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HomeFactsHow To Prevent A Uti From Becoming A Kidney Infection

How To Prevent A Uti From Becoming A Kidney Infection

Treatment For Utis Vs Kidney Infection Treatment

How To Treat Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) At Home

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.

How Can Parents Help

At home, these things can help prevent recurrent UTIs in kids:

Drinking Fluids Encourage kids to drink 810 glasses of water and other fluids each day. Cranberry juice and cranberry extract are often suggested because they may prevent E. coli from attaching to the walls of the bladder. Always ask your doctor, though, if your child should drink cranberry juice or cranberry extract, because they can affect some medicines.

Good Bathroom Habits Peeing often and preventing constipation can help to prevent recurrent infections.

No Bubble Baths Kids should avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps because they can irritate the urethra.

Frequent Diaper Changes Kids in diapers should be changed often. If poop stays in the genital area for a long time, it can lead to bacteria moving up the urethra and into the bladder.

Proper Wiping Girls should wipe from front to back after using the toilet to reduce exposure of the urethra to UTI-causing bacteria in poop.

Cotton Underwear Breathable cotton underwear is less likely to encourage bacterial growth near the urethra than nylon or other fabrics.

Regular Bathroom Visits Some kids may not like to use the school bathroom or may become so engrossed in a project that they delay peeing. Kids with UTIs should pee at least every 3 to 4 hours to help flush bacteria from the urinary tract.

Are Some Women More At Risk For Utis

Yes. You may be at greater risk for a UTI if you:1,5

  • Are sexually active. Sexual activity can move germs that cause UTIs from other areas, such as the vagina, to the urethra.
  • Use a diaphragm for birth control or use spermicides with a diaphragm or with condoms. Spermicides can kill good bacteria that protect you from UTIs.
  • Are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can change the bacteria in the urinary tract, making UTIs more likely. Also, many pregnant women have trouble completely emptying the bladder, because the uterus with the developing baby sits on top of the bladder during pregnancy. Leftover urine with bacteria in it can cause a UTI.
  • Have gone through menopause. After menopause, loss of the hormone estrogen causes vaginal tissue to become thin and dry. This can make it easier for harmful bacteria to grow and cause a UTI.
  • Have diabetes, which can lower your immune system and cause nerve damage that makes it hard to completely empty your bladder
  • Have any condition, like a kidney stone, that may block the flow of urine between your kidneys and bladder
  • Have or recently had a catheter in place. A catheter is a thin tube put through the urethra into the bladder. Catheters drain urine when you cannot pass urine on your own, such as during surgery.

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How Do Doctors Treat A Kidney Infection

Doctors treat most kidney infections with antibiotics . Doctors will often first prescribe an antibiotic that fights the most common types of kidney infection because it is very important to treat a kidney infection right away. Then, they may change the type of antibiotic after they get the results of your blood or urine tests.

Doctors will prescribe an antibiotic medicine based on:

  • What type of bacteria is causing the infection
  • How severe the infection is
  • If you are you are pregnant
  • If you are older than 65
  • If you had problems from certain antibiotics in the past, such as allergic reactions

If you have a very serious infection, you may need to stay in the hospital to get antibiotics through an IV . You may also get medicine for pain.

If your kidney infection was caused by a problem with the shape of your urinary tract, you may need to have surgery to correct the problem and prevent future kidney infections.

What Is My Risk For Uti

Urinary Tract Infection Or UTI In Teens

Anyone can get UTI. However, people with SCI have a higher risk than normal.

  • People with SCI who use an indwelling Foley or suprapubic catheter may be at higher risk for UTI than those who use a clean intermittent catheterization technique or have an external sheath or condom catheter.
  • Talk to your health professional about lowering your risk for UTI if you average more than one UTI per year. Your health professional may suggest another method of bladder management that works better for you.
  • Women may be at a higher risk for UTI than men because a womans urethra is shorter and located closer to the anus. This can make it easier for bacteria from the colon to enter the bladder through the urethra.
  • Recommended Reading: Acv And Kidneys

    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.

    If Utis Go Untreated What Can Occur

    If left untreated, some bladder infections will go away on their own. The main concern with delaying treatment for UTIs is the discomfort that they cause. Generally, UTI symptoms improve within a few days after starting antibiotics. Prolonged bladder infections can lead to a period of bladder pain and urinary frequency after the infection has resolved. In rare cases, untreated bladder infections can lead to bacteria entering the ureters and cause infection within the kidneys.

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    How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections

    Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.

    What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infections

    What You Need To Know About Your Kidneys: Urinary Tract Infection in Children

    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.

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    Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

    Small kidney stones may go undetected and be passed out painlessly in the urine. But its fairly common for a stone to block part of the urinary system, such as the:

    • ureter the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder
    • urethra the tube urine passes through on its way out of the body

    A blockage can cause severe pain in the abdomen or groin and sometimes causes a urinary tract infection .

    Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent A Kidney Infection

    When it comes to preventing a kidney infection, its all about preventing UTIs that affect your urethra and bladder. Here are some ways you can help avoid an infection:

    • Wipe from front to back. For women, this ensures bacteria from your anus doesnt enter your urethra.
    • Drink plenty of water to help flush the urinary tract.
    • Dont hold it. Use the bathroom when you need to go.
    • Avoid using spermicide and diaphragms, and choose another form of birth control, such as lubricated condoms.
    • Use the bathroom after sex to reduce bacteria that colonizes the urethra. There is no convincing data that it is effective, but it isnt harmful, Dr. Sussman added.
    • Postmenopausal women who develop recurrent cystitis may benefit from vaginal estrogen to reduce vaginal dryness.
    • Dont rely on over-the-counter remedies to treat your UTI, like cranberry juice or D-Mannose, to prevent a UTI or kidney infection. Several studies have shown no benefit with cranberry supplements or juice, Dr. Sussman said.

    Read Also: Can Kidney Stones Increase Blood Sugar

    What Is The Outlook For Kidney Infections

    With treatment, the outlook for kidney infections is very positive. It is vital that you take all of any prescribed medications for the infection. You may begin feeling better shortly after beginning a treatment, but still need to take the entire prescribed treatment.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/22/2019.


    • National Kidney Foundation. Urinary Tract Infections Accessed 5/23/19.
    • National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Pyelonephritis: Kidney Infection Accessed 5/23/19.

    Symptoms Of Kidney Stones From Small Big Stones

    Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) &  Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
    • Post author Scientific review: Dr Hebens Team

    Kidney stone disease is one of the most painful urological disorders and prevalent in society. More than one million kidney stone cases are diagnosed each year and 10 percent of people suffering from kidney stones at some point in his life. Fortunately, the majority of kidney stones out of the body without any intervention. If youre not so lucky, the following information will help you and your doctor to address causes, symptoms and complications that may be caused by kidney stones. We should learn about the signs and the symptoms of kidney stones, so we know when to seek the treatment.

    What Is the Kidney Stone?

    Kidney stones are pieces of solid material that formed when substances that are normally dissolved in the urine becomes highly concentrated. The solid material is often formed from calcium, oxalate, and phosphate. Kidney stones may be only a few millimeters in diameter, or about the size of small stones.

    Kidney stones are most common in men, but statistics are now showing more cases of kidney stones in women and children. Dietary factors may play a role in increasing the number of cases of kidney stones.

    Symptoms of kidney stones usually will not be felt by the sufferer if still small. Symptoms also will not be felt if the kidney stones are so small that excluded them from the body through the ureter with ease.

    Symptoms of kidney stones

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    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.

    Addressing Underlying Problems That Raise Your Risk

    Sometimes, your risk of developing a kidney infection may be higher because of an underlying health condition in your urinary tract, such as:

    In many cases, getting appropriate treatment for these conditions may reduce your risk of developing a UTI or kidney infection.

    Smaller kidney stones may be treated by drinking large amounts of water, or by taking drugs to help you pass the stone. Larger kidney stones may need to be broken up using sound waves, or removed through surgery.

    An enlarged prostate may respond to various drugs, or it may benefit from minimally invasive surgery.

    If you have a structural abnormality, like a misshapen area of your urinary tract, you may be at greater risk for repeated UTIs.

    If imaging scans reveal certain abnormalities when youre having a kidney infection diagnosed, once your treatment is over, you may be referred to a nephrologist or urologist to be evaluated for surgery to help prevent a future infection.

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    Risk Factors For Kidney Infections

    Are you at risk of a kidney infection? There are many factors that have been shown to increase your risk, including:

    • Catheter use
    • Problems emptying your bladder completely
    • Sex: females are at a greater risk
    • Stress incontinence
    • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
    • Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to flow backward
    • Weakened immune system

    Did you know? One in five women will experience at least one bladder infection in their lifetime. Left untreated, the infection can travel to the kidneys via two tubes called ureters and cause a more serious infection.

    How Is A Uti Diagnosed

    How to Treat a Kidney Infection

    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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    Preventing Utis And Kidney Stones

    Of course, even when every precaution is taken, someone may still develop a UTI or kidney stone, but there are plenty of ways to decrease the likelihood. Here are some of the best ways to reduce the risk of suffering from a urinary tract infection or kidney stone.

    • Drink plenty of fluid, especially water. Remaining hydrated assures the kidneys can produce sufficient urine to dilute sediment, reducing the risk of developing a kidney stone. Fluid helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract, so they dont have as much of a chance to proliferate. Six or more eight-ounce glasses of water a day are recommended for optimal hydration.
    • Wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria that lead to UTIs from the vagina and anus to the urethra.
    • Avoid diets high in sugar. Sugar can irritate the urinary tract, making it more susceptible to bacterial growth, and it can cause excess calcium to settle in the kidneys that form stones.
    • Clean before and after sex and urinate as soon as possible after sex. This reduces the transfer of bacteria from skin to urethra and helps rinse out the urethra.

    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.

    Read Also: Std That Affects Kidneys

    What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti

    Common symptoms of a UTI include:

    • Pain while urinating
    • Urine may be pinkish or light red
    • Women likely to experience pelvic pain
    • Men likely to experience rectal pain

    If the UTI spreads to the upper tract, then more severe symptoms may be experienced, including:

    • Back or side pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

    Remember when we said upper tract infections are more severe and have more critical symptoms? This is when it gets confusing to tell the difference between a UTI and a kidney stone, because the symptoms between a UTI in the upper tract are very similar to kidney stones symptoms.

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    Pyelonephritis And Caox Nephropathy Potentiate Each Other

    A Urinary Tract Infection Overview

    Whereas 16S rRNA gene sequencing and EQUC consistently detected the presence of bacteria in the limited number of urinary stones that we analyzed, it is not known whether the association between bacteria and USD is causal, disease modifying or merely coincidental. To further evaluate the association between USD and bacteria, we compared the renal bacterial burden and CaOx deposit number per cross section in mice with CaOx nephropathy and pyelonephritis by transurethral inoculation of uropathogenic E. coli induced alone and in combination . The combination of CaOx and experimental pylenonephritis resulted in a 130-fold higher bacterial burden than experimental alone . Conversely, the CaOx deposit number normalized to mean cross section area was 2.7-fold higher when both CaOx and UPEC were present compared to CaOx nephropathy alone .

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