Who’s 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.
Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:
- having a condition that blocks, or obstructs, your urinary tract, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate children with constipation can also be at an increased risk
- being born with an abnormality in your urinary tract
- having a condition that prevents you emptying your bladder fully, such as an injury to your spinal cord this can allow bacteria in your bladder to multiply and spread
- having a weakened immune system for example, due to type 2 diabetes or as a side effect of chemotherapy
- having an infection of the prostate gland called prostatitis the infection can spread from the prostate gland into the kidneys
- having a urinary catheter
- being female and sexually active sexual intercourse can irritate the urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
- being pregnant this can cause physical changes that slow the flow of urine out of your body and make it easier for bacteria to spread to the kidneys
- having undergone female genital mutilation an illegal practice where a woman’s genitals are deliberately cut or changed for cultural, religious and social reasons
What Is The Outlook For Kidney Infections
With treatment, the outlook for kidney infections is very positive. It is vital that you take all of any prescribed medications for the infection. You may begin feeling better shortly after beginning a treatment, but still need to take the entire prescribed treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/22/2019.
- National Kidney Foundation. Urinary Tract Infections Accessed 5/23/19.
- National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Pyelonephritis: Kidney Infection Accessed 5/23/19.
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?
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What Is The Treatment For A Kidney Infection
- Antibiotics will usually clear the infection. An antibiotic is usually prescribed straightaway if a kidney infection is suspected, even before the result of the urine test is known. Some germs are resistant to some antibiotics. Therefore, sometimes a change of antibiotic may be needed if the urine test shows a germ which is resistant to the initial antibiotic. The course of antibiotics is for 7-14 days, depending on which one is used. Commonly used antibiotics for kidney infections include ciprofloxacin, cefalexin, co-amoxiclav or trimethoprim.
- Painkillers such as paracetamol can ease pain and reduce a high temperature . Stronger painkillers may be needed if the pain is more severe. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen are not usually recommended for a person with a kidney infection. This is because they may possibly cause problems with the working of the kidney during a kidney infection.
- Plenty of fluid should be taken to prevent lack of fluid in the body .
In many cases, the infection is not too severe, treatment can be taken at home and the infection will clear with a course of antibiotic tablets. If treatment is to be home-based, a doctor should be called if the symptoms are not improving after 24 hours, or the person is feeling more unwell.
However, some people need to be admitted to hospital – for example if:
What Are The Common Side Effects Of Kidney Infection Medications
Most antibiotics cause gastrointestinal problems including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. All antibiotics can cause a serious secondary diarrheal infection due to a bacteria known as Clostridium difficile. The most serious side effects of fluoroquinolones are psychiatric disorders, heart problems, and tendon problems.
Analgesics like acetaminophen are relatively safe when taken as directed. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal: nausea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Acetaminophen, however, can be toxic in excess. Acetaminophen overdose damages the liver and could require emergency treatment and hospitalization.
Side effects will vary based on the medication. This is not a complete list, and you should consult with a healthcare professional for possible side effects and drug interactions based on your specific situation.
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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.
What Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Kidney Infections
Treating a kidney infection requires antibiotics to prevent bacteria from multiplying. A variety of antibiotics are normally used to treat kidney infections. What is the best medicine for kidney infection treatment? Some of the most commonly prescribed kidney infection medications include:
Request antibiotics for kidney infection treatment online if you qualify here.
How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Kidney infection diagnosis is based on physical symptoms and urine testing. Most typically, a kidney infection diagnosis will be made by a general practitioner, urgent care physician, or emergency room physician.
Kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection, so symptoms will typically include symptoms of a bladder infection such as pain over the pubic area, frequent urination, and cloudy urine. The healthcare professional will look for specific symptoms of a kidney infection in addition to the UTI symptoms:
- Pain in the side or lower back pain
- Costovertebral angle tenderness, which is pain caused by tapping the back above the kidney
Fever, flank pain, and nausea are the strongest indicators of kidney infection.
The diagnosis is confirmed with urinalysis and a urine culture. The urine test will confirm the diagnosis by identifying white blood cells and other substances indicating infection. The urine culture is used to both identify the type of bacteria responsible for the infection and determine its resistance to antibiotics. Both are critical in determining the most effective antibiotic therapy.
Blood tests are not usually ordered for patients with an uncomplicated kidney infection, but blood will be tested for hospitalized patients.
How Can I Treat A Kidney Infection At Home
Treating kidney infection solely at home or with natural remedies is not a good idea. However, several home remedies can help manage the pain while the infection is treated with antibiotics. These include drinking water, using a heating pad to reduce pain, and taking over-the-counter acetaminophen to manage both pain and fever.
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Skip Citrusy Or Caffeinated Sodas Irritate The Bladder
Sodas in general have been found to irritate the bladder in people with chronic bladder inflammation, and they could aggravate symptoms in someone with a bladder infection. Citrus-flavored sodas and caffeinated sodas are the culprits when it comes to worsening urinary tract infection symptoms. So, when youre struggling to overcome a bladder infection, stick to water or cranberry juice as your drink of choice.
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How Are Kidney Infections Treated
A physician will treat the disease based on his or her examination. He or she may start the patient on the standard treatment of a course of antibiotics before the lab tests results are available. The medication may change once the exact strain of bacteria is revealed by the lab tests.
If the treatment is effective, the patient should feel better in two to three days. If not, your healthcare provider will start looking for additional problems. Most antibiotic treatments last for 14 days and it is essential that patients take the pills as recommended for the full 14 days even though symptoms may disappear after a few days. The disappearance of symptoms does not mean all bacteria are killed. Some may remain and the infection may reappear.
There is also a concern that those bacteria that remain may develop resistance to the medication. For some reason the disease is more difficult to treat in men and they may have to take medication for up to six weeks. Patients with severe illness, those that have significant nausea and vomiting, high fevers, significant pain and signs of dehydration may be hospitalized for a few days while the antibiotics are administered intravenously. Urine samples are taken after about six weeks of treatment and examined to insure the bacterial infection is eradicated.
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Packaged Instant And Premade Meals
Processed foods can be a major component of sodium in the diet.
Among these foods, packaged, instant, and premade meals are usually the most heavily processed and thus contain the most sodium.
Examples include frozen pizza, microwaveable meals, and instant noodles.
Keeping sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day may be difficult if youre eating highly processed foods regularly.
Heavily processed foods not only contain a large amount of sodium but also commonly lack nutrients .
Packaged, instant, and premade meals are highly processed items that can contain very large amounts of sodium and lack nutrients. Its best to limit these foods on a renal diet.
Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are leafy green vegetables that contain high amounts of various nutrients and minerals, including potassium.
When served raw, the amount of potassium varies between 140290 mg per cup .
While leafy vegetables shrink to a smaller serving size when cooked, the potassium content remains the same.
For example, one-half cup of raw spinach will shrink to about 1 tablespoon when cooked. Thus, eating one-half cup of cooked spinach will contain a much higher amount of potassium than one-half cup of raw spinach.
Raw Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are preferable to cooked greens to avoid too much potassium.
However, moderate your intake of these foods, as theyre also high in oxalates. Among sensitive individuals, oxalates can increase the risk of kidney stones (
Avoid: Foods High In Potassium
Another group of foods to avoid when dealing with kidney cancer are foods that are high in potassium like avocado, chocolate, granola, dates, figs, bran, squash, apricots, peanut butter, honeydew, broccoli, molasses, milk and bananas, says the National Kidney Foundation.
So why are we avoiding high potassium foods? Well, according to research by Dr. Eric P. Cohen in Cancer and the Kidney,an overabundance of potassium can cause muscle weakness and cardiovascular problems that can complicate kidney cancer, writes LiveStrong.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Infections
The symptoms of kidney infections depend on age, but in general, it starts with symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection, such as discomfort when urinating and frequent urination. Then, once the infection reaches the kidneys, there will be more serious symptoms, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful and frequent urination: The infection can cause irritation and swelling in the urinary tract which makes urination painful and makes you think you need to urinate more.
- Blood in urine: Red blood cells in your urine might only be seen when checked under a microscope, but in some cases, the urine is visibly pink, red, or brown. This means that the filters in the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract are allowing blood to leak into the urine.
Young children under two may only have a high fever without any other symptoms. People above the age of 65 may not have typical symptoms but may seem confused, have muddled speech, or hallucinate.
If left untreated, kidney infections can result in serious complications. Kidney failure can result from the infection. A kidney infection can also cause , an adverse reaction to infection in your bloodstream, which can lead to organ failure and death.
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.
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Things You Can Try Yourself
If you have a kidney infection, try not to “hover” over the toilet seat when you go to the loo because it can result in your bladder not being fully emptied.
It’s also important for most people with a kidney infection to drink plenty of fluids because this will help to flush out the bacteria from your kidneys. Aim to drink enough so that you’re frequently passing pale-coloured urine.
If you have kidney failure, get advice from your doctor on how much to drink.
Make sure you get plenty of rest. A kidney infection can be physically draining, even if you’re normally healthy and strong. It may take up to 2 weeks before you’re fit enough to return to work.
Consume Apples And Apple Juice
Apples are also nutrient-dense. Their high acid content may help the kidneys to maintain acidity in the urine, possibly inhibiting further growth of bacteria. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial in helping the kidneys to heal following the infection. Learn more about the many health benefits of apples.
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What Is The Best Medication For A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics. The âbestâ antibiotic will be the one most suitable for the bacteria causing the condition, its resistance to specific antibiotics, and taking into account any patient allergies.
|Best medications for a kidney infection|
|Two 325 mg tablets every 6 hours||Nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite|
Many of the standard dosages above are from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
Do Antibiotics Help Kidney Stones
Depending on the type of kidney stone you had and what type of medicine the health care professional prescribes, you may have to take the medicine for a few weeks, several months, or longer. For example, if you had struvite stones, you may have to take an oral antibiotic for 1 to 6 weeks, or possibly longer.
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Kidney Infection In Dogs: Causes Signs & Treatment
Author Sara Ochoa
Was your dog recently diagnosed with a kidney infection? This can be very painful and potentially life-threatening. You can do many things to quickly get your dog back to their healthy and happy life and there are many ways to prevent them from developing a kidney infection.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Flushing bacteria from the kidneys is an important goal when a person has a kidney infection. Drinking at least six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day can help, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .
If a person has kidney failure, they may need to decrease this amount of fluid based on their doctors recommendations.
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What Are The Best Treatments For Kidney Infection Pain
A kidney infection is considered serious and usually needs to be treated by a medical professional to prevent it from spreading into the bloodstream. Most doctors start the treatment with antibiotics to get rid of the infection, but there are also kidney infection pain remedies that can be used at home to get rid of symptoms like nausea, pain during urination, and lower back tenderness until the antibiotics take effect. Drinking both cranberry juice and lots of water can help reduce pain, as can taking supplements like vitamin C. Of course, rest and hot compresses also often work, and can be done from home after getting medical treatment.
One of the main ways to start reducing pain from a kidney infection is to get antibiotics from the doctor. Most people are offered oral antibiotics to treat the issue, but some severe cases call for intravenous intake at a hospital or doctors office. Some people prefer to use garlic or Echinacea to help get rid of the bacteria, as these are both considered natures antibiotics, but a doctor should be consulted before anyone uses these in place of prescription antibiotics.