How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing urinary tract infections and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. Sorry, but dont rely on cranberry juice or supplements for thisthe science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive UTI-prevention method. Instead, whenever you feel a bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could lead to an infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow, the organization says.
Kaufman also stresses the importance of urinating like a fire hose after sex. It might even be helpful to skip peeing before sex as long as that doesnt make you uncomfortable, he says. This allows you to build up a forceful stream that may better help remove any bacteria that might have been pushed up there during sex.
Also, we referenced this above, but its important to reiterate: After you pee , you should be sure to wipe from front to back, as wiping back to front can spread harmful bacteria from your rectum to your urethra, where it can cause an infection.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do you think I got a kidney infection?
- How much water should I drink every day to stay hydrated?
- What is the best medicine for me to treat my kidney infection?
- Once I start medicine, how long will it take for my symptoms to go away?
- Since Ive had one kidney infection, am I likely to get another?
- What is the risk of a kidney infection leading to chronic kidney disease?
Kidney Infection Home Remedies
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
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Kidney Infection Vs Uti
The main difference between a kidney infection and UTI is that a urinary tract infection can occur anywhere in the urinary system while a kidney infection occurs in one or both of the kidneys.
Differences in Treatments
Kidney infections and UTIs are commonly treated with antibiotics. However, a serious kidney infection may warrant in-hospital treatment including IV antibiotics and fluids.
What Is A Kidney Infection Is It The Same As A Urinary Tract Infection
The main components of the urinary tract system are kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Any part of the urinary system may become infected and this is generally referred to as urinary tract infection . When a kidney becomes infected, the condition is medically referred to as pyelonephritis. Thus, kidney infection is only one of several types of infections encompassed by the term UTI. The spectrum of UTIs includes:
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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are most commonly caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, which you might know as simply E. coli.
These bacteria are responsible for about 90% of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections. E. coli are found in the colons of humans and animals and in their fecal waste. When E. coli or other bacteria end up in the urethra, they cause a urinary tract infection.
There are other types of bacteria also known to cause UTIs. According to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information the most common bacteria to cause UTIs are:
- Escherichia coli
- Klebsiella pneumoniae
- Streptococcus spp. , Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococci were each found to be the third pathogens in different periods during the two-year study.
What Is The Treatment For Kidney Infection
The most important component of treating kidney infection is the timely initiation of antibiotics under the directions of a health care professional. If a kidney infection is diagnosed, then an empiric antibiotic is usually prescribed. A urine and blood sample will be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis of any bacterial growth .
When a specific type of bacteria is isolated, antibiotics may then be changed to those that are more active against that particular bacterial type. If the bacteria shows resistance to the antibiotic that was initially prescribed, then the antibiotic is changed promptly to one that the organism is susceptible to in order to cure the kidney infection.
Home treatment with oral antibiotics and adequate water and fluid intake is usually sufficient for curing uncomplicated kidney infection and urinary tract infection. Nondrug home treatment with fluid intake, cranberry products, or acupuncture without antibiotics is not advisable for kidney infections.
However, if symptoms are severe or the infection is difficult to control with the routine oral medications for kidney infection, then hospitalization may be required to receive intravenous antibiotics, intravenous hydration, and aggressive management of symptoms. In cases of complicated kidney, infection hospitalization may also be necessary.
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What Are Different Types Of Kidney Infection
Kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, may be classified as uncomplicated, complicated, or chronic kidney infection .
A complicated kidney infection refers to a kidney infection in which there is an accompanying condition that increases the risk of severe infection and ineffective treatment, such as abnormalities of the urinary tract, urinary obstruction, or diabetes. It can also mean there is severe involvement of the kidney, for example, abscess formation, obstruction, or enlarged kidney, or gas is seen in the kidney by an imaging study, such as a CT scan. In these situations, the symptoms may be more severe and less responsive to usual treatments.
A chronic kidney infection may refer to a recurring kidney infection that could be a result of a kidney stone obstructing the ureter or other structural abnormalities in the ureters . These conditions are usually associated with milder symptoms, but they may last longer.
The evaluation of complicated kidney infection and chronic kidney infection typically requires a more thorough evaluation and more extensive testing such as CT scans and X-rays.
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
If you have a kidney infection, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain in your back, side or groin
- Feeling like you have to urinate often, even if you just went
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Pus or blood in your urine
- Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. If you are currently taking medicine to treat a urinary tract infection , but you are still having any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.
If your health care provider thinks you might have a kidney infection, he or she might ask you for a urine sample to look or bacteria or other signs of infection. You might also need to have a blood test or imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.
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Understanding Your Urinary Tract
Your urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises several different organs designed to extract, hold, and transport waste from your system in the form of urine. The main organs involved in the urinary system include:
- The kidneys: These two organs sit on each side of your body, generally around the waist. They filter out excess water and waste from your blood to create urine.
- The ureters: These two thin tubes run between the kidney and bladder, transporting urine to the bladder.
- The bladder: This organ stores urine until it reaches a certain level, at which point you feel the need to pee. The body voluntarily contracts the muscles that line the bladder to urinate.
- The urethra: This thin tube connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When you urinate, a muscle called the urinary sphincter relaxes as your bladder contracts to remove urine from your body.
Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria infect any part of your urinary system, but they are most common in your lower urinary tract, comprising the urethra and bladder.
Pregnancy And Urinary Tract Infections
During pregnancy, there are normal changes in the function and anatomy of the urinary tract. These include kidney enlargement, and compression of the ureters and bladder by the growing uterus. During pregnancy, the bladder does not empty as well. The urine is not as acidic and it contains more sugars, protein, and hormones. All of these factors can contribute to an increased susceptibility to UTI.
Types of UTI in pregnancy include the following:
Asymptomatic bacteriuria. A silent infection often caused by bacteria present in the woman’s system before pregnancy. This type of infection occurs in about 5 to 10 percent of pregnant women. Asymptomatic bacteriuria may lead to acute bladder infection or kidney infection if left untreated.
Acute urethritis or cystitis. A urethral or bladder infection that causes symptoms including pain or burning with urination, frequent urination, feeling of needing to urinate, and fever.
Pyelonephritis. A kidney infection. Symptoms of pyelonephritis may include those of acute cystitis plus flank pain. Pyelonephritis may lead to preterm labor, severe infection, and adult respiratory distress syndrome.
The most common organism that causes UTI is Escherichia coli , a normal organism of the vagina and rectal area. Other organisms may also cause UTI, including group B streptococcus, and sexually transmitted gonorrhea and chlamydia.
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How Is Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Kidney infection may be diagnosed by a physician by performing a complete physical examination and taking a detailed medical history. The evaluation includes checking the vital signs , assessing for signs of dehydration, and checking for tenderness on the mid and lower back. In young, female patients a pelvic exam may also be necessary to evaluate for pelvic infection . A pregnancy test may also be performed.
Urinalysis test is essential for the diagnosis of kidney infection. The urine sample must be properly collected. The urethra needs to be wiped clean properly before the sample is collected in order to avoid contamination of urine by the bacteria on the skin around the urethra. The initial stream of urine is preferably voided in the toilet before the collecting urine in the provided container. This is called the mid-stream, clean-catch urine. After an appropriate amount of urine is collected in the container, the remaining urine may also be voided in toilet.
A urinalysis suggestive of an infection in the urine in general, is highly suggestive and supportive of the diagnosis of kidney infection or urinary tract infection. A urine sample without evidence of urine infection makes kidney infection unlikely and another diagnosis may be considered.
How Is Pyelonephritis Treated
Dogs with pyelonephritis are usually treated as outpatients unless they have bacteria circulating in their blood causing , or they have clinical signs of kidney failure. The specific treatment of pyelonephritis depends on the underlying cause. If dogs with pyelonephritis also have kidney disease, part of their treatment will include a kidney support nutritional profile .
Ectopic ureters are repositioned surgically to properly drain urine into the bladder. Blockage of the upper urinary tract by a urinary tract stone in a dog with bacterial infection/inflammation of the kidneys may rapidly progress to generalized disease and septicemia. This is a medical emergency and is most often treated with surgery.
Antibiotics to treat pyelonephritis are chosen based on testing the urine for bacteria and antibiotic sensitivity. The chosen antibiotic should kill bacteria, be present at appropriate levels in the blood and in the urine, and should not be toxic to the kidneys. Antibiotics are generally given for 4-6 weeks to treat pyelonephritis.
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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.
Kidney Stones And Utis: Signs And Symptoms
Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include abdominal pain, burning with urination, increased frequency in urination, and urinary urgency. Other symptoms may accompany a UTI, including fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Urine may also appear pinkish or light red, and have a strong odor. Pelvic pain may be experienced as well.
Kidney stones symptoms include severe pain, pain that travels across the lower abdomen, pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity, pain in urination, pink, red or brown blood in urine, nausea and vomiting, persistent need to urinate, urinating more frequent than usual, fever and chills with the presence of an infection, and urination in small amounts only.
You should see a doctor if symptoms change to a pain so severe you are unable to stand or move, if pain is accompanied by nausea or vomiting, if fever or chills develop, and if there is blood in urine or difficulty passing urine.
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Complications From A Kidney Infection
Full recovery is expected after a treating a kidney infection with antibiotics, However, in rare cases complications can occur including:
- Bacteria from a kidney infection getting into the bloodstream, particularly if treatment is delayed. This can cause blood poisoning and can be potentially life-threatening
- The development of a kidney abscess a collection of pus that forms within the kidney
- Permanent damage to kidney tissues
The above complications are rare but may become more likely if:
- You become severely ill with the kidney infection
- You already have other problems with your kidneys, like polycystic kidney disease, reflux or kidney failure
- You have kidney stones
- Your immune system is suppressed for example, if you have cancer, if youre taking medication such as steroids or chemotherapy, or if you have AIDS
- You have poorly controlled diabetes
- You are an older person
Another rare complication is Emphysematous pyelonephritis where kidney tissues are rapidly destroyed by the infection and the bacteria releases toxic gases that build up inside the kidneys. It tends to affect people who have poorly controlled diabetes and is a very serious illness.
Diagnosis Of Kidney Infection
Sometimes imaging tests
The typical symptoms of pyelonephritis lead doctors to do two common laboratory tests to determine whether the kidneys are infected: examination of a urine specimen under a microscope to count the number of red and white blood cells and bacteria and a urine culture, in which bacteria from a urine sample are grown in a laboratory to identify the numbers and type of bacteria . Blood tests may be done to check for elevated white blood cell levels , bacteria in the blood, or kidney damage.
Imaging tests are done in people who have intense back pain typical of renal colic, in those who do not respond to antibiotic treatment within 72 hours, in those whose symptoms return shortly after antibiotic treatment is finished, in those with long-standing or recurring pyelonephritis, in those whose blood test results indicate kidney damage, and in men . Ultrasonography or helical computed tomography studies done in these situations may reveal kidney stones, structural abnormalities, or other causes of urinary obstruction.
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Can A Urinary Tract Infection Cause A Kidney Infection
In this Article. If any of these parts get bacteria in them, you can get a urinary tract infection . Most often, its the bladder that gets infected. It can be painful, but not usually too serious. But if those bacteria travel up the ureters, you can have a much more serious problem: a kidney infection.
Is Screening Recommended For Uti Or Kidney Infection
In general, screening is not recommended for urinary tract infections and kidney infections in men and nonpregnant women.
While pregnant, screening may be recommended for women because bacteria in the urine without symptoms of infection are associated with a higher rate of progression to an overt urinary tract infection and pyelonephritis. These infections can potentially compromise fetal growth and health.
Screening for bacteria in the urine without any symptoms is also recommended for any individual prior to undergoing instrumentation of the urinary tract or in men undergoing prostate procedures. The presence of bacteria in the urine with or without infection can possibly lead to an increased chance of developing urinary tract infection. Treating these bacteria can substantially reduce the infectious complications of such procedures.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection in the urinary tract, which runs from your kidneys, through the ureters, the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. UTIs are very common and, in general, easy to treat.
A lower UTI, the more common type, affects the lower part of the urinary tract, the urethra and urinary bladder. Infection of the urethra is called urethritis and of the bladder is called cystitis. If the kidney is infected, called pyelonephritis, this is an upper UTI, as the kidney is the highest part of the urinary tract.
A UTI can be caused by bacteria or a fungus.
When Does A Uti Turn Into A Kidney Infection
What happens if a UTI goes untreated? If left untreated, the E. coli or other bacteria that caused your urinary tract infection can move farther up your urinary system.
When they reach your upper urinary system , you may experience a kidney infection, medically known as pyelonephritis.
Most people seek medical help and receive treatment before they get to this point.
Most often, the bacteria involved in a kidney infection are the same that caused the initial bladder or urethral infection. In rare instances, bacteria from your skin or the environment can cause a kidney infection.
Any condition that reduces or obstructs urine flow increases your risk of contracting a kidney infection as it allows bacteria to more easily flow from the bladder, up the ureters, to the kidneys. These conditions include:
- Kidney, bladder, or ureter stones
- Masses in the abdomen or pelvis caused by cancer or other disorders
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