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What Causes Kidney Infections In Females

What Are The Causes

Kidney Infection, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

The infection usually starts in the lower urinary tract as a urinary tract infection . Bacteria enter the body through the urethra and begin to multiply and spread up to the bladder. From there, the bacteria travel through the ureters to the kidneys.

Bacteria such as E. coli often cause the infection. However, any serious infection in the bloodstream can also spread to the kidneys and cause acute pyelonephritis.

Bipoc Communities And Kidney Infection

While many diseases affect different populations in the United States at different rates, there isnt much information available on the relative risk of kidney infection among different racial and ethnic groups.

Its well known that Black Americans are at higher risk for kidney failure than any other group 4 times as likely as white Americans, according to the National Kidney Foundation. But kidney infection rarely leads to kidney failure, accounting for a tiny sliver of cases.

There is some evidence that the risk of getting a UTI during pregnancy which can develop into a kidney infection is different for different groups, according to earlier research published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Looking at records of 24,000 births, researchers found that rates of UTI during pregnancy were 28.7 percent for white and Asian women, 30.1 percent for Black women, and 41.1 percent for Hispanic women. However, once the researchers controlled for socioeconomic differences, there were no significant differences between the groups.

How Bad Can A Urine Infection Get

Untreated urinary tract infections may spread to the kidney, causing more pain and illness. It can also cause sepsis. The term urosepsis is usually used to describe sepsis caused by a UTI. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the bodys often deadly response to infection or injury.

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What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.

Complications Of Kidney Infections

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Most kidney infections are treated successfully without complications, although some people may develop further problems.

Complications of a kidney infection are rare, but youre more likely to develop them if you:

  • are a child
  • rapid heartbeat
  • breathlessness

Blood poisoning is a medical emergency that usually requires admission to a hospital intensive care unit while antibiotics are used to fight the infection.

If youre taking certain medications for diabetes, such as metformin or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be temporarily withdrawn until you recover. This is because they can cause kidney damage during an episode of blood poisoning.

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Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection

A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.

Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.

Can A Uti Go Away On Its Own

It is possible for a simple UTI to go away on its own, but its difficult to predict when this can happen. Healthcare providers recommend treating UTIs with antibiotics when you begin having symptoms, especially if you have other medical problems or are:

  • Pregnant

  • Older in age

  • Experiencing fever or vomiting

Most women discover that UTI symptoms are too uncomfortable to wait, so they prefer to treat a UTI as soon as possible. UTIs are best treated with antibiotics.

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Symptoms Of Kidney Infection

The symptoms of a kidney infection usually start in the bladder or urethra, which spread to one or both of your kidneys.

If not treated properly, the infection can cause permanent damage to your kidney, which can be life-threatening.

The common symptoms of a kidney infection include:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • An urge to urinate frequently
  • Blood in the urine

How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections

Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments for Kidney Infection

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.

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Signs And Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection

Signs and symptoms of a kidney infection include those of a lower urinary tract infection including painful and frequent urination as well as:

  • Fever and chills
  • Pain in the lower back or sides
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cloudy or smelly urine
  • Dark or bloody urine

In people ages 65 and older, the above signs and symptoms of kidney infection may not occur. Instead, these individuals may experience confusion, hallucinations, or difficulty speaking.

In newborns and very young children, the only sign of a kidney infection may be a high fever.

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. DonĂ¢t 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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What Are Other Possible Causes Of Painful Urination

A painful burning feeling when you urinate is often a sign of a urinary tract infection . However, painful urination can occur even if you dont have an infection. Certain drugs, like some used in cancer chemotherapy, may inflame the bladder. Something pressing against the bladder or a kidney stone stuck near the entrance to the bladder can also cause painful urination.

Painful urination can also be caused by vaginal infection or irritation. You might be sensitive to chemicals in products such as douches, vaginal lubricants, soaps, scented toilet paper, or contraceptive foams or sponges. If it hurts to urinate after youve used these products, youre probably sensitive to them.

Drink Plenty Of Liquids

Female Body Kidney Pain Location Kidney Infection

Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly water, will help to wash bacteria from your bladder and urinary tract.

Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts may also help prevent urinary tract infections . However, you should avoid cranberry juice or extracts if you’re taking warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots. Cranberry juice can make the effects of warfarin more potent, so there’s a risk of excessive bleeding.

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Related Conditions Of Kidney Infection

Kidney infection can develop from, or lead to, certain other health conditions, including the following:

Urinary Tract Infection Most UTIs affect the lower urinary tract the urethra and bladder. But bacteria can migrate from the bladder to the kidneys, causing infection there.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Having an enlarged prostate can reduce the flow of urine, making it more likely that youll develop a UTI or kidney infection.

One of the most serious potential complications of a kidney infection, sepsis is an extreme immune system response to infection, resulting in widespread inflammation and sometimes vital organ failure and death.

Diagnosis Of Kidney Infection

Imaging tests Imaging Tests of the Urinary Tract There are a variety of tests that can be used in the evaluation of a suspected kidney or urinary tract disorder. X-rays are usually not helpful in evaluating… read more 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, Stones in the Urinary Tract Stones are hard masses that form in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, or an infection or block of the flow of urine. Tiny stones may cause no symptoms, but larger stones… read more structural abnormalities, or other causes of urinary obstruction.

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How Is Kidney Infection Diagnosed

A kidney infection is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms, a physical exam, and the results of urine tests, indicating bacteria in your urinary tract.

Your doctor will likely ask about your health history and any conditions that might place you at higher risk of a kidney infection, such as having an enlarged prostate gland or a medical condition that can cause urinary retention, such as multiple sclerosis.

Sometimes a doctor will order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or computerized tomography scan, to look for signs of swelling or other abnormalities in your kidneys or bladder.

Alternative And Complementary Therapies

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There are no effective alternative or complementary methods or therapies for curing a kidney infection.

But there may be ways you can increase your comfort while being treated with antibiotics, such as placing a heating pad on your abdomen, back, or side to ease any pain in those areas.

Drinking plenty of fluids can also help flush the bacteria causing the infection from your system.

And getting plenty of rest will help in your recovery from the infection.

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What Antibiotics Are Used For The Treatment And Cure Of Kidney Infections

    The most important component of the treatment of kidney infection is the prompt administration of antibiotics. As soon as the diagnosis of UTI or kidney infection is made by an analysis of urine, antibiotics need to be started. Typically, a strong antibiotic is started first, one which would be effective in treating all typical bacteria suspected of causing the infection. Once the actual bacteria are recovered and their sensitivity is determined, then a different antibiotic may be selected if the bacteria show resistance to the antibiotic that was originally started.

    Several types of antibiotics are available and used to treat kidney infection. The choice depends on specific situations, clinical setting, tolerance, allergies, and ability to take oral medications.

    Some of the common antibiotics used include

    The doctor diagnosing the kidney infection can determine what is the most appropriate in a given situation.

    Similar to any infection, a routine follow-up with the physician treating the kidney infection is important to assure that therapy has been effective. More immediate follow up may be necessary if the symptoms of the infection do not improve after a few days of antibiotics and supportive care. In such cases, further investigation may be necessary to rule out a complicated kidney infection and to assure that the organism causing the infection is sensitive to the prescribed antibiotics.

    Causes Kidney Stones Vs Utis

    UTIs occur when bacteria make their way into the urinary tract and begin to multiply, which can lead to symptoms. Women are more likely to develop more UTIs than men because the female urethra is shorter, which means bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to establish an infection. If left untreated, these UTIs can continue to spread upward into the kidneys.

    Kidney stones are generally the result of a less severe UTIs progression due to lack of treatment, but they can sometimes occur in other ways as well. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, a component of urine, the urine becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

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    Increased Urge To Urinate

    This symptom is common in both males and females, kidney functions regulate the flow of urine in the body. However if there is some dysfunction, then there may be increased urge to urinate. You may have to wake several times at night to urinate in night it is a evident symptoms of kidney diseases and must not be ignored. If you are having increased urge to urinate, then you must speak to your doctor to get yourself diagnosed as early as possible.

    Risk Factors For Developing Utis

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    Some people are at greater risk than others of developing UTIs. These include:

    • women sexually active women are vulnerable, in part because the urethra is only four centimetres long and bacteria have only this short distance to travel from the outside to the inside of the bladder
    • people with urinary catheters such as people who are critically ill, who cant empty their own bladder
    • people with diabetes changes to the immune system make a person with diabetes more vulnerable to infection
    • men with prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate gland that can cause the bladder to only partially empty
    • babies especially those born with physical problems of the urinary system.

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    What Causes Kidney Infections In Pregnancy

    The likelihood of kidney infections can be increased in pregnant women due to mechanical and hormonal changes in the body. Women are more vulnerable to acute pyelonephritis during second and third trimesters . Up to 40% of women with untreated asymptomatic bacteriuria develop pyelonephritis during pregnancy .

    The infection is usually caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli that travel through the urethra to the bladder and then to the kidneys. The other bacteria that can cause urinary tract infection are Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, or Staphylococcus .

    The following factors may increase the risk of kidney infections in pregnancy :

    • The distended pregnant belly may cause difficulties in hygiene. Also, the infections pass more easily into a womans body than into a mans, because of the short urethra, which is close to the anal opening. This leads to the easy transfer of bacteria from the rectal matter at the anal opening to the urethra.
    • Kidney enlargement: High concentration of progesterone hormone secreted during pregnancy causes dilation of ureters, slowing down the flow of urine, leading to its accumulation in the bladder. It causes the kidneys to enlarge and gives time for the bacteria to multiply and trigger the infection.
    • Compression of the ureters and bladder: The growing uterus puts pressure on the ureters and the bladder, making it difficult for the urine to flow.
    • Increased pH of urine and glycosuria enhances bacterial growth during pregnancy.

    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

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    What Is A Kidney Infection Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention

    A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, occurs when harmful bacteria reach your kidneys as part of a urinary tract infection .

    Most UTIs dont involve the kidneys. They affect only your lower urinary tract, meaning your urethra and bladder. But sometimes an infection that begins there moves into your upper urinary tract, affecting one or both kidneys.

    Its also possible to get a kidney infection following surgery, if bacteria enter your body during the procedure and travel through your bloodstream to your kidneys. In this case, your lower urinary tract may not be affected.

    If you have symptoms of a UTI or bladder infection such as pain with urination, smelly urine, low back pain, or discolored urine its important to seek medical treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to your kidneys.

    Kidney infections can be quite painful and require prompt evaluation and treatment. If your infection isnt treated soon enough, it may permanently damage your kidneys or spread to your bloodstream, possibly leading to and the impairment of other vital organs.

    Urinary Infections In Children

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    A urinary infection in a child needs to be investigated as it may indicate a more serious condition.

    The most common urinary system condition is urinary reflux. With this condition, the bladder valve isnt working properly and allows urine to flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of a kidney infection.

    Urinary reflux and the associated infections can scar or permanently damage the kidney, and can also lead to:

    • high blood pressure
    • toxaemia in pregnancy
    • kidney failure.

    Urinary reflux tends to run in families, so its important to screen children as early as possible if a close relative is known to have the problem.

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