How Can I Prevent A Kidney Infection
You may be able to lower your chance of getting a kidney infection by:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Urinating as soon as you feel the need to
- Urinating after having sex
- Avoiding the use of deodorant sprays or douches in your genital area
- Getting treatment for constipation . Constipation is not a symptom of kidney infection but it can increase your chance of having bacteria in your urinary tract because it can make it difficult to empty your bladder fully.
What If The Infection Does Not Clear Up With Treatment
Most infections clear up with treatment. However, if an infection does not clear up, or if you have repeated infections, you may be given some special tests such as:
a type of x-ray called an intravenous pyleogram , which involves injecting a dye into a vein and taking pictures of your kidney and bladder
an ultrasound exam, which gives a picture of your kidneys and bladder using sound waves
a cytoscopic exam, which uses a hollow tube with special lenses to look inside the bladder.
What Causes A Uti And How Can I Prevent One
Bacteria can get trapped for a lot of reasons, but the usual culprit among young women is sex. Simply by peeing before and after sex, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting a UTIdoing so helps flush bad bacteria away from your urinary tract. In general, just keeping cleanand not by doing anything excessive like douching will help keep the unwanted bacteria at bay.
Also, if you enjoy tasty cranberry cocktails, indulge away! The juice has been shown to help prevent UTIs by making it more difficult for bacteria to stick to the walls of the urinary tract and multiply.
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When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and have pain that will not go away in your tummy, lower back or genitals.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you cannot get a GP appointment and need urgent medical attention, go to your nearest urgent care centre .
If you do not have a local UCC, go to your nearest A& E.
Bladder Infections Are Common
Kidney infections are a rare complication of bladder infections. Bladder infections are very common, though. In fact, about half of women will have one in their lifetime. Those most at risk are women who are younger than 50. Women have a greater risk than men because of their anatomy. The tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside is shorter in women. And the urethra is closer to the bowels. While only one in 10 men will have a urinary tract infection, bladder infections in men are more likely to occur later in life. Older men are more likely to have prostate problems, which can partially block the urine.
Other, more unusual, causes of kidney infections are medical procedures that require a scope of the bladder or surgery of the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections can be caused by bacteria that come in from catheters. Catheters are tubes that drain urine from the bladder. Urinary catheters are tubes used in people who are having problems urinating or during medical procedures. Other causes of infections are blockages from prostate enlargement or kidney stones.
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What To Expect From Kidney Infection Treatment
A kidney infection is easy to treat if its caught in its earliest stage, especially if youre young and generally healthy. In this case, a course of antibiotics lasting a week to two weeks is usually enough, Dr. Movassaghi says. However, taking the full course of antibiotics is key for fully fighting off the infection, even if youre feeling totally fine halfway through, so be sure to take every dose, says the NIDDK.
If you have a severe kidney infection or are immunocompromised, youll likely need to be treated in the hospital with intravenous antibiotics. After a few days, you should be able to move on to taking antibiotics by mouth.
In rare cases, a person might need surgery for a kidney infection. Usually, this is only considered if your doctor determines theres something blocking your urinary tract like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate.
Take An Epsom Salt Bath
Both Epsom salts and warm water can ease pain. This can help 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, Epsom salts could also help even after symptoms from the kidney infection are resolved.
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Fluid And Antibiotic Administration
Since pyelonephritis is more likely than acute cystitis to be caused by an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including strains of E. coli that are resistant to Bactrim , the treatment of pyelonephritis usually begins with an oral broad-spectrum antibiotic, like Cipro or Levaquin .
If a person has a high fever, severe pain, or is unable to keep medicine, food, or fluids down due to persistent nausea and vomiting, hospitalization for intravenous administration of fluids and antibiotics is required.
Besides a severe infection or significant nausea and vomiting, other factors that usually warrant hospitalization for the treatment of pyelonephritis include:
- Symptoms or signs of
Are There Any Complications From A Kidney Infection
Most people who develop a kidney infection make a full recovery if treatment is given promptly. Possible complications which occur in a small number of cases include:
- Sometimes germs from a kidney infection get into the bloodstream, particularly if treatment is delayed. This may cause blood poisoning . This can be serious or even life-threatening.
- In pregnant women who develop pyelonephritis occasionally, it may result in the baby being born early or with a lower birth weight.
- A kidney abscess can develop. This is a collection of pus that forms within the kidney.
- The infection can sometimes cause some permanent damage to kidney tissues.
These complications are uncommon but may be more likely if:
- You become severely ill with the kidney infection.
- You have kidney stones.
- Your immune system is suppressed – for example, if you have cancer, if you are taking medication such as steroids or chemotherapy, or if you have AIDS.
- You have poorly controlled diabetes.
- You are an older person .
- You are pregnant.
Emphysematous pyelonephritis is also a rare complication. In this condition the kidney tissues are rapidly destroyed by the infection and the bacteria can release toxic gases which can build up in the kidneys. You become very unwell if you develop this complication. This complication seems mostly to affect people who have poorly controlled diabetes.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
The symptoms of a basic urinary tract infection often include:
- Dark, cloudy urine that may appear red or pink from blood
- Painful or burning urination, a condition known as dysuria
- An urgent and frequent need to urinate
- A small amount of urine when you do go to the bathroom
- Urine that smells bad
- Confusion, particularly in more elderly patients
- More intense feelings of general illness
If you are experiencing symptoms of a kidney infection seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you receive treatment the more likely you are to prevent long term damage and recover faster.
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Treatment For Utis Vs Kidney Infection Treatment
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.
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Prevention And Treatment Of Kidney Infection
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 , including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Blockage can be complete… read more ).
Outpatient treatment with antibiotics given by mouth is usually successful if the person has:
No nausea or vomiting
No signs of dehydration
Medical Treatment For Kidney Infections
Antibiotics are always the first line of defense against a kidney infection. If the kidney infection isnt severe, a doctor will likely give you oral antibiotics to take once or twice a day for 7 to 14 days.
Its important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even if you feel better within several days. Stopping early could lead to antibiotic resistance or re-infection. A doctor will also encourage you to drink plenty of water.
In some cases, kidney infections may require going to the hospital. Youll be given fluids and antibiotics intravenously through an IV, both of which can help treat the infection.
In addition, lab work and imaging may be done to determine the severity of the infection as well as the cause, such as a blockage due to a kidney stone or anatomical abnormality.
If you have recurring UTIs that increase your risk of frequent kidney infections, a doctor will help you establish the cause of their frequency and help you prevent further infections from occurring.
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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.
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.
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Utis Vs Kidney Infections: How To Tell The Difference
It starts with a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. Whether at work, school or running errands, you have to drop what youre doing and find a restroom now. But once you can finally relieve yourself, you cant go. Or, if you do go, it feels painful and uncomfortable.
If this has happened to you, it might have been a urinary tract infection or kidney infection.
Many people ignore signs of a bladder infection and wait it out until symptoms improve, says Dr. Ross Watson, a board-certified family practitioner at Beaufort Memorial Primary Care. But if you seek medical help, we can often resolve painful symptoms quickly.
Heres how to tell if you have a UTI or kidney infection and what you can do to start feeling better.
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What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like
Generally speaking, the symptoms of a kidney infection tend to come on over a period of several hours to a day. The symptoms may include:
- Pain. This is often a dull, aching type of pain that most commonly affects the back, side, or abdomen.
- Urine changes. If you have a kidney infection, you may notice that your urine is cloudy, smells bad, or contains blood.
- Urgent, painful urination. A UTI can irritate the lining of your urinary tract. As a result, you may feel the urgent need to urinate and experience a painful, burning sensation when you do so.
- Fever. People with a kidney infection typically develop a fever, which can often be high. A raised temperature is one of your bodys ways of trying to fight the infection.
- Chills.Chills are a feeling of being cold without any apparent cause. For example, you could be wrapped up under a blanket and still shiver or feel very cold. In extreme cases, chills may lead to episodes of strong, uncontrollable shaking, which are known as rigors.
- Nausea or vomiting. The infection may cause you to feel nauseated or to vomit.
Its important to note that you may not have all of the above symptoms with a kidney infection. If you develop concerning symptoms that may point to a kidney infection, seek prompt medical care.
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When To Seek Urgent Care Or Go To The Hospital
Some symptoms point to a more severe infection that needs prompt medical attention.
Go to an urgent care center or hospital if you have any of the symptoms below, which may or may not occur alongside the other UTI symptoms listed above:
- back or side pain
- nausea or vomiting
Kidney infections can cause potentially serious complications. If you feel like something isnt right, dont hesitate to seek care as soon as possible.
Without treatment, a kidney infection can cause serious complications. These can include:
Complications Of A Kidney Infection
If it isnt treated promptly, a kidney infection can lead to a number of potentially serious complications.
Youre more likely to develop a complication from a kidney infection if you have:
- Prior kidney disease
- A history of kidney infections
- A structural abnormality in your urinary tract
The following complications can result from a kidney infection:
High Blood Pressure Your blood pressure can rise to unhealthy levels as your immune system tries to fight your infection.
Kidney Failure If its serious enough, an infection can stop your kidneys from effectively removing waste products from your blood.
Scarring If you develop scars in your kidneys from an infection, your kidneys may not be able to function properly, potentially leading to chronic kidney disease.
Blood Infection One of the main jobs of your kidneys is to filter waste products out of your blood. A kidney infection can spread to your entire bloodstream in this process.
A bloodstream infection can, in turn, lead to sepsis, which is a severe inflammatory reaction to bacteria. Sepsis can be life-threatening.
Renal or Perinephric Abscess If the infection in your kidney is not treated promptly, the bacteria may create an abscess, or pocket of pus, inside or next to your kidney.
Pregnancy Complications A kidney infection during pregnancy raises the risk of low birth weight in your baby.
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