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How To Test For Kidney Infection

Causes Of Kidney Infection

How can I be tested for kidney disease?

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.

Is It Necessary To Have A Blood Test For A Kidney 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. Its usually unnecessary to order imaging tests to diagnose a kidney infection, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This blood test helps diagnose some causes of kidney disease called glomerulonephritis . Urine calcium. This test checks for high levels of calcium in the urine.

Four Key Concepts And Talking Points

1. Talk to patients about their kidneys, CKD, and their risk.

What is CKD? CKD means the kidneys are damaged and may no longer filter blood well. This damage happens over many years. As more damage occurs, the kidneys are unable to keep the body healthy – then dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed to maintain health.

How can I lower my risk for CKD? The steps you take to manage your diabetes and high blood pressure also help protect your kidneys. Choosing healthy foods, quitting smoking, and being more physically active are all important steps.

2. Communicate the importance of testing and how CKD is diagnosed.

What are the symptoms of CKD? Most people with CKD have no symptoms until their kidneys are about to fail. The only way to know if you have kidney disease is to get tested. The sooner kidney disease is found, the sooner you can take steps to begin treatment and keep your kidneys healthier longer.

How do you check for CKD? A blood test and a urine test are used to find kidney disease. Because you are at risk, you should get these tests regularly:

  • GFR – A blood test measures how much blood your kidneys filter each minute, which is known as your glomerular filtration rate .
  • Urine Albumin – A urine test checks for albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the filters in the kidneys are damaged.

3. Explain the progressive nature of CKD and the basics of treatment.

4. Begin to speak about dialysis and transplantation.

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What Are The Symptoms Of An Acute Kidney Infection

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.

How Do You Test For Kidney Infection

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To confirm that you have a kidney infection, youll likely be asked to provide a urine sample to test for bacteria, blood or pus in your urine. Your doctor might also take a blood sample for a culture a lab test that checks for bacteria or other organisms in your blood.

Other tests might include an ultrasound, CT scan or a type of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram. A voiding cystourethrogram involves injecting a contrast dye to take X-rays of the bladder when full and while urinating.

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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 Do You Know If Something Is Wrong With Your Kidneys

If you would simply like to check in on your kidney function, one of the most reliable ways to find out more is through a test this can be done with your local doctor or from home with LetsGetCheckeds at-home lab test.

Constant fatigue, difficulty sleeping and poor appetite, as well as the signs mentioned above, can also be indicators that your kidney isnt functioning how it should. If you are concerned about your kidney health, its important to reach out to your doctor or a medical professional to find out more.

The best way to check your kidney function from home is with a home test kit. The process is simple:

  • The test is shipped directly to you by next day delivery
  • Activate your test and answer a few health-related questions
  • Your health record will be reviewed by a medical team member and should you need any support services, they will be provided
  • Collect your sample at a time that suits you
  • Send your sample back to our laboratory using the pre-paid shipping label provided
  • Your sample will be processed in an anonymous and timely manner
  • Your results will be reviewed by our team of doctors. A member of our nursing team will contact you to deliver your results, discuss any next steps and offer prescriptions in some cases
  • You should consider taking the LetsGetChecked Kidney Function Test if

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    When To See Your Gp

    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

    Complicated Vs Uncomplicated Acute Pyelonephritis

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    Uncomplicated acute pyelonephritis typically occurs in healthy, young women without structural or functional urinary tract abnormalities and without relevant comorbidities. Complicated acute pyelonephritis occurs in patients with a structurally or functionally abnormal genitourinary tract, or a predisposing medical condition. Compared with uncomplicated acute pyelonephritis, complicated acute pyelonephritis is characterized by a broader spectrum of clinical presentations, a wider variety of infecting organisms , and a greater risk of progression to a complication, such as intrarenal or perinephric abscess or emphysematous pyelonephritis.11

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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.

    Causes Of Kidney Infection:

    Kidney infection occurs when bacteria E Coli infects our kidneys. These E. Coli bacteria live in our bowel tract. When they get into the opening of urethra and move through the urinary tract first infecting bladder and then kidney, it causes kidney infections. This happens when accidentally bacteria spreads from anus to urethra. It happens due to poor hygiene or during unprotected sex. Some factors that put us at risk of kidney infections include:

  • Women and children are more prone to kidney i
    Ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases

    nfections as anus is closer to urethra in women than in men.

  • If you have a condition that blocks or obstructs urinary tract such as kidney stone, enlarged prostate and also children with constipation are at risk
  • Having a neo natal abnormality in urinary tract
  • Having a condition where you can not empty your bladder fully which infects the tract
  • Having an infection of prostate gland, where infection spreads from the prostate gland to kidneys.
  • Having a weakened immune system due to diabetes or chemotherapy side effects
  • Infection arising due to use of a urinary catheter
  • Sexual intercourse can irritate the urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
  • Being pregnant where physical changes delay and slow down the flow of urine in our body
  • Having undergone female genital mutilation illegally.
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    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!

    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.

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    Take An Epsom Salt Bath

    Both Epsom salts and warm water can ease pain. This can help to make the uncomfortable side effects of the kidney infection a little more tolerable while you wait for the antibiotics to take effect.

    Since abdominal pain is sometimes a symptom of antibiotics, as well as kidney infections, this could also help even after symptoms from the kidney infection are resolved. Read about how to make an Epsom salt detox bath, as well as potential side effects to keep in mind.

    How Can You Tell If You Have Blood In Your Urine

    Alternatively, some people have very small traces of blood in their urine which cannot be seen but are found when a dipstick is put in a sample of their urine. Your kidneys make urine continuously. A trickle of urine is constantly passing to your bladder down the tubes which run from the kidneys to the bladder.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If you have signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor right away. Again, a kidney infection is seriousit can sometimes lead to a dangerous, life-threatening health condition called , the NIDDK says. Even if your infection doesnt progress to that, a kidney infection can become chronic, i.e., long-lasting, and can cause permanent damage to your kidneys, the NIDDK says. Kaufman recommends heading to your local urgent care facility or emergency room if you have signs of a kidney infection.

    Signs Of A Kidney Infection To Know And When To Go To The Hospital

    Urine test for kidney problems/kidney problems symptoms/urine infection/urine test/STAR LABORATORY

    Youre probably not constantly on the lookout for signs of a kidney infection. But getting a urinary tract infection can open you up to also getting an infection in one or both kidneys, which means this is an illness that should be on your radar. Yep, it’s an unfortunate truth: A urinary tract infection can lead to a kidney infection, which is medically known as pyelonephritis and can be incredibly serious. So if youre experiencing symptoms of a UTI and thinking, Eh, I can wait a few more days to get those antibiotics, think again. Heres what you need to know about the signs of a kidney infection, its underlying causes, why its so important to get treatment as soon as you can, and more.

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    Diagnosis Of Kidney Infections

    Besides discussing your medical history and symptoms, your doctor will do a physical exam and order some tests.

    Lab tests

    Your doctor will order a urinalysis to look for infection signs, such as high white blood cell count and bacteria. Your doctor may do a urine culture. Bacteria in urine is grown on a culture dish for about one to three days, and an expert can then see which type of bacteria is causing the infection.

    Imaging tests

    What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like

    The majority of kidney infections start off with a UTI, which occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. If this bacteria multiplies and travels to your kidneys, it can cause a kidney infection. As the urethra is shorter in women, kidney infections are in fact more common in women than in men.

    As well as the infamous feeling of a persistent urge to urinate and a burning sensation when you do make it to the bathroom, kidney infections can cause a whole host of other symptoms, these include:

    • Fever and chills
    • Pain in the back, side, groin, or abdomen
    • Nausea
    • Cloudy urine or urine that smells bad

    Kidney disease can easily be treated with antibiotics so if you are experiencing the above symptoms, its important to reach out to your doctor to avoid any potential complications by leaving the infection untreated.

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    How Do You Test For Kidney Disease

    Comparing testing for kidney disease is difficult because there are many different methods of collecting and analyzing samples that test kidney function. The most basic criterion for diagnosing kidney disease is a decreased glomerular filtration rate value. Glomeruli are the tiny filters in the kidneys, and GFR is a measurement that can tell you how well these filters are working.

    It is cumbersome to measure GFR directly, but it can be estimated using creatinine levels in blood or urine samples. Urine tests typically check for protein in your urine. This happens in early kidney damage, as the kidney begins to leak protein. If there is protein present, your doctor would order a second urine test to check your albumin-to-creatinine ratio , which shows how much albumin and how much creatinine is in your urine after it has passed through the kidneys. Blood tests can provide an estimated GFR.

    Prevention And Treatment Of Kidney Infection

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    • Antibiotics

    • Occasionally surgery

    Antibiotics are started as soon as the doctor suspects pyelonephritis and samples have been taken for laboratory tests. The choice of drug or its dosage may be modified based on the laboratory test results , how sick the person is, and whether the infection started in the hospital, where bacteria tend to be more resistant to antibiotics. Other factors that can alter the choice or dosage of drug include whether the person’s immune system is impaired and whether the person has a urinary tract abnormality .

    Outpatient treatment with antibiotics given by mouth is usually successful if the person has:

    • No nausea or vomiting

    • No signs of dehydration

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    What Is A Uti Anyway

    A UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens when bacteria enters into any part of your urinary system, which includes the urethra, the bladder, the kidneys or the uterus. If not flushed out of the system, the bacteria can lead to an infection, or a UTI.

    If youve ever had a UTI , you probably havent forgotten the symptoms. UTIs are very unpleasant, to say the least, and are often accompanied with one or more of the following:

    • A burning sensation when urinating

    • A strong urge to urinate often, usually passing only small amounts of urine at a time.

    • Cloudy and/or strong smelling urine

    • Pelvic pain


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