Home Remedies For Kidney Infections
Mayar, Facty Staff
Your kidneys are one of the most important organs in your body. Kidneys get rid of the toxins and waste present in the blood. The kidneys filter your blood and keep it clean. For this reason, you should take a kidney infection very seriously. Many circumstances put you at risk of developing a kidney infection. Keep in mind that you’ll need to see your doctor if you suspect that you’ve got a kidney infection. You shouldn’t try to treat yourself with advice found on the web. An internet search isn’t the same thing as a medical degree. However, there are a few useful home remedies for kidney infections you can try while following your doctor’s advice.
How Do I Detox My Kidneys
There is no scientific evidence that kidney cleansing has any effect on kidney health. The best way to detoxify the kidneys is to not toxify them in the first place. Drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, avoid processed foods, reduce salt intake, quit smoking, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and unnecessary medications.
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
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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.
Medication Options For Kidney Infection
Your doctor will decide what antibiotic to prescribe, and for how long, based on your symptoms and the results of your urine tests. Your doctor may start you on one medication right away, but change it later if your urine test results indicate that a different antibiotic will be more effective.
Drugs taken by mouth for kidney infection include:
All of these drugs and others may be considered for IV treatment if you need to be hospitalized for a severe kidney infection.
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Ok Got It But Then What Is A Kidney Infection
A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys. While this type of infection is rare, its also very dangerous and if youre experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor immediately:
Upper back or side pain
Fever, shaking or chills
While most kidney infections can be treated simply with an antibiotic, if left untreated, a kidney infection can cause damage to your kidneys, leading to chronic kidney disease. The bacteria could even spread to your bloodstream creating a life-threatening situation.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of A Kidney Infection
A bacteria infection can colonize and travel directly to your kidneys if they enter your urinary tract through the tube that carries urine from your body . Most kidney infections are caused by this condition. Theres a risk that bacteria from an infection elsewhere in your body may pass from your bloodstream to your kidneys as well.
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What Are Symptoms Of Kidney Pain
Symptoms of kidney pain occur in the area of the kidneys, on the sides or middle to upper back, on one or both sides, and feels like:
- A constant, dull ache in the sides, back, or belly
- Pain in the side
- Pain may come in waves
- Pain may radiate to the belly or groin area
Depending on the cause of the kidney pain, symptoms that may accompany it include:
How Serious Is A Uti
Urinary tract infections can be painful and uncomfortable, but they ultimately donât pose a serious threat to your health as long as you seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Read on to learn more about when urinary tract infections turn into kidney infections, the differences between the two, and what you can do to properly treat and prevent them.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
Symptoms of pyelonephritis often begin suddenly with chills, fever, pain in the lower part of the back on either side, nausea, and vomiting.
, including frequent, painful urination. One or both kidneys may be enlarged and painful, and doctors may find tenderness in the small of the back on the affected side. Sometimes the muscles of the abdomen are tightly contracted. Irritation from the infection or the passing of a kidney stone can cause spasms of the ureters. If the ureters go into spasms, people may experience episodes of intense pain . In children, symptoms of a kidney infection Urinary Tract Infection in Children A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary bladder , the kidneys , or both. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Infants and younger… read more often are slight and more difficult to recognize. In older people, pyelonephritis may not cause any symptoms that seem to indicate a problem in the urinary tract. Instead, older people may have a decrease in mental function , fever, or an infection of the bloodstream .
In chronic pyelonephritis, the pain may be vague, and fever may come and go or not occur at all.
How To Relieve Kidney Pain At Home
Dealing with kidney pain can be debilitating and is far from fun. If the pain is severe, it will interrupt your life and cause excessive levels of discomfort from day-to-day. Knowing how to relieve kidney pain at home will help you stay comfortable and safe while youre treating the underlying problem. Try out the following home remedies and always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or serious concerns.
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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.
Prevention Is Key To Fighting Kidney Disease
Now that weve looked at the bad news, youll be happy to hear that theres a good side here, too, and it is this: For the most part, the conditions that lead to kidney problems are avoidable. And, often times, very avoidable.
A great way to start is by asking your health-care professional for blood panel readings of three key measures of kidney health: the BUN and creatinine levels and your eGFR numbers.
Heres a quick overview of the two:
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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.
Use Your Health Insurance Just Like You Normally Would To See Your Doctor
During your UTI treatment, you can take steps to ensure that you get the maximum effect out of your antibiotics while promoting your own comfort.
- Use a heating pad on your abdomen to soothe any pain and discomfort and relieve pressure.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria in your urinary tract.
- Avoid any food and drink that may irritate your urinary system. This includes coffee, alcohol, and sugary sodas that contain citrus juice or caffeine.
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When To See Your Doctor
Kidney pain is almost always a sign that something is wrong with your kidney. You should see your doctor as soon as possible to determine whats causing your pain.
If the condition that has caused kidney pain isnt treated promptly and appropriately, your kidneys can stop working, which is called kidney failure.
Its especially important to see your doctor right away if your pain is severe and started suddenly because this is often caused by a serious problem such as renal vein thrombosis or bleeding into your kidney that needs emergency treatment.
What Causes A Kidney Infection
Scientists believe that most kidney infections start as a bladder infection that moves upstream to infect one or both of your kidneys. Most often, the infection is caused by bacteria that normally live in your bowel. The urinary tract has several ways to prevent infection from moving up the urinary tract. For example, urination most often flushes out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. Sometimes your body cant fight the bacteria and the bacteria cause a UTI. If you dont get medical treatment to stop the infection, the bacteria may infect your kidneys.
In some cases, your blood can carry bacteria or viruses from another part of your body to your kidneys.
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When To Contact A Doctor
A person who is experiencing kidney pain should contact a doctor as soon as possible to find out what is causing it.
People must contact a doctor to diagnose and treat kidney pain. Receiving the correct treatment ensures that the kidneys do not become damaged, which can lead to kidney failure.
Doctors may order tests such as:
- urine tests, which can help them identify any infections
- imaging tests, such as CT or ultrasound scans
- cytology, which can help them identify cancer cells in the urine
Is It Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
Because of where your kidneys are in your body, it is easy to confuse kidney pain and back pain. How can you tell the difference?
- Can happen on one or both sides
- Likely will not go away when you shift your body or rest
- Is usually felt in your lower back
- May shoot down one leg
- Feels more like a stabbing pain
- Gets worse when you do certain activities, like bending over or lifting something heavy
- May ease when you shift your body or rest
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Related Resources For Kidney Infection
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This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
What Happens If Antibiotics Dont Work For Kidney Infection
Often, antibiotics do not work. The infection can grow to the bloodstream and cause life-threatening kidney problems if left to worsen by left untreated. It can result in kidney damage and scarring if you get kidney infections. A UTI usually goes from being very painful to not being nearly as strong after only two to three days of starting an antibiotic program.
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Can You Prevent Kidney Infections
Prevention of urinary tract and kidney infection primarily focuses on reducing the associated risk factors. As mentioned earlier, the majority of urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria gaining entry into the urinary system through the urethra. Therefore, personal hygiene plays an important role in preventing kidney infection.
Examples of preventative measures include:
- Emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse or wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom may significantly reduce the chance of developing kidney infection in women.
- Drinking plenty of fluids has been shown to be the single most effective measure for preventing urinary tract infections.
- In individuals with long-standing urinary catheters, routinely scheduled changing of the catheter as well as regular cleaning around the catheter’s entry into the urethra are important steps in prevention of urinary tract infections.
- If kidney stones are the predisposing factor to repeated kidney infections, the removal of the stone and preventing future stones from forming may be necessary. These individuals may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and removal of kidney stones.
- Cranberries and cranberry juice can be beneficial in preventing kidney infections. It is important to note that cranberries may not treat an existing kidney infection, but have been found to be a simple preventive measure in addition to the other measures listed above.
Treatments For Kidney Infections
Kidney infections in men or women will typically require antibiotics. Donât rely on home remedies alone to take care of kidney infections.
Usually, doctors will prescribe empiric antibiotics to cover all the bases of potential bacteria that initially caused the infection until they can target the specific bacteria causing the infection.
A variety of available antibiotics are usually prescribed for at least a full week. Normally, you wonât require a stay at a hospital for a kidney infection if you can move around and consistently keep down oral antibiotics.
If you exhibit severe symptoms, including kidney infection symptoms or back pain, or cannot keep down the medication due to constant vomiting, you may be hospitalized so that your doctor may administer antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
Pregnant women are most at risk of needing such additional care and may be recommended to stay in the hospital for careful monitoring.
Other people that may require hospital stays as a result of kidney infections include those with sickle cell anemia, people aged 60 or over, patients in severe pain, and those experiencing severe vomiting.
If the kidney infection progresses enough to create an abscess in the kidney, you may require more serious treatment.
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What Should You Do If You Suspect A Kidney Infection
If you suspect you may have a kidney infection, dont ignore it. These symptoms will not just go away on their own. A kidney infection that is left untreated can result in:
- Kidney scarring
- Kidney failure
- High blood pressure
- Blood poisoning : If untreated, the bacteria from the kidney infection spreads into your bloodstream and can cause the infection to become life-threatening.
A kidney infection is a serious condition that deserves prompt medical care. Visit a doctor or urgent care unless your symptoms are severe.
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.
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