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.
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.
What Does A Kidney Infection Look Like
CT with contrast is best for identifying kidney infection. This will often show wedge shaped areas in the outer part of the kidney. Some areas may look more mass like. There may be inflammation or stranding in the fat around the kidney.
Complications can also be imaged with CT. An emergency would be an obstructed infected kidney which must be treated with a drain. An abscess or pocket of pus can form in the kidney. This will need to be treated with antibiotics and drainage.
The infection can spread from the kidney into the blood and cause sepsis. Gas forming bacteria can infect the kidney which can have a high mortality if not treated promptly. There can be scarring in the kidneys and infarctions. The vein from the kidney can become occluded with clot.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A bacterial urinary tract infection is the most common kind of infection affecting the urinary tract. Urine, or pee, is the fluid that kidneys filter out of the bloodstream. Pee contains salts and waste products, but it doesnât normally contain bacteria. When bacteria get into the bladder or kidney and multiply in the pee, a UTI can happen.
There are three main types of UTI. Bacteria that infect only the urethra cause urethritis . Bacteria can also cause a bladder infection, which is called cystitis . Another, more serious kind of UTI is infection of the kidney itself, known as pyelonephritis . With this type of UTI, a person often has back pain, high fever, and vomiting.
The most common type of UTI is cystitis. These mostly just cause discomfort and inconvenience. Bladder infections can be quickly and easily treated. And itâs important to get treatment promptly to avoid the more serious infection that reaches the kidneys.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
A number of symptoms can indicate to your doctor that you may have a kidney infection. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely the infection involves the kidney. Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Sudden onset of chills
If you experience any of these sudden onset symptoms, please seek medical attention.
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Duration Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection usually starts out as a urinary tract infection that affects the bladder. Theres no rule for how long it takes a UTI to spread from your bladder to your kidneys.
If left untreated, a kidney infection may not resolve on its own, potentially becoming a severe infection or leading to a chronic or recurrent infection, notes the Mayo Clinic.
When treated with antibiotics, you may start to feel better two to three days after starting the drug. Its important, though, to continue your treatment for the entire course thats prescribed.
For a mild kidney infection, treatment can last 7 to 14 days. It may take a week or longer for your symptoms to resolve with treatment.
A severe or complicated kidney infection may take much longer to treat, depending on how far the infection has spread and what other complications it has caused, according to MedlinePlus.
Summary Of Findings Safety Recommendations And Safety Observations
Summary of HSIB findings
HSIB makes the following safety recommendations
Safety recommendation R/2020/091:
It is recommended that the British Association of Urological Surgeons, in collaboration with other relevant specialties , develops national standards which support electronic and paper-based systems for stent logging/ tracking. These standards should include guidance on monitoring and human oversight.
Safety recommendation R/2020/092:
It is recommended that the British Association of Urological Surgeons works with the Patient Information Forum to review its stent patient information leaflet. This should include accessibility and clinical considerations, especially with regards to side effects and complications, and advice on the action to take should concerns arise.
Safety recommendation R/2020/093:
It is recommended that the British Association of Urological Surgeons provides guidance for staff working within the stone care pathway to promote consistent advice to patients as part of discharge planning.
Safety recommendation R/2020/094:
It is recommended that the British Association of Urological Surgeons encourages members to include information in discharge letters and other communication sent to GPs and patients regarding patients stent status, potential complications and the possibility of a retained stent.
HSIB makes the following safety observations
Safety observation O/2020/073:
Safety observation O/2020/074:
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Bladder Infection Vs Kidney Infection
The main difference between a bladder infection and a kidney infection is when bacteria have built up and infected the urinary tract system. Although most kidney infections result from untreated bladder infections that migrate to the kidneys, a kidney infection can occur in other ways.
Overall, bladder infections are more common than kidney infections and considered less complicated, especially since kidney infections can lead to serious illness if infections spread through the bloodstream.
A critical difference between bladder infection and kidney infection symptoms is the increased likelihood of illness associated with the infection migrating to the kidneys. The signs and symptoms of a bladder infection that can remain the same even after the infection spreads to the kidneys include:
- A fever remaining under 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pain and pressure in the pelvis
- Painful or burning urination
- Dark and cloudy urine that may appear red from blood
- Bad-smelling urine
- Pain in the abdomen
Additional signs and symptoms that indicate an infection has spread to the kidneys include nausea, vomiting, chills, shaking, a fever exceeding 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and, particularly in the elderly, confusion.
Prevention Of A Kidney Infection
Preventing kidney infections usually starts with preventing UTIs in the lower urinary tract. Steps you can take to help prevent UTIs include:
- Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Urinate when you feel the urge to do so dont wait.
- Urinate after having sex.
- Dont use unnecessary cleansing or deodorizing products in the genital area.
- Steer clear of birth control methods that can raise the risk of a UTI.
If you do develop a UTI, get it treated as soon as possible. See your primary healthcare provider for treatment, or visit an urgent-care facility for diagnosis and a prescription for antibiotics.
Treating a UTI promptly may prevent it from spreading from your bladder to your kidneys.
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What Is Kidney Infection
Infection in the urinary tract can involve the lower tract especially the bladder , prostate or the upper tract and kidney . It is usually a bacterial infection. The disease occurs in roughly three to seven of every 10,000 people in the United States. The occurrence in pregnant women is about 2 percent. It is readily treatable if diagnosed early.
A bacteria called Escherichia Coli causes about 90 percent of kidney infections. The bacteria migrate from the genitals through the urethra into the bladder and up the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys.
Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus infections, can enter the kidneys from the bloodstream.
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.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections often develop quickly. Typical symptoms include:
- Bloody, cloudy, dark and/or foul-smelling urine
- Pain in the back or abdomen
- Uncontrollable chills or sweats
Since a bladder infection often causes and may occur simultaneously with a kidney infection, some of the symptoms can overlap. Its also worth noting that symptoms of a kidney infection tend to vary according to age. Young children under the age of two may only experience a fever, or may cry when urinating. Meanwhile, adults 65 years or older may experience confusion or other changes in their mental status, while not exhibiting a fever or other symptoms.
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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
Shortness Of Breath After Very Little Effort
Why this happens:
Being short of breath can be related to the kidneys in two ways. First, extra fluid in the body can build up in the lungs. And second, anemia can leave your body oxygen-starved and short of breath.
What patients said:
At the times when I get the shortness of breath, its alarming to me. It just fears me. I think maybe I might fall or something so I usually go sit down for awhile.
I couldnt sleep at night. I couldnt catch my breath, like I was drowning or something. And, the bloating, cant breathe, cant walk anywhere. It was bad.
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What Is Pyelonephritis
Pyelonephritis is the medical term for a kidney infection. The most common cause of acute kidney infections in children is from a bacterial urinary tract infection that has spread from the bladder to the kidneys. The bacteria trigger inflammation and the kidneys respond by producing more urine, which leads to dehydration.
The inflammation and dehydration from just one kidney infection can result in scarring that can cause high blood pressure and reduced kidney function. Therefore, it is critical that children who have a UTI and fever, especially those under the age of 2, receive prompt medical care to prevent possible permanent kidney damage. Repeat acute kidney infections can ultimately lead to the need for a kidney transplant. In very rare cases, untreated pyelonephritis can cause death.
Causes Of Kidney Pain
Kidney pain is a sign that theres something affecting one or both of your kidneys. Your kidney may hurt for these reasons:
Depending on the condition thats causing your kidney pain, you may be able to treat it with home remedies, medications, or surgery.
Conditions such as kidney stones and cysts sometimes resolve on their own.
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How Is The Procedure Performed
The procedure is usually performed with the patient asleep . Sometimes a local anaesthetic, with or without sedation, is administered.
During this procedure, a tube with a tiny optic camera is inserted through the urethra into your bladder. The bladder is inspected, and the ureteric opening is located. The urologist may use x-ray images taken with a contrast agent in the ureters to assess the urinary tract and to locate the obstruction.
The stent is placed during surgery by sliding it over a guidewire placed in the ureter .
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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.
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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.
How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed
Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.
Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.
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Infectious Disease And Your Kidneys
What would you do if you had a fever with irritation or pain when you urinate? Would you wait a few days and then make an appointment to see a doctor? Dont wait. Those symptoms might be from a bladder infection. Bladder infections need to be treated. If a bladder infection is not resolved, it may lead to a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are rare, but they can cause a number of problems. Urine is one of the body fluids that normally have no bacteria. When the bladder is infected with bacteria, the bacteria in the bladder can travel up to the kidney. If this happens, you may have pain in the back or side, chills and fever, irritation or pain when urinating, or orangecolored urine . Nausea and vomiting can also occur. Urine is checked for bacteria in several ways. A test of the kidney, such as a scan or an ultrasound may be ordered. A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.
Most kidney infections start as bladder infections. Bladder infections usually get better with antibiotics in otherwise healthy people. The goal of antibiotics is to kill the bacteria in the bladder and prevent it from spreading. One dose is not enough you need to finish all of the pills in the prescription to be sure the bacteria are gone. If you still have symptoms when you finish the pills, you should call your doctor. You might need another or a different prescription.