Seek Treatment Right Away
It is very important to get medical treatment for a kidney infection as soon as possibledo not wait for it to go away on its own. Kidney infections that are not treated soon enough can cause permanent kidney damage or can spread to other parts of your body and cause an even more serious infection, such as an infection in your blood , which can be fatal.
If you have pain, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain medicines. You can also use a heating pad to help with pain. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water.
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.
What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract consists of:
- The kidneys: The majority of humans have two kidneys, one on either side of the abdomen. Kidneys clear poisonous substances from the blood.
- The ureters: Urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Each kidney has one ureter connecting it to the bladder.
- The bladder: This is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine.
- The urethra: A tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In males, the urethra travels down the middle of the penis to an opening at the end. In females, the urethra runs from the bladder to just above the vaginal opening. The urethra in females is shorter than in males.
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How Is A Uti Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may include:
- Antibiotic medicine
- A heating pad or medicines to relieve pain
- Drinking plenty of water
Your child’s healthcare provider may want to see your child back again a few days after treatment starts to see how treatment is working.
Talk with your childs healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all treatments.
How Is A Uti Diagnosed
To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor or nurse will test a clean sample of your urine. This means you will first wipe your genital area with a special wipe. Then you will collect your urine in midstream in a cup. Your doctor or nurse may then test your urine for bacteria to see whether you have a UTI, which can take a few days.
If you have had a UTI before, your doctor may order more tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include:
- A cystogram. This is a special type of x-ray of your urinary tract. These x-rays can show any problems, including swelling or kidney stones.
- A cystoscopic exam. The cystoscope is a small tube the doctor puts into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder for any problems.
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How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
- Blood and urine test results may show an infection. The tests can also show what bacteria is causing your child’s infection.
- An ultrasound may show if there is a problem with the structure of your child’s kidney.
- A voiding cystourethrography is an imaging test that may show if your child has vesicoureteral reflux.
Common Causes Of Utis In Men
Inactive lifestyle and unhygienic conditions An inactive and unhygienic lifestyle is a major cause of urinary tract infection in m. If a man does not clean the penis properly, dirt and dead cells tend to develop under the foreskin. It may ultimately cause harmful bacterial growth to reach the male urinary tract and result in urinary tract infection. Therefore, uncircumcised males are at higher risk of getting a UTI. Especially, uncircumcised males with a tight foreskin that cannot be retracted easily come in contact with a urinary tract infection.
Bowel incontinence and urinary tract infections- There are high chances for a male to catch a UTI if he is already dealing with fecal or bowel incontinence. The frequent leakage of the fecal matter can cause harmful bacteria to reach the urinary tract fast. Also, its a fact that males with bowel incontinence are 3 times more at the risk of developing urinary tract infections.
Drinking less water If a man does not drink enough water every day, he becomes more prone to a urinary tract infection. Drinking 7-8 glasses of water everyday flush out harmful bacteria out of the body. Hence, drinking less water can be a major cause of UTI in men.
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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
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 Are Utis And Who Should Care
UTIs are infections of the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the system that creates, collects, and gets rid of urine from your body. When bacteria enter the urinary system and find a place to grow, this is called a UTI.
Your urinary tract begins with your kidneys, which create urine. A pair of tubes called ureters carry urine from your kidneys down into your bladder. Urine is held in your bladder until you are ready to empty it. When you go to the bathroom, urine comes out through your urethra, which is the tube that connects your bladder to the outside.
Infections of the kidney, called pyelonephritis, can be quite serious. Bladder infections, called cystitis, are the most common type of UTI. Usually, when people talk about a UTI, they are talking about a bladder infection.
Drink Plenty Of Liquids
Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly water, will help to wash bacteria from your bladder and urinary tract.
Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts may also help prevent urinary tract infections . However, you should avoid cranberry juice or extracts if you’re taking warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots. Cranberry juice can make the effects of warfarin more potent, so there’s a risk of excessive bleeding.
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Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
It’s important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
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 youre 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 youre 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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Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
Risk Factors For A Kidney Infection
There are a few things that can up your risk factor of contracting a kidney infection, according to the Mayo Clinic, and some you have zero control over:
Having avagina. The urethra, that small tube that carries urine out of your body, is shorter in people with vaginas than it is in people with penises. That makes it easier for bacteria to travel from outside your body into the bladder. Your urethra is also close to your vagina and anus, which opens you up to more chances that bacteria from one of those areas will get into your urinary tract.
Having something blocking your urinary tract. That can be anything that slows down the flow of urine or makes it hard for you to fully empty your bladder when you pee, like a kidney stone.
Having a weak immune system. Having an underlying medical condition like diabetes or HIV, or using medications that tamp down on your immune system, can increase your risk.
Other potential risk factors include having damage to the nerves around your bladder, using a urinary catheter for the first time, and having a condition like vesicoureteral reflux, which causes urine to flow the wrong way, the Mayo Clinic says.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI. A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service and can prescribe antibiotics if they’re needed.
How Are Recurrent Utis Treated
Treatment for recurrent UTIs depends on what’s causing them. Sometimes the answer is as simple as teaching a child to empty their bladder as soon as they have the urge to go.
If a condition like VUR is causing the infections, the solution is a bit more complicated. Kids with VUR must be watched closely, because it can lead to kidney infection and kidney damage. Most kids outgrow the condition. Some might need surgery to correct the reflux.
Some kids with VUR benefit from daily treatment with a small amount of antibiotics, which can also make surgery unnecessary. Kids with VUR should see a pediatric urologist, who can decide if antibiotic treatment is the best option.
In some cases, surgery is needed to correct VUR. The most common procedure is ureteral reimplantation, in which one or both of the ureters are repositioned to correct the backflow of urine from the bladder. This procedure requires only a small incision and, in some children, can be done using robotic-assisted laparoscopy. When surgery is necessary, the success rate is high, but not everyone is a good candidate for it.
Kids may be candidates for ureteral reimplantation if they:
- have an intolerance to antibiotics
- get recurrent infections while on antibiotic treatment
- have severe, or “high-grade,” reflux
- are older kids and teens with reflux
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When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and have pain that will not go away in your tummy, lower back or genitals.
You should also see a GP if you have symptoms of a UTI that have not improved after a few days, or if you have blood in your pee.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you cannot get a GP appointment and need urgent medical attention, go to your nearest urgent care centre .
If you do not have a local UCC, go to your nearest A& E.
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.
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Use Nonaspirin Pain Relievers
Nonaspirin pain relievers can help relieve discomfort. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help break fevers caused by the infection.
However, note that if you have kidney dysfunction, or acute kidney injury, as a result of a kidney infection, its important to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen .
How To Prevent Kidney Infection
Some changes in your lifestyle may prevent or reduce the possibility of kidney infection, including:
- Always drink plenty of water.
- Do not store the urine for a long time. Urinate immediately whenever you feel the urge.
- Use lubricated condoms instead of spermicidal ones.
- Maintain proper hygiene of your genital area after urinating and a bowel movement.
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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:
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A bacterial urinary tract infection is the most common kind of infection affecting the urinary tract. Urine, or pee, is the fluid that kidneys filter out of the bloodstream. Pee contains salts and waste products, but it doesn’t normally contain bacteria. When bacteria get into the bladder or kidney and multiply in the pee, a UTI can happen.
There are three main types of UTI. Bacteria that infect only the urethra cause urethritis . Bacteria can also cause a bladder infection, which is called cystitis . Another, more serious kind of UTI is infection of the kidney itself, known as pyelonephritis . With this type of UTI, a person often has back pain, high fever, and vomiting.
The most common type of UTI is cystitis. These mostly just cause discomfort and inconvenience. Bladder infections can be quickly and easily treated. And it’s important to get treatment promptly to avoid the more serious infection that reaches the kidneys.
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