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.
What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection is caused by bacteria, often E. coli. They get into your urethra and move up to your bladder and ureter and then into your kidneys. Often you will have a urinary tract infection or cystitis at the same time or before you have a kidney infection. However, you can develop a kidney infection without a UTI or cystitis if you have kidney stones, diabetes or a weakened immune system.
Kidney Infection Back Pain
Can kidney problems give you back pain? The main indicator of whether a urinary tract infection has migrated from the bladder to the kidneys is a fever and back pain. Kidney infections are serious and require immediate medical attention.
Therefore, its important to know the symptoms of a kidney infection so that you know when to seek treatment.
Recommended Reading: Grapes For Kidney Stones
What Is The Function Of The Kidneys
The kidneys have a variety of important functions in the body. These functions include filtering and excreting the waste products from the blood as it circulates through capillaries within the kidneys, regulating blood pressure, maintaining steady levels of electrolytes , and contributing to the production of red blood cells.
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?
Recommended Reading: Ginger Tea Dissolves Kidney Stones
Causes Of Utis Vs Causes Of Kidney Infection
Your urinary tract is normally well equipped to prevent infections. The regular passage of urine helps to flush pathogens out of the urinary tract.
When bacteria make their way into your urinary tract and begin to multiply, UTIs occur. This can lead to symptoms. These bacteria have often come from your gastrointestinal tract and spread from your anus into your urinary tract.
Women are more likely to develop UTIs than men. This is because the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra and closer to the anus. Bacteria have a shorter distance to travel in order to establish an infection.
Types Of Kidney Infection
Kidney infections can be acute or chronic.
An acute kidney infection is one that goes away after treatment.
A chronic infection comes and goes, or may never go away properly. This type of infection can damage the kidneys. It usually occurs if there is a problem that causes urine to flow backwards from the bladder and up into the kidneys.
You May Like: What Tea Is Good For Kidney Function
How Is Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Kidney infection may be diagnosed by a physician by performing a complete physical examination and taking a detailed medical history. The evaluation includes checking the vital signs , assessing for signs of dehydration, and checking for tenderness on the mid and lower back. In young, female patients a pelvic exam may also be necessary to evaluate for pelvic infection . A pregnancy test may also be performed.
Urinalysis test is essential for the diagnosis of kidney infection. The urine sample must be properly collected. The urethra needs to be wiped clean properly before the sample is collected in order to avoid contamination of urine by the bacteria on the skin around the urethra. The initial stream of urine is preferably voided in the toilet before the collecting urine in the provided container. This is called the mid-stream, clean-catch urine. After an appropriate amount of urine is collected in the container, the remaining urine may also be voided in toilet.
A urinalysis suggestive of an infection in the urine in general, is highly suggestive and supportive of the diagnosis of kidney infection or urinary tract infection. A urine sample without evidence of urine infection makes kidney infection unlikely and another diagnosis may be considered.
How K Health Can Help
When you have a UTI, all you want is relief. Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app? Download K to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
You May Like: Is Ibuprofen Metabolized In The Kidneys
Kidney Infection Treatment Options
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics, pain relievers, and fever reducers. Uncomplicated kidney infection and few complicated kidney infections will be treated on an outpatient basis by a general practitioner, but people with a complicated kidney infection likely require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.. Pregnant women may require additional consultation with an obstetrician or gynecologist.
Consume Apples And Apple Juice
Apples are also nutrient-dense. Their high acid content may help the kidneys 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 heal following the infection.
Don’t Miss: What Happens If Your Kidneys Shut Down
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
If you have a kidney infection, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain in your back, side or groin
- Feeling like you have to urinate often, even if you just went
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Pus or blood in your urine
- Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. If you are currently taking medicine to treat a urinary tract infection , but you are still having any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.
If your health care provider thinks you might have a kidney infection, he or she might ask you for a urine sample to look or bacteria or other signs of infection. You might also need to have a blood test or imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.
Use Nonaspirin Pain Relievers
However, note that if you have kidney dysfunction, or acute kidney injury, as a result of a kidney infection, its important to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen .
Also Check: Renal Diet Watermelon
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:
Kidney Infections: Signs Symptoms And Treatment
When a kidney infection occurs, its important to recognize and treat it promptly in order to prevent long-term health effects. Our kidneys play multiple important roles in keeping us healthy. Kidneys filter waste and fluids from our blood while simultaneously producing hormones that help regulate our blood sugar, make red blood cells , and keep our bones strong. Its no wonder we need healthy, functioning kidneys!
You May Like: Pomegranate Juice And Kidney Stones
Causes Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection usually happens when bacteria gets into the urethra. This is a tube that carries urine out of your body. The bacteria travel up to your bladder, causing cystitis, and then up into your kidneys.
E. coli bacteria normally live in your bowel, where they cause no harm. They can be transferred from your bottom to your genitals during sex. They can also be transferred if you’re not careful when wiping your bottom after going to the loo.
A kidney infection can sometimes develop without a bladder infection.
For example, if you have:
- a problem with your kidney, such as kidney stones
- a weakened immune system
Pyelonephritis In Pregnant Women
Pregnancy causes many temporary changes in the body, including physiological changes in the urinary tract. Increased progesterone and increased pressure on the ureters can result in an increased risk of pyelonephritis.
Pyelonephritis in pregnant women typically requires hospital admission. It can threaten the lives of both mother and baby. It can also increase the risk of premature delivery. Pregnant women are treated with beta-lactam antibiotics for at least 24 hours until their symptoms improve.
To prevent pyelonephritis in pregnant women, a urine culture should be conducted between the 12th and 16th weeks of pregnancy. A UTI that doesnt have symptoms can lead to the development of pyelonephritis. Detecting the UTI early can prevent kidney infection.
Also Check: Kidneys And Apple Cider Vinegar
Is Screening Recommended For Uti Or Kidney Infection
In general, screening is not recommended for urinary tract infections and kidney infections in men and nonpregnant women.
While pregnant, screening may be recommended for women because bacteria in the urine without symptoms of infection are associated with a higher rate of progression to an overt urinary tract infection and pyelonephritis. These infections can potentially compromise fetal growth and health.
Screening for bacteria in the urine without any symptoms is also recommended for any individual prior to undergoing instrumentation of the urinary tract or in men undergoing prostate procedures. The presence of bacteria in the urine with or without infection can possibly lead to an increased chance of developing urinary tract infection. Treating these bacteria can substantially reduce the infectious complications of such procedures.
What Causes A Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections develop from a bladder infection . Bacteria travel up the tube between the bladder and kidney to infect a kidney. These bacteria are usually those normally living in the bowel – eg, E. coli. Most people with cystitis don’t get a kidney infection.
Some kidney infections develop without a bladder infection. This is sometimes due to a problem in the kidney. For example, people are more prone to kidney infections if they have a kidney stone or an abnormality of the kidney.
It is usually only one kidney that develops an infection. A kidney infection can occur at any age. It is much more common in women. This is because women are more at risk of developing a bladder infection . In women, the urethra is closer to the anus, which makes it easier for bacteria to get from the bowel to the urethra. The urethra is also shorter in women than in men, so bacteria can reach the bladder more easily.
Kidney infections are also more common in children, in older people and during pregnancy. They are uncommon in men.
Read Also: Is Pomegranate Juice Good For Your Kidneys
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: Pomegranate Juice For Kidney Stones
When To Go To The Hospital For A Kidney Infection
Urinary tract infections are a very common type of infection, particularly in females. In fact, estimates suggest that between 50 and 60 percent of females will experience a UTI at some point in their lifetime.
Most UTIs affect the urethra or the bladder. However, if the infection spreads to the kidneys, it can become much more serious. In some cases, a kidney infection will require treatment in a hospital.
In this article, well discuss kidney infections in more detail, including the symptoms to look for and when to seek medical care.
Experts believe that many kidney infections start as an infection of the lower parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder or urethra. Many times, these infections happen when bacteria from your bowel enter your urinary tract through your urethra.
Its possible for a UTI to continue to move up your urinary tract, progressing from your bladder into your kidneys.
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:
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.
How Do You Know When A Uti Becomes A Kidney Infection
The symptoms of a UTI include pain when urinating, abdominal pain above the pubic area, frequent need to urinate, and bad-smelling, cloudy, or bloody urine. If the infecting bacteria migrates up to the kidney, additional symptoms may include flank pain, lower back pain, fever, and maybe chills and nausea. If you have a lower urinary system infection and begin to notice pain on your sides or you have a fever over 100 degrees, itâs time to see a doctor.
Recommended Reading: Kidney Failure Kidney Disease Ribbon Tattoos
Complementary Treatments You Can Do At Home
Some people prefer to treat medical conditions with home remedies or alternative remedies.
Because of how serious kidney infections are, its important that you dont rely on home remedies. Instead, take the prescription antibiotics a doctor gives you and use home remedies to help ease symptoms or pain. You can also use home remedies to avoid UTIs and improve kidney function.
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.
Also Check: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For The Kidneys