When To Go To The Er For Uti Symptoms
If your symptoms have progressed to the point of lethargy, pain, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and/or blood in the urine, you need to get to the nearest Advance ER right away.
If you are pregnant, have diabetes, use a catheter, have an enlarged prostate or are prone to kidney stones, it is especially important for you to see a physician right away when you first start to show symptoms of a UTI, said Dr. Shalev. Also, babies and children need prompt care.
How Is A Kidney Infection Treated
A kidney infection needs to be treated urgently with antibiotics. If it’s not treated quickly, the infection can get worse and cause . This can cause permanent damage to your kidneys and can even lead to death.
The infection usually starts to clear up within a few days of taking the antibiotic, but you must take the entire course of antibiotics to make sure the infection is completely cleared.
Your antibiotic may need to be changed to a different one after few days if:
- you are not getting better or
- your urine test results show a different antibiotic is needed.
For a severe kidney infection, your doctor may admit you to the hospital. Treatment in hospital may include antibiotics that you receive through a vein in your arm . You may also be prescribed medicine such as paracetamol for pain and fever.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
To reduce discomfort while you recover from a kidney infection, you might:
- Apply heat. Place a heating pad on your abdomen, back or side to ease pain.
- Use pain medicine. For fever or discomfort, take a nonaspirin pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
- Stay hydrated. Drinking fluids will help flush bacteria from your urinary tract. Avoid coffee and alcohol until your infection has cleared. These products can worsen the feeling of needing to urinate.
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How Are Utis Treated
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. It’s important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.
If a child has severe pain when peeing, the doctor may also prescribe medicine that numbs the lining of the urinary tract.
Give prescribed antibiotics on schedule for as many days as your doctor directs. Keep track of your child’s trips to the bathroom, and ask your child about symptoms like pain or burning during peeing. These symptoms should improve within 2 to 3 days after antibiotics are started.
Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, but skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.
Most UTIs are cured within a week with treatment.
Causes Of Kidney Infection
Pyelonephritis is more common among women than men. Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria normally in the large intestine, causes about 90% of cases of pyelonephritis among people who are not hospitalized or living in a nursing home. Infections usually ascend from the genital area through the urethra to the bladder, up the ureters, into the kidneys. In a person with a healthy urinary tract, an infection is usually prevented from moving up the ureters into the kidneys by the flow of urine washing organisms out and by closure of the ureters at their entrance to the bladder. However, any physical blockage to the flow of urine, such as a structural abnormality, kidney stone, or an enlarged prostate gland, or the backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureters increases the likelihood of pyelonephritis.
The risk of pyelonephritis is increased during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the enlarging uterus puts pressure on the ureters, which partially obstructs the normal downward flow of urine. Pregnancy also increases the risk of reflux of urine up the ureters by causing the ureters to dilate and reducing the muscle contractions that propel urine down the ureters into the bladder. Occasionally, a catheter that remains in the bladder can cause pyelonephritis by allowing bacteria to enter or remain in the bladder.
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How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing urinary tract infections and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. Sorry, but dont rely on cranberry juice or supplements for thisthe science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive UTI-prevention method. Instead, whenever you feel a bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could lead to an infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow, the organization says.
Kaufman also stresses the importance of urinating like a fire hose after sex. It might even be helpful to skip peeing before sex as long as that doesnt make you uncomfortable, he says. This allows you to build up a forceful stream that may better help remove any bacteria that might have been pushed up there during sex.
Also, we referenced this above, but its important to reiterate: After you pee , you should be sure to wipe from front to back, as wiping back to front can spread harmful bacteria from your rectum to your urethra, where it can cause an infection.
How Can I Make Sure My Kidney Infection Is Completely Gone
If you recently had a kidney infection, the health care professional will often repeat urine cultures after your treatment ends to make sure your infection has completely gone away and has not come back. If a repeat test shows infection, you may take another round of antibiotics. If your infection comes back again, he or she may prescribe antibiotics for a longer time period.
If your health care professional prescribes antibiotics, take all of the antibiotics as prescribed and follow the advice of the health care professional. Even if you start to feel better, you should finish all of your medicine.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Treat Kidney Infections
If you have a kidney infection, a health care professional will prescribe antibiotics. Even before your test results are in, the health care professional may prescribe an antibiotic that fights the most common types of bacteria. Although you may feel relief from your symptoms, make sure to take the entire antibiotic treatment that your health care professional prescribes.
Once your lab results are in, the health care professional may switch the antibiotic to one that better treats the type of infection you have. You may take these antibiotics by mouth, through a vein in your arm, called by IV, or both.
If you are very sick from your kidney infection, you may go to a hospital for bed rest. A health care professional may give you fluids through an IV.
Under What Circumstances Would You Be Admitted To The Hospital For A Kidney Infection
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Causes Of Kidney Infections
A kidney infection happens when bacteria infects your kidneys. The bacteria are usually a type called E. coli, which live in your bowel.
The bacteria get in through the opening of the urethra and move upwards through your urinary tract, first infecting your bladder and then your kidneys.
It’s thought the bacteria can get into your urinary tract by accidentally spreading from your anus to your urethra. This can happen if you wipe your bottom after going to the toilet and the soiled toilet paper comes into contact with your genitals. It can also happen during sex.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can develop if bacteria or fungi infect the skin and the infection spreads through your bloodstream into your kidney. However, this type of infection usually only occurs in people with weakened immune systems.
Kidney Infection Risk Factors
Anyone can get a kidney infection. But just as women get more bladder infections than men, they also get more kidney infections.
A womanâs urethra is shorter than a manâs, and itâs closer to their vagina and anus. That means itâs easier for bacteria or viruses to get into a womanâs urethra, and once they do, itâs a shorter trip to the bladder. From there, they can spread to the kidneys.
Pregnant women are even more likely to get bladder infections. This is because of hormone changes and because a baby puts pressure on the motherâs bladder and ureters and slows the flow of urine.
Any problem in your urinary tract that keeps pee from flowing as it should can raise your chances of a kidney infection, such as:
- A blockage in your urinary tract, like a kidney stone or enlarged prostate
- Conditions that keep your bladder from completely emptying
- A problem in the structure of your urinary tract, like a pinched urethra
- Vesicoureteral reflux , which is when pee flows backward from your bladder toward your kidneys
Youâre also more likely to get an infection if you have:
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Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Kidney infection symptoms can develop quickly. Signs of kidney infection may include:
- pain in your back or sides
- a fever and chills
- feeling sick or being sick
- generally feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms
You may often notice symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection before developing a kidney infection. These may include needing to pee urgently, a burning or stinging feeling when you pee, and sometimes blood in your urine.
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your GP.
With our GP services, we aim to give you an appointment the same day, subject to availability. Find out more about our GP services >
When Should I Go To The Doctor
A kidney infection can develop quite quickly over a few hours or days, so dont wait to see the doctor. Any of the above symptoms of a UTI or kidney infection should trigger a visit to your doctor for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.
A doctor will analyze a sample of your urine. If you test positive for a kidney infection, youll be prescribed oral antibiotics and, in some cases, a medication that helps relieve pain with urination. If treated promptly, a kidney infection shouldnt cause serious harm.
If you experience a fever over 101°F, pain, are unable to drink or take oral medication along with some of the other symptoms, get to the nearest urgent care or ER. For more serious infections, your doctor may keep you in the hospital for observation with IV antibiotics followed by outpatient oral antibiotics.
After completing the full course of prescribed antibiotics, you should feel better. If you dont, talk to your doctor, as you may need another course of antibiotics.
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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.
How Are Utis Diagnosed
To diagnose a UTI, health care providers ask questions about what’s going on, do an exam, and take a sample of pee for testing.
How a sample is taken depends on a child’s age. Older kids might simply need to pee into a sterile cup. For younger children in diapers, a catheter is usually preferred. This is when a thin tube is inserted into the urethra up to the bladder to get a “clean” urine sample.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
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Are There Appropriate Times To Go To The Er For A Uti
Although most UTIs can be treated at an urgent care, some symptoms can be a sign of a serious health problem, such as kidney infections, that may warrant an ER visit. These symptoms include:
- High fever
- Severe nausea
Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, people with weakened immune systems and people with certain conditions like diabetes or kidney disease may need specialized treatment. Your doctor or nearest urgent care facility can direct you to the appropriate location.
Antibiotics For Kidney Infections
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for kidney infections. Which drugs you use and for how long depend on your health and the bacteria found in your urine tests.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of a kidney infection begin to clear up within a few days of treatment. But you might need to continue antibiotics for a week or longer. Take the entire course of antibiotics recommended by your doctor even after you feel better.
Your doctor might recommend a repeat urine culture to ensure the infection has cleared. If the infection is still present, you’ll need to take another course of antibiotics.
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When To See A Doctor
If you have signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor right away. Again, a kidney infection is seriousit can sometimes lead to a dangerous, life-threatening health condition called , the NIDDK says. Even if your infection doesnt progress to that, a kidney infection can become chronic, i.e., long-lasting, and can cause permanent damage to your kidneys, the NIDDK says. Kaufman recommends heading to your local urgent care facility or emergency room if you have signs of a kidney infection.
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:
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Treatment For More Severe Utis
Kids with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
This might happen if:
- the child has high fever or looks very ill, or a kidney infection is likely
- the child is younger than 6 months old
- bacteria from the infected urinary tract may have spread to the blood
- the child is dehydrated or is vomiting and cannot take any fluids or medicine by mouth
Kids with VUR will be watched closely by the doctor. VUR might be treated with medicines or, less commonly, surgery. Most kids outgrow mild forms of VUR, but some can develop kidney damage or kidney failure later in life.
Visit Village Emergency Centers
At Village Emergency Centers, we are equipped to deal with all types of emergencies, 24/7. If you think that you might be dealing with a UTI, kidney infection, or another kind of emergency, visit us today. We have locations throughout the Greater Houston area with little to no wait and transparent billing. Should you have questions about when to go to the hospital for kidney infection, give us a call!
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Should I Go To The Er For A Kidney Infection
Should I go to the ER for a kidney infection? Kidney infections occur when bacteria from your bowel enter your urinary tract, causing an infection that requires medical attention. However, you may not need to visit the emergency room for a kidney infection if your symptoms are not severe. If you do believe youre having severe kidney infection symptoms, visit an emergency room as soon as possible.
Check out the answers to other ER-related questions: