What Happens If A Kidney Infection Is Left Untreated
If a kidney infection is left untreated, it can lead to a number of complications including kidney scarring, blood poisoning, and pregnancy complications if you are expecting which is why its crucial to get in touch with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms or signs of kidney infection .
Its important to note that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a kidney infection including drinking plenty of water, urinating after sex, and going to the bathroom once you feel the urge to go.
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One of the most reliable ways to keep an eye on your kidney health is through regular testing this can be done with your doctor or if you would prefer, from the comfort of home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds Kidney Function Test allows you to monitor your kidney function and performance. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should consider taking a Kidney Function Test if any of the below are applicable to you:
- You suffer from high blood pressure
- You suffer from diabetes
- You have suffered an acute injury
- You have persistent urinary tract infections
- You have kidney disease or a family history of one
- You have kidney stones or a family history of them
- You have a high protein diet
- You have been taking performance-enhancing drugs
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Lab Tests For Kidney Infection
The most common lab tests to help diagnose a kidney infection are two types of urine test:
Urinalysis For this test, youll urinate into a container at your doctors office or lab. A sample of your urine will be viewed under a microscope, to look for bacteria or white blood cells, which can indicate an infection.
Its possible for healthy people to have bacteria in their urine, so its important for urinalysis results to be viewed in the context of your symptoms, rather than as definitive evidence of an infection.
Urine Culture To help determine what kind of bacteria are causing your infection and guide your treatment, a sample of your urine may be placed in a container where the bacteria can grow for one to three days.
In some cases, your doctor may order a blood test to look for signs of an infection. This can involve two different tests:
Peripheral Blood Smear For this test, a thin layer of your blood is viewed under a microscope to look for an elevated white blood cell count and for neutrophils, the type of white blood cells that fight infection.
Blood Culture A sample of your blood is placed in a container to encourage bacterial growth, then examined over one to three days for bacteria that would indicate an infection.
While 20 to 30 percent of kidney infections show positive blood culture results, theres little evidence that this testing helps guide treatment or improve outcomes, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
How Can A Kidney Infection Be Successfully Treated
The type of treatment your doctor will provide depends on the severity of the infection. If the infection is mild, oral antibiotics are the first line of treatment. These usually take care of the problem in about two weeks.
For a more serious infection, your doctor may keep you in the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics and intravenous fluids. Below, weve listed some things you can do at home to help your kidneys recover alongside your doctors treatments.
Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
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.
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How Long Does A Uti Last
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If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.
What Is Kidney Infection
Infection in the urinary tract can involve the lower tract especially the bladder , prostate or the upper tract and kidney . It is usually a bacterial infection. The disease occurs in roughly three to seven of every 10,000 people in the United States. The occurrence in pregnant women is about 2 percent. It is readily treatable if diagnosed early.
A bacteria called Escherichia Coli causes about 90 percent of kidney infections. The bacteria migrate from the genitals through the urethra into the bladder and up the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys.
Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus infections, can enter the kidneys from the bloodstream.
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Signs Of Kidney Disease
Negative Urine Tests With Kidney Infection
Im a 61 year old woman, generally healthy but have just recently had a kidney infection. This was my second, previous one 2 years ago. First infection came on totally out of the blue with no preceding UTI. This time did have a UTI and stupidly accepted 3 days of Trimethoprim! 3 weeks later after feeling nauseous and exhausted for days, started back pain but it was Friday night! Had to go to emergency doctor who refused to believe it was a kidney infection due to negative urine test Long story short, eventually after 2 days got Cefalexin and have very slowly recovered. Have seen urologist who is concerned by the fact that my urine tests show no infection although he says that from my symptoms I have progressed to septicaemia on both occasion. This has frightened me a lot! Anyone got any advice for me? Please.
0 likes, 8 replies
4 years ago
Ive recently gone through something similar. It was either a bladder infection or kidney infection , ALL tests come back negative and guess what happened nextan ultrasound months later due to stabbing pain showed my kidney had shrunk significantly in size! Im really mad about this. I was going to donate a kidney to my mom, as she is likely gonna need one. Its very unfair. I tried hard to get help for the symptoms, and was diagnosed with IC. Which the bladder does show I have. But stillThey said it was likely due to infection.
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How To Detect Kidney Infection
Untreated kidney infection or simply wrong diagnosis can bring more harm than good. Often many people do not associate back pain as a sign of kidney infection. There is often a misconception in this regard. So in actual, is kidney infection the cause of back pain? Not necessarily. Although the infection can cause back pain just like muscle strain or any other injuries to the back, it is not always the case. Typically to differentiate between a kidney infection and any other injuries, one has to first understand the kidneys location and position in the body. As there are two kidneys in the body both located on the opposite side of the spine and positioned right above the hips, pain from a kidney infection generally happens at these areas.
What Are The Signs Of A Kidney Infection And What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like Anyway
Both bladder and kidney infections share some symptoms such as painful urination, frequency, and urgency, but usually only kidney infections present with back pain, nausea or vomiting, fever, and chills, Dr. Movassaghi says. This pain is known as flank pain in the medical community and usually presents on either side of your body between your upper abdomen and lower back. Youll likely notice a deep, dull ache in the area, which is where your kidney pain would likely manifest.
So if youre a young or middle-aged adult, the signs of a kidney infection are similar to what you might experience in the beginning stages of UTI symptoms with extra unpleasantness thrown on top. Heres a breakdown of what to look out for:
- Pain in your back, side, or groin area,
- Nausea or vomiting
An important FYI: Kidney infection signs can differ depending on your age. Adults over 65 might not have any of the typical symptoms and instead present with cognitive issues like confusion, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.
Babies and toddlers, especially girls and uncircumcised boys, can be prone to kidney infections too. And when children under two are affected, the only symptom they might have is a high fever, notes the NIDDK.
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Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections In Adults
Urinary tract infection is the second most common type of infection, leading to millions of doctor visits per year in the United States. Doctors at NYU Langone are skilled in diagnosing and treating UTI in both men and women.
The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, which filter waste from the blood and produce urine the ureters, which carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder the bladder, which stores it and the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. A UTI can occur at any point along this tract.
Women are more prone to UTIs than men because a womans urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. This makes it easier for bacteria from the bowel to enter the bladder.
UTIs are also common in children, accounting for up to 1 million pediatrician visits each year, and in older adults.
UTIs are typically caused by bacteria around the urethra, in the vagina, or in the bowel. Sexual activity can cause bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, or E. coli, to enter the urethral opening, particularly in women. UTIs can also be caused by certain bacteria that are present in the urethra and the reproductive system.
To diagnose a UTI, your NYU Langone doctor asks about your medical history, performs a physical exam, and may recommend one or more tests.
What Are Potential Kidney Infection Complications
Most people recover 100% from a kidney infectionbut there is the possibility of serious complications if one is left untreated. As we mentioned, a kidney infection that doesnt get treated can cause a condition known as sepsis. This happens when your body responds overzealously to an infection, which can lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure and cause the body to go into shock, according to the NIDDK. This can make your organs fail, which, in the most extreme cases, can lead to death.
Even in non-life-threatening cases, if you have a kidney infection that becomes chronic, you can wind up with permanent kidney damage that can cause problems like kidney disease or high blood pressure. In pregnant people, untreated kidney infections can also increase the risk of having a baby with low birth weight, notes the Mayo Clinic.
All of that sounds scary, but heres whats most important to know: A kidney infection is treatable. Its all about how soon you seek treatment once you start experiencing kidney infection symptoms.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Pain in your lower back, one or both sides or your groin
- Urinating more often than normal
- Feeling like you have to urinate even if you just went
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Blood or pus in your urine
- Urine that is cloudy or smells bad
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. If you are currently taking medicine to treat a UTI, but you are still having any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
How To Tell If You Have A Kidney Infection: Symptoms And Signs
Have you ever experienced a urinary tract infection ? The burning sensation when you pee and the urge to visit the bathroom slightly more often than usual are both things that anyone who has had the infection is sure to look back on with not so fond memories. Whats important to note though, is that these symptoms are also common indicators of something more significant: a kidney infection.
According to the NHS, kidney infections are actually quite rare, with estimates suggesting that one out of every 830 people will develop a kidney infection every year in the UK . Still, knowing the common symptoms and signs of a kidney infection is crucial so you can avoid any potential complications and make sure your kidneys remain healthy and in good working order!
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Getting Tested For A Uti
Testing for a UTI usually takes place in a doctors office, laboratory, or hospital. Most tests for UTIs involve a urine sample obtained by clean-catch or catheterization. Your doctor can help determine which method is appropriate for you.
- Clean catch urine samples are collected by patients with special precautions to prevent outside germs from getting into the urine sample. Patients are given instructions on obtaining a clean catch sample and avoiding contamination.
- Catheterization involves inserting a thin rubber tube through the urethra into the bladder. When performing this procedure, the urine is collected in a sterile container for testing before removing the catheter.
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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What Are Utis And Kidney Infections
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract the urethra, bladder and kidneys. Normally, your body flushes out harmful bacteria with urine. However, sometimes bacteria can still travel inside and infect the urinary tract. Infections can develop after having sex, using vaginal douches or spermicides, or when the bladder doesnt empty.
Women get UTIs more frequently than men because a womans urethra is shorter than a mans, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily. However, men can still get UTIs. People with diabetes and those with weakened immune systems may also be at higher risk for UTIs.
Kidney infections are a type of UTI. Most kidney infections occur when bacteria that infect the lower urinary tract travel to one or both kidneys. Kidney infections can be serious, and its important to treat them soon to avoid getting very sick.
UTIs cause pain or burning during urination. You may also have:
- Cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling urine
- Difficulty urinating
A kidney infection can also cause the symptoms listed above, as well as:
- Pain in the back, side or groin
Your doctor is ultimately the best person to decide if you have a UTI or kidney infection, Dr. Watson says. At your exam, discuss any ongoing symptoms, and your doctor will arrange for testing.
Doctors typically will order a urine test, which involves taking a small sample of urine and sending it to a laboratory to be analyzed for bacteria and white blood cells.