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What’s The Difference Between A Uti And A Kidney Infection

The Urinary Tract Infection Explained

10 Kidney Infection Signs

A urinary tract infection is a medical complication that affects any area of the urinary system, this also refers to the kidneys but isnt limited to them, it also includes the urethra, the bladder and the ureters. Women are at a greater risk of developing these types of infections and while these infections are on the bladder level they are just annoying and cause some pain, but if they actually extend to the kidneys than there are some serious consequences in play if they arent taken care of properly.

The Common Link Between Uti And Kidney Infections

The urinary tract in our bodies includes the bladder, kidneys and urethra. When any bacteria invades and infects the tract, it leads to urinary tract infection or UTI. Infection in the kidneys, bladder and urethra is a part of urinary tract infection. The most common kidney infection is Pyelonephritis, a bladder infection is Cystitis and urethra infection is Urethritis. All of these come under UTI. But when a person is diagnosed with a UTI, that doesnt mean he has either of the aforesaid infections. Amongst all kinds of UTIs, kidney infection is potentially severe and can cause complications if not treated on time. Therefore, a person must know whether they have UTI or a kidney infection to save their kidneys on time.

Common Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection

Treatment for kidney infections can vary depending on the cause and severity of an infection. Infections in the urinary tract, including a bladder and kidney infection, most commonly occur when bacteria travel through the urethra to the bladder to use urine as food for growth and multiplication. Excess levels of bacteria can lead to infections that, when they migrate to the kidneys, are known as kidney infections.

The most common cause of an infection in the urinary tract is from the presence of the bacteria Escherichia coli, also commonly referred to as E.coli. They are found in our colon and feces. Although harmless in their natural state, they are responsible for about 75 percent of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

Improper wiping or toilet backsplash that accidentally causes the bacteria from the anus to contact the genitals is one of the most common ways to spread E. coli into the urinary tract. Bacteria transfer can also occur during sex; irritation of the urethra from frequent sexual intercourse can increase the likelihood for women to develop cistitis. Men or women who take part in unprotected anal sex are also more likely to develop urinary tract infections.

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Bladder Infection Vs Other Utis

The symptoms of a bladder infection, which people may refer to as cystitis, are very similar to those of UTIs in other parts of the urinary tract. As a result, it may be difficult to tell which part of the urinary tract has an infection based on the symptoms alone.

An infection in the urethra may cause pain and burning when urinating and discharge from the urethra, but bladder pain is not a symptom.

An infection that has spread to the kidneys will cause the most severe symptoms. A person with a kidney infection may notice the same symptoms as those of a bladder infection, plus fever, chills, and back pain.

Treatment is usually the same for all types of UTI, except for kidney infections. Treating a kidney infection may require a person to stay in the hospital.

Kidney infections can cause serious health conditions, so anyone with these symptoms should seek treatment as early as possible.

UTIs occur when harmful bacteria enter the urinary tract and start spreading.

Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, but certain risk factors can elevate the chances. These include:

  • Biological sex: Females have a

Differentiating Kidney Stones And Urinary Tract Infections

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Kidney stones
Complications Recurring kidney stones Recurrent infections, permanent kidney damage due to an untreated UTI, delivering premature infant risk in pregnant women, urethral narrowing in men, sepsis.
Diagnosis Blood tests, urine testing, imaging tests, and analysis of any stones that have passed. Analyzing urine samples, growing urinary tract bacteria in a lab, creating images of the urinary tract, and using a scope to see inside of the bladder.
Treatment Increasing your intake of fluids, medications, lithotripsy, tunnel surgery, ureteroscopy, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy , and percutaneous nephrolithotomy . Drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding drinks that irritate the bladder, using a heating pad to relieve any pain, prescription antibiotics such as Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Fosfomycin, Nitrofurantoin, etc.

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Diagnosing And Treating Kidney Stones

Kidney stones should be diagnosed and treated by a urologist or a nephrologist. Diagnosing kidney stones may include blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests, and/or analysis of any stones that may have already been passed. Treatment is dependant on the type of stone, but treatments include medications, antibiotics, lithotripsy , ureteroscopy , and tunnel surgery .

What Is The Difference Between A Uti And A Kidney Infection Are The Antibiotics For Treatment The Same

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What Are Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are solid masses made up of minerals and salts that usually form inside your kidneys but can affect any part of your urinary tract. There are different types of kidney stones depending on the specific cause, so there may be uric acid stones, calcium stones , struvite stones, cystine stones, or xanthine stones. Kidney stones are known to be one of the most painful medical conditions, but they usually cause no permanent damage when properly and promptly treated. Unlike UTIs, kidney stones occur more commonly in men than in women. Men have a 13% chance of developing kidney stones in their lifetime, while women have a 7% risk.

Difference Between Bladder And Kidney Infections

Kidney Stones and urinary tract infections

Kidney infections and bladder infections are both considered urinary tract infections. Although they share similar symptoms, there are differences to be aware of between the two. The signs and symptoms of a kidney infection vary greatly from person to person and normally develop within a day or as fast as a few hours.

Understanding the difference between a bladder and kidney infection can ensure you take the right steps towards healing and speed up doctor consultation sessions.

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Understanding The Difference Between Feline Uti And Kidney Disease

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The difference between feline kidney disease vs urinary tract infection is a critical one. Understanding the two and how to treat them can be essential in maintaining your cat’s good health. The better informed you are, the better the chance that you’ll be able to prevent your cat from experiencing serious illness and even permanent damage.

Since both conditions involve the renal system and urine production, it is easy to confuse the two but they are very different and can carry very different consequences. By far, kidney disease is the more serious and dangerous of the two as it can affect the function of your cat’s entire body.

The major difference in feline kidney disease vs urinary tract infection is that kidney disease involves the actual breakdown of kidney function. In most cases of kidney disease, the ability of the kidney to filter out toxins becomes impaired. When this happens, the built up toxins that result begin to eat away at the kidneys themselves. Without immediate treatment, kidney failure will occur.

Urinary tract infection is much more common and is generally very easily treated. Most UTI’s are caused by a build up of bacteria in the urinary tract. The most common complication of UTI is the formation of crystals due to this bacteria which can cause blockage. If your vet discovers a blockage he can remove it either through surgery or catheterization or by prescribing antibiotics to break it up gradually.


When To See A Doctor

Although the body may sometimes fight off a UTI on its own, waiting for this to happen carries risks. UTIs can quickly spread, causing serious kidney infections.

A person should see a doctor for any symptoms of a UTI, particularly if they are pregnant or have an underlying health condition that affects their immune system.

A person with symptoms of a kidney infection should go to the emergency room for immediate medical care. The symptoms of a kidney infection include:

  • fever

Also Check: What Happens If Kidneys Fail

This Is One Of The Reasons It Is Important To Treat A Bladder Infection Quickly

Untreated bladder infections that just seem to go on and on, not only make you feel awful but can leave your whole urinary system susceptible to a more serious kidney infection. As it is so difficult to tell the difference between the two infections, it makes it doubly important to get rid of the infection as quickly as you can. Apart from that – who wants to spend all their time running to the bathroom in agony!

For some people this is the reason that they recommend getting antibiotics every time they experience a bladder infection. Antibiotics are an almost sure fire way of getting rid of bladder and kidney infections.

However in my experience, I feel that antibiotics have caused more problems for me than they have fixed. Read more about my experience with antibiotics here.

I no longer use antibiotics if I can help it

It is essential to treat a bladder infection and not just leave it. Where at all possible I aim to use natural products in all parts of my life. This is especially true for bladder infection treatments.

When using natural treatments for bladder infections, I like to make sure that it is working quickly. I am not feeling significantly better within a couple of hours, if not completely better then I will look for another treatment that will work. There are so many natural, safe alternatives for treating bladder infections that it is worth trying a few to make sure you get the results you are after.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti

The Energy

Common symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Pain while urinating
  • Passing only a minimal amount while urinating
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Urine may be pinkish or light red
  • Women likely to experience pelvic pain
  • Men likely to experience rectal pain

If the UTI spreads to the upper tract, then more severe symptoms may be experienced, including:

  • Back or side pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Remember when we said upper tract infections are more severe and have more critical symptoms? This is when it gets confusing to tell the difference between a UTI and a kidney stone, because the symptoms between a UTI in the upper tract are very similar to kidney stones symptoms.

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Kidney Stones Or Urinary Tract Infection Which Is It

We hardly consider basic bodily functions until they become a problem. Pain with urination or in your lower back can be alarming requiring intervention. ;

Did you know that UTIs and kidney stones have extremely similar symptoms that appear similar, but they affect your body in different ways? Treating the symptoms requires a proper diagnosis. This is not a time for self-diagnosis. Here are ways to learn the differences between the two conditions.

What is a UTI ?

A UTI is an infection that can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys. The urinary tract is responsible for passing urine and eliminating waste from the body. Bacteria causes UTIs in the urinary tract. Women are more likely to get UTIs than men with 20% of women getting at least one UTI in their lifetime.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract. About 1 out of every 11 people in the United States will get a kidney stone. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes.

Symptoms Kidney Stones Vs Utis

Kidney stone symptoms are in common with other types of UTIs, such as cystitis and urethritis. Symptoms include, a painful or burning sensation when urinating, an urgent feeling like to urinate often but passing a very small amount, bad-smelling urine with blood, and abdominal discomfort

In addition to the symptoms above, some more specific symptoms can indicate that your infection has moved into your kidneys. These symptoms could be fever, chills, pain in the lower back, or nausea along with the above-mentioned symptoms.

Also Check: What Side Is Your Kidneys On

What Is A Uti

A UTI is an infection that can affect anywhere in the urinary tract, including the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys. The urinary tract is responsible for passing urine and eliminating waste from the body. UTIs most commonly affect the lower tract, which includes the urethra and bladder. UTIs can also affect the upper tract, which includes the ureters and kidneys, however, infections affecting the upper tract are typically more severe and are accompanied with worsened symptoms and complications. UTIs are caused by bacteria in the urinary tract. Women are more likely to get UTIs than men, in fact, about 20% of women will get at least once in their lifetime.

Causes Of Utis Vs Causes Of Kidney Infection

Difference Between Bladder and 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.

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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.

Diagnosing And Treating Utis

UTIs can be diagnosed and treated by your family doctor, an OB/GYN, urologist, or a nephrologist. A sample of urine will be tested to determine which part of the urinary tract is infected and what kind of bacteria caused the infection , and then antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection.

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Difference Between Bladder And Kidney Infection

Bladder vs Kidney Infection ;

Bladder infections and kidney infections are both urinary tract infections. There are only a few differences between the two.

Urinary tract infections are the commonest bacterial infection in women. They mostly occur in women aged 16 to 35 years . 60% of women get a urinary tract infection sometime in their lives while 10% get it yearly. It is also the commonest type of infection acquired in the hospitals. Females are at a higher risk of getting urinary tract infection than males. Females have a shorter tube leading to outside from bladder. The position of the opening of the urinary tract in the vulva close to the anus makes it easier for the gut bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Sexually active women, elderly people, pregnant ladies, and people with reduced defenses against infections get urinary tract infections.

What is the difference between Bladder and Kidney Infection?;Cystitis vs Pyelonephritis

Kidney infections causes flank pain while bladder infection doesnt.

Fever is more common in kidney infections than in bladder infections.

All the investigations yield similar results in both.

Pyelonephritis may need intravenous antibiotics while bladder infections usually do not.

Uti Vs Vaginal Infection

Kidneys Ureter And Bladder Medical Abbreviation

Whats the Difference Between a Urinary Tract Infection and Vaginal Infection?

If you experience discomfort in your genital area or when you urinate, you may have an infection. Two types of infections that commonly affect these areas are urinary tract infections and vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. While each of these conditions are distinct, some of their symptoms, causes, and prevention methods are similar. The good news is that both conditions are treatable and more importantly preventable!

The good news is that both UTIs and Bacterial Vaginosis are conditions that are treatable and more importantly preventable!

Although UTIs and vaginal infections are quite different, its possible to have both at the same time. In fact, treating a UTI with antibiotics can sometimes lead to a vaginal infection. In addition, having bacterial vaginosis may predispose you to getting recurrent Urinary Tract Infections.


UTIs and vaginal infections may cause pain when urinating or discomfort in the genital area; however, generally other symptoms and the treatment for the conditions are different.

UTIs and vaginal infections symptoms may be in the same general area, but theyre distinct and need to be treated differently

Its important to understand the difference between the various types of infections and their symptoms so you can ensure you are getting the right treatment.

Know How to Tell the Difference!

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