetite, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Children > 2: fever, appetite changes, stomach or lower back pain, symptoms of urgency, frequency and pain with urination

If a toilet trained child is having accidents during the day or night, it may be a sign of an infection. Typically a childs urine will have a strong, foul odor, and there may be blood in the urine.

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Causes Of Kidney Infection

A kidney infection usually happens when bacteria, often a type called E. coli, get into the tube that carries urine out of your body .

The bacteria travel up to your bladder, causing cystitis, and then up into your kidneys.

E. coli bacteria normally live in your bowel, where they cause no harm.

They can be transferred from your bottom to your genitals during sex or if you’re not careful when wiping your bottom after going to the loo.

A kidney infection can sometimes develop without a bladder infection. For example, if you have a problem with your kidney, such as kidney stones, or if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system.

What Causes A Kidney Infection

The bacteria or viruses that cause kidney infections usually come from another part of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, ureters or urethra and spread to your kidneys. Less commonly, the bacteria or viruses come from an infection elsewhere in your body.

Kidney infection can also happen if the flow of urine through your urinary tract is blocked. This can happen due to:

  • Kidney stones
  • An enlarged prostate
  • A problem with the shape of your urinary tract that makes it harder for urine to pass through

A kidney infection is not contagiousyou cannot catch one from another person or spread a kidney infection if you have one.

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Can You Prevent Kidney Infections

Prevention of urinary tract and kidney infection primarily focuses on reducing the associated risk factors. As mentioned earlier, the majority of urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria gaining entry into the urinary system through the urethra. Therefore, personal hygiene plays an important role in preventing kidney infection.

Examples of preventative measures include:

  • Emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse or wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom may significantly reduce the chance of developing kidney infection in women.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids has been shown to be the single most effective measure for preventing urinary tract infections.
  • In individuals with long-standing urinary catheters, routinely scheduled changing of the catheter as well as regular cleaning around the catheter’s entry into the urethra are important steps in prevention of urinary tract infections.
  • If kidney stones are the predisposing factor to repeated kidney infections, the removal of the stone and preventing future stones from forming may be necessary. These individuals may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and removal of kidney stones.
  • Cranberries and cranberry juice can be beneficial in preventing kidney infections. It is important to note that cranberries may not treat an existing kidney infection, but have been found to be a simple preventive measure in addition to the other measures listed above.

Whos Most Likely To Get A Kidney Infection

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Women and children are most at risk of developing a kidney infection, as well as other urinary tract infections such as cystitis.

Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:

  • having a condition that blocks, or obstructs, your urinary tract, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate children with constipation can also be at an increased risk
  • being born with an abnormality in your urinary tract
  • having a condition that prevents you emptying your bladder fully, such as an injury to your spinal cord this can allow bacteria in your bladder to multiply and spread
  • having a weakened immune system for example, due to type 2 diabetes or as a side effect of chemotherapy
  • having an infection of the prostate gland called prostatitis the infection can spread from the prostate gland into the kidneys
  • having a urinary catheter
  • being female and sexually active sexual intercourse can irritate the urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
  • being pregnant this can cause physical changes that slow the flow of urine out of your body and make it easier for bacteria to spread to the kidneys
  • having undergone female genital mutilation an illegal practice where a womans genitals are deliberately cut or changed for cultural, religious and social reasons

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