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medications for diabetes, such as metformin or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be temporarily withdrawn until you recover.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.
Getting A Medical Diagnosis
Upset Stomach Nausea Vomiting
Why this happens:
A severe build-up of wastes in the blood can also cause nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.
What patients said:
I had a lot of itching, and I was nauseated, throwing up all the time. I couldn’t keep anything down in my stomach.
When I got the nausea, I couldn’t eat and I had a hard time taking my blood pressure pills.
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What Does Kidney Pain Feel Like
Your kidneys are fist-sized organs shaped like beans that are located at the back of the middle of your trunk, in the area called your flank. They are under the lower part of your ribcage on the right and left sides of your backbone.
Their main job is to filter waste out of your blood and produce urine to remove that waste along with extra fluid from your body.
When your kidney hurts, it usually means theres something wrong with it. Its important to determine whether your pain is coming from your kidney and or from somewhere else so that you receive the right treatment.
Because there are muscles, bones, and other organs around your kidney, its sometimes hard to tell if its your kidney or something else causing your pain. However, the type and location of the pain and other symptoms you are having can help point to your kidney as the source of your pain.
When Should You Go See Your Doctor About Back Or Kidney Pain
Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, but the good news is: It usually gets better on its own. MCG doctors suggest avoiding aggravating movements and giving heat, ice, or anti-inflammatories a try. If it doesnt clear up within six to 12 weeks, go see your primary care doctor who can assist you in finding better treatment.If, however, you are experiencing back pain after traumatic accident or have other concerning symptoms, head over to urgent care for immediate treatment.
If you suspect that you have a kidney issue, you should always schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Really anyone who has symptoms of a urinary tract infection or kidney stones should follow up with their physician to make that determination, says Santiago.
If you are pregnant and experiencing a significant fever, see emergency care to get evaluated right away, adds Santiago. Pregnant women are at a greater risk for complications so if primary care isnt available, urgent care is the best place to seek assistance.
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What Is A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are technically a type of UTI, since kidneys are part of your upper urinary tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . These infections are typically caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli that is usually found in the large intestine but can wreak havoc when it finds itself in the urinary tract.
Kidney infections are one of the most common urologic conditions that we see in general urology practice, Fara Bellows, M.D., a urologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Still, kidney infections are no joke.
This is a serious organ infection, and people need to take care of it, urologist David Kaufman, M.D., of New Yorks Central Park Urology, tells SELF. Bladder infections are really uncomfortable, but kidney infections can be deadly.
/8frequent Urination Or Less Urination
If you feel the need to urinate more than often, it can be a sign of an underlying kidney problem. Kidneys are responsible for removing toxins and excess water from the body through the urinary tract. When the kidney filters are damaged, it may increase the urge to urinate. Similarly, urinating a few times a day can be a sign of urinary tract obstruction or kidney stone.
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Food Tastes Like Metal
Why this happens:
A build-up of wastes in the blood can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just don’t feel like eating.
What patients said:
Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like you’re drinking iron.
I don’t have the appetite I had before I started dialysis, I must have lost about 10 pounds.
/8concentration Issue And Weakness
As per a study conducted by Temple University, if you are witnessing any problems like decrease in global cognitive ability or have trouble memorizing something, it could be a sign of decreased kidney functioning. A decline in kidney function can lead to the buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can make you feel tired, weak and you may also find it difficult to concentrate. Even worse, kidney failure can also lead to toxin build-up in the brain and can cause major confusion. So it is best to consult a doctor.
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So Now Is The Time To Pamper Your Kidneys
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should see your health practitioner and have a check-up, including tests to assess your kidney function.
And you should also make sure youre helping your kidneys stay in top shape by doing a thorough cleanse.
Even if you dont have any of these signs, a systemic cleanse is like a spa day for your kidneys. It helps them get in top shape and avoid damage and disease. This is why OsteoCleanse, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator was developed in conjunction with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
OsteoCleanse is not just about alkalizing your body, feeling younger and more energized, and removing osteoporosis drugs from your system. It does all of these things in just seven days, but at the heart of OsteoCleanses effectiveness are its kidney-boosting, liver-cleansing effects so youll strengthen and build your bones faster.
Its always a good idea to heed early warning signs and treat your kidneys to a cleanse before damage occurs, and its particularly important to offset the effects of aging on your renal system.
Treatments For Urinary And Kidney Infections
Kidney infections always require antibiotics. Donât rely on home remedies alone to take care of kidney infections.
Usually, doctors will prescribe empiric antibiotics to cover all the potential bacteria that could have caused the infection until they can target the specific bacteria based on test results. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for at least a full week.
Normally, you wonât require a stay at a hospital for a kidney infection as long as you can move around and consistently keep down oral antibiotics.
However, if you exhibit severe symptoms or cannot keep down the medication due to nausea and vomiting, you may be hospitalized so that your doctor may administer antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
If the kidney infection progresses enough to create an abscess in the kidney, you may require more serious treatment. Abscesses cannot be cured with antibiotics alone. In order to drain them, doctors will perform a nephrostomy, which involves placing a tube through your back, into the kidney.
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Early Diagnosis Is Important
The underlying cause of kidney pain plays a key role to determine the treatment plan. And if the pain does link to a problem in the kidney, early treatment is necessary before the problem becomes advanced. Advanced kidney problem is more difficult to treat. Thats why, its important to diagnose the cause clearly as well as take the appropriate treatment as early as possible.
Generally, its recommended to see doctor promptly if you have some of the following symptoms:
Several tests to help diagnose pain in the kidney area include urine tests, blood test, or sometime imaging tests .
Having Dry And Itchy Skin
Healthy kidneys do tremendous work by removing waste and extra fluid from the blood, helping produce red blood cells, and maintaining the proper amount of minerals in your body. Itchy and dry skin signal the failure of kidneys to maintain the right balance of minerals and nutrients which can result in bone and kidney disease.
Warning: If you have dry and itchy skin, try to stay more hydrated. Remember, before taking any medication for itching consult your doctor. Certain medications have ingredients that potentially could damage your kidney function even more.
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Signs Of Acute Kidney Injury
Acute kidney injury is a rapid or abrupt decline in kidney function and is considered a medical emergency. It occurs when there is direct injury to one or both kidneys, a blockage in the ureter or another condition causing insufficient blood flow to the kidneys.
In adults, kidney failure can be caused by:
- Low blood pressure that occurs very suddenly and/or is severely low
- Tenderness or pain in the area of the the lower ribs
Fever And Chills Along With Your Back Pain
This could also mean that you have a urinary tract infection.
If you have any of these symptoms, along with your back pain, you should call your doctor right away.
If your pain is unbearable, is associated with fevers or chills, or you have nausea and vomiting that is preventing you from keeping down fluids or medications, you should seek immediate medical attention, Nguyen says.
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Kidney And Flank Pain Causes
A number of different infections or injuries can cause kidney or flank pain. The most common causes include:
- Kidney stones: Masses made up of crystals that form in your urine and build up in your kidneys that can cause severe pain, especially during urination. They can be passed manually or, in more serious cases, removed surgically.
- Pyelonephritis An infection caused by bacteria traveling up from the bladder or from the blood into the kidneys.
- Polycystic kidney disease : A genetic disease in which normal kidney tissue is replaced by cysts, PKD can cause the kidney to stop working.
- Kidney infarction: A rare condition in which kidney blood flow is disrupted. This can lead to acute kidney injury, decreased kidney function, kidney disease, and death.
- Hemorrhage of the kidney: A bleed in the kidney, possible from multiple causes.
- Kidney canceror tumor: Benign or cancerous masses in the kidney. Kidney cancer is found most often in older adults, with more men affected than women.
- Renal vein thrombosis: A clot that develops in the vein that drains blood from the kidneys.
In addition to kidney problems, upper back and side pain also can be caused by physical injury, arthritis, or gallbladder or gastrointestinal diseases. Its important to know when to seek care.
Swelling In Hands Or Feet
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and/or hands.
What patients said:
I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldn’t get my shoes on.
Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.
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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:
Kidney Stones Or Nephrolithiasis
Kidney stones are normally made up of hard collections of minerals which form in the renal system. These stones may stay in the kidneys for quite a while. They often become painful when they move out of the kidney into the ureter. The pain is often described as a strong colicky pain, usually felt in the ureter between the kidney and the bladder. Kidney stones can be extremely painful.
Colicky, strong to very strong pain coming in waves, is the most obvious symptoms of kidney stones. The location of the pain and where it spreads to gives clues as to where the stone is currently located in the urinary system. The pain of a kidney stone passing through the urinary system is felt suddenly and severely in the flank and spreads down the groin on the same side. Not all stones cause radiating pain. Some stones may not cause any pain.
Good to know: Pain from kidney stones is often described as excruciating. Kidney pain from kidney stones can come and go. It can occur in bouts lasting between 20 minutes and an hour. People with painful kidney stones often cannot keep still because of the discomfort. They are often pale and sweaty, with a painful, tender abdomen.
Other symptoms of kidney stones include:
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Is A Kidney Transplant An Option
If kidney failure occurs and is non-reversible, kidney transplantation is an alternative option to dialysis. If the patient is an appropriate candidate, the healthcare professional and nephrologist will contact an organ transplant center to arrange evaluation to see whether the patient is suitable for this treatment. If so, the search for a donor begins. Sometimes, family members have compatible tissue types and, if they are willing, may donate a kidney. Otherwise, the patient will be placed on the organ transplant list that is maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing.
Not all hospitals are capable of performing kidney transplants. The patient may have to travel to undergo their operation. The most successful programs are those that do many transplants every year.
While kidney transplants have become routine, they still carry some risk. The patient will need to take anti-rejection medications that reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infection. The body can try to reject the kidney or the transplanted kidney may fail to work. As with any operation, there is a risk of bleeding and infection.
Kidney transplants may provide better quality of life than dialysis. After one year, 95% of transplanted kidneys are still functioning and after five years, the number is 80%. It seems that the longer a patient is on dialysis, the shorter the life of the transplanted kidney.
What Is Kidney Pain
Kidney pain is discomfort that comes from the area where your kidneys are. It’s often described as a dull ache, you feel in your sides, back, or belly. But pain in these areas isn’t always a sign of a kidney issue. It’s easy to mistake kidney pain for ordinary back pain. But there are some differences in how kidney pain feels and where it’s located compared to back pain.
Kidney pain has many possible causes, and some could be serious. It’s important to let your doctor know if you notice pain that you think may be coming from one or both of these organs.
Where are your kidneys?
Your kidneys are two small organs shaped like beans. You have one on each side of your body. They’re each about the size of your fist. They’re below your rib cage on both sides of your spinal cord.
Your kidneys have important jobs. They clean out water, acids, and waste from your blood. They make urine so your body flushes out the waste. If they’re diseased or damaged in some way, they can’t do their work to maintain a healthy balance of salts, minerals like calcium, and water in your blood.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help you manage your blood pressure, keep your bones strong, and make red blood cells.
So it’s important to watch for any signs of kidney disease or damage, like pain.
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