How Can I Make Sure My Kidney Infection Is Completely Gone
If you recently had a kidney infection, the health care professional will often repeat urine cultures after your treatment ends to make sure your infection has completely gone away and has not come back. If a repeat test shows infection, you may take another round of antibiotics. If your infection comes back again, he or she may prescribe antibiotics for a longer time period.
If your health care professional prescribes antibiotics, take all of the antibiotics as prescribed and follow the advice of the health care professional. Even if you start to feel better, you should finish all of your medicine.
What Causes A Uti
If you have had a UTI in the past, youre at a higher risk of getting one before. Women are also more likely to get a UTI than men based on their female anatomy.
Your genetic background can also put you at a heightened risk. Other risk factors of a UTI include sexual intercourse, menopause, obesity and uncontrolled diabetes.
During intercourse, the area near the urethra is prone to bacteria therefore, its important that you urinate immediately following intercourse to prevent fecal bacteria from being transmitted to the bladder.
When women go through menopause, they are also more likely to develop a UTI due to the lack of estrogen, which causes the vaginal tissue to lose elasticity. This allows bacteria to get into the vagina, often resulting in infection.
Women with a higher body mass index are also at a higher risk of a UTI because they typically have an increase in the folds of the labia, which can harbor bacteria.
Finally, anyone with uncontrolled diabetes typically struggle with a weakened immune system, causing them to be more susceptible to infection.
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Try Drinking Some Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
While the research is a bit unclear, cranberries have been used as a prevention of UTI for generations. Studies have shown that cranberries actually make it harder for the bacteria that cause UTIs to stick to the urinary tract walls. So, while not really a remedy, if you frequently get UTIs, it might be worth drinking a couple of glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice, or snacking on the actual fruit .
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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!
Use Essential Oils With Caution
Oregano essential oil is well known for its strong antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that oregano oil can be very effective at killing E.coli, but it should be noted these studies are generally done in vitromeaning in a lab using scientific techniques, not performed in humans with infections. Lemongrass oil and clove oil may also be a home remedy for UTIs because of their antimicrobial properties, but both have been studied against harmful bacteria in similar experiments as Oregano oil.
Its important to take care before using essential oils as a treatment. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy advises against ingesting these oils. Instead, essential oils may be safely used topically with a carrier oil or inhaled from a diffuser.
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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.
How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, do a physical exam, and likely run some diagnostic tests. Those include a urinalysis, to check your pee under a microscope for bacteria and white blood cells, which your body makes to fight infection, and a urine culture to help find out what kind of bacteria is causing the infection, theNIDDK says. Your doctor may even take a blood sample to check for bacteria or other organisms in your blood, the Mayo Clinic says.
Other tests that might come up include an ultrasound, a CT scan, or a form of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram, which involves injecting a contrast dye to take X-rays of your bladder when its full and while youre peeing, per the Mayo Clinic.
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What Causes A Kidney Infection
The bacteria or viruses that cause kidney infections usually come from another part of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, ureters or urethra and spread to your kidneys. Less commonly, the bacteria or viruses come from an infection elsewhere in your body.
Kidney infection can also happen if the flow of urine through your urinary tract is blocked. This can happen due to:
- Kidney stones
- An enlarged prostate
- A problem with the shape of your urinary tract that makes it harder for urine to pass through
A kidney infection is not contagiousyou cannot catch one from another person or spread a kidney infection if you have one.
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.
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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What Is Urinary Tract Infection
Toxins and wastes are eliminated frequently from the body in the form of urine. While the kidneys help in the formation of urine, the bladder stores the same, before they are eliminated through the ureters. The complete circuit is called the Urinary Tract.
Like other parts of the body, the urinary tract is also vulnerable to infection. While other bacteria can also be responsible for this, in 80% of the cases, the culprit is E coli which are found in the gastrointestinal tract and in faeces. When E coli or other bacteria enter the urinary tract, they can cause infection in the tract, starting from the ureters and slowly moving up through the bladder and in to the kidneys. This condition is called Urinary Tract Infection or UTI.
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How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed
Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.
Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.
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Some Of The Major Risk Factors For Kidney Stones Are:
- Family or personal history of the condition
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Some specific medications
One of the major factors that increase the risks of kidney stonesis the production of less than 1-liter urine per day. This is probably the reason why premature babies with kidney problems are more prone to developing kidney stones.
Kidney stones do not have any symptoms until they move around in the kidney. These are also sometimes called silent stones. However, once they start moving around in the kidney and pass into the ureter, symptoms may start surfacing. At this stage, you may experience severe and excruciating pain in the lower back. Men may experience pain in the groin area as well. Other symptoms of kidney stones include brown or red-colored urine, blood in the urine, urinating small amounts of urine and pain while urinating.
Also, kidney stones can worsen over time. If left untreated, kidney stones can lead to a number of complications.
Additional Symptoms From A Uti
Your kidneys are a pair of organs located in the middle of your back, just below your ribs. Their primary function is to filter waste from your blood into your bladder for elimination. Kidney infections are caused by pathogens like certain kinds of bacteria in one or both of these organs.
How do you know if you have a kidney infection? Symptoms tend to set in suddenly over just hours or days.
The most common symptoms of an infection include:
- Pain in your lower back, side, or genital regions
- A fever with a temperature possibly as high as 103?
In most cases, the bacteria that cause your kidney infection originate in your digestive tract. E. coli from your bowels causes between 75% and 90% of all cases of kidney infection. Other pathogens that can cause kidney infections include Enterobacteriaceae other than E. coliand S. saprophyticus.
If youre experiencing many of the symptoms listed above and have had an untreated urinary tract infection for an extended period, then you most likely have a kidney infection. But keep in mind that not all people with a kidney infection have the added symptoms of a UTI.
These additional symptoms include:
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Signs Of A Kidney Infection To Know And When To Go To The Hospital
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, itâs 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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Whos 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:
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Home Remedies For A Kidney Infection
You cant DIY a kidney infection away. But home remedies might help stave off some symptoms. Heres the best of the bunch:
- Take OTC pain relievers. These cant cure a kidney infection, but they might relieve discomfort in the short term. Options like acetaminophen can also help bring a fever down.
- Ditch the caffeine and booze. Drinking alcohol or caffeine can make your kidneys work overtime. This extra strain might make it harder for your infection to clear.
- Take a probiotic.Probioticshelp your good bacteria bounce back after a round of antibiotics. Some research also suggests they can help folks with kidney issues.
- Stay uber-hydrated. Youll want to drink lots and lots of fluids to flush out your bladder and urethra as frequently as possible.
- Try apple cider vinegar . Theres no scientific evidence that ACV is the MVP of kidney infections. But some folks like to drink it as a tonic for its antimicrobial properties.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
Overlooking the early warning signs of a kidney infection or other kidney problems could have detrimental, or fatal consequences. Detecting the early signs and symptoms of kidney infection is simple, yet crucial.
The importance of our kidneys cannot be overstated. These two organs which are the shape of kidney beans, filter blood every minute. They remove waste from the body as well as extra fluid through urine and are on the job constantly making sure there is always a healthy balance between water, salt, and minerals in your body.
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Imaging Tests For Kidney Infection
Its usually unnecessary to order imaging tests to diagnose a kidney infection, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Cases in which an imaging test may be helpful include:
- Your symptoms dont improve with treatment
- Your infection recurs
- Your doctor suspects a structural abnormality in your urinary tract
If your doctor believes that imaging tests are necessary, the following options are available:
Computerized Tomography Scan This test takes a series of X-ray images from different angles, which a computer combines to create detailed images of tissues in your body.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging This test uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of organs and tissues.
Intravenous Pyelogram This test involves injecting a dye into your arm, then taking X-ray images of your urinary tract to look for signs of swelling or other abnormalities in your kidneys and bladder.
Voiding Cystourethrogram This test is similar to an intravenous pyelogram, and involves taking X-ray images of your bladder when its full and while youre urinating.
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
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