Kidney Infection Symptoms In Women
Word to the wise: never ignore a UTI.
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know the pain-in-the-ass symptoms that come with it: a burning sensation when you pee, the need to go all the time. Well, those symptoms are also indicators of another serious health issue: a kidney infection.
While kidney infections are rare in otherwise healthy people, most do start as a UTI. As soon as you start having other symptoms , thats when you worry it might be moving beyond the bladder, says Staci Leisman, M.D., internist and nephrologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Its called an ascending infectionit literally moves up from the bladder into the kidneys.
A kidney infection can be easily treated with oral antibiotics , says Leisman. But in rare cases, an untreated kidney infection can progress to septic shock, which can be fatal. Other worst-case scenarios: super-high blood pressure, leading to kidney failure or kidney scars, which can cause chronic kidney disease.
Chances are, if youre experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI, youre going to head to your ob-gyn ASAP. But if for some reason youve been putting it off, and you start to notice any of the symptoms below, you could be at risk for developing a kidney infection.
Pain Specifically Under Left Or Right Rib Cage
Pain under the left rib cage may seem to be a more prevalent symptom. However, it is important to realize that the different types of rib pain will depend on the cause of the pain.
First of all, it is important to identify the exact location of your rib pain, since sometimes all it takes is millimeters to determine the cause. For instance, if you experience left rib cage pain, any of the organs on your left side could actually be responsible for your pain.
Rib cage pain can also be felt in your chest, abdominal area, or between the ribs. The pain may be occasional, or sudden, severe, and sharp in nature.
Burning pain can also cause rib cage discomfort. If the pain lasts many days, it may be a moderate dull ache. Some people will feel pain under the left rib cage only, or the pain may spread to your neck, shoulder, or jaw.
Some people believe that pain under the left rib cage is considered more serious than right-sided rib pain. This is because left-sided rib pain is associated with heart problems like heart attacks and angina.Although left-sided pain can indicate a serious problem, it is still important not to dismiss right-sided rib cage pain. In some instances, rib pain on the right side of the body can indicate serious issues like appendicitis, fecal impaction, gallstones, pancreatitis, a tumor, and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis.
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.
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What Does It Feel Like When Your Kidneys Hurt
People often mistake kidney pain for back pain. But there are some key differences between kidney pain and how it feels compared to back pain.
Kidney pain vs back pain
Back pain usually affects the middle of your back, over your spine, and most commonly in the lower back. Spine-related issues can also cause back pain to sometimes radiate down your legs.
In comparison, kidney pain is typically located higher on your back and it often feels deeper. Most of the time, kidney pain symptoms occur under your ribs, to the right or left of your spine. Kidney pain may also radiate to other areas, such as your abdomen or groin. Sometimes, hip pain is confused with kidney pain, but hip pain is lower down in your back than kidney pain.
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.
What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like When Pregnant
Among the numerous modifications that happen in the body during pregnancy is an increase in the risk of establishing an infection of the urinary tract. The hormone changes along with the physical modifications put in by the enlarging uterus can result in a slowdown of the passage of urine through the urinary tract and even to vesicouteral reflux, a condition in which urine in the bladder backs up, or refluxes, back into the ureters . The hormone progesterone is responsible for changes in action of the smooth muscle walls of the ureters, and the weight of the uterus itself can cause urinary retention. There is even more an expansion of blood volume and increased load on the kidneys in pregnant women, leading to increased urine output in the face of decreased mobility of the ureters. Lastly, pregnant women tend to have greater urinary levels of glucose than nonpregnant women. All these changes predispose to infection within the urinary tract.
As in nonpregnant women, urinary infections can take place in the urethra or bladder or may spread to the kidneys . Most of infections come from existing bacteria in the vaginal and anal areas that spread out upward through the urinary system.
What Does Flank Pain Indicate
Flank pain refers to discomfort in your upper abdomen or back and sides. However, constant or severe flank pain may indicate a serious medical condition, such as dehydration or a urinary tract infection. Kidney stones or another kidney problem may also cause persistent flank pain.
In respect to this, what does flank pain feel like?
Kidney pain, or flank pain, typically feels like a dull ache on one side of your upper back. The pain usually begins on your side or back. Attributes of kidney pain, including how severe it is, how often it occurs, and whether its isolated or radiating, vary.
One may also ask, how do you get rid of flank pain? Treatment depends on the cause. Rest, physical therapy, and exercise may be recommended if the pain is caused by muscle spasm. You will be taught how to do these exercises at home. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be prescribed for flank pain caused by spinal arthritis.
Also to know, when should I be worried about flank pain?
Flank pain has many possible causes, including a kidney stone, a urinary tract infection, or back strain. Flank pain may get better on its own. But dont ignore new symptoms, such as fever, nausea and vomiting, urination problems, pain that gets worse, and dizziness. These may be signs of a more serious problem.
Is flank pain a sign of cancer?
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Your Healthcare Professional Will Probably Do The Following:
- urinalysis where people in the lab will test for bacteria, white blood cells, and actual blood.
- if bacteria is detected, the doctor might suggest a CT scan or ultrasound to evaluate your kidneys.
If the infection is not too serious, treatment can take place at home. If the infection has progressed too far and is severe you might have to consider hospital care.
If you are like me, you would much prefer to use home remedies and natural supplements. However, because kidney infections are so serious, you may want to take a prescription provided by your doctor and use home remedies to ease symptoms or pain. Supplements are also best for avoiding the infection in the first place, and to improve kidney function.
What Is A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are technically a type of UTI, since kidneys are part of your upper urinary tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . These infections are typically caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli that is usually found in the large intestine but can wreak havoc when it finds itself in the urinary tract.
Kidney infections are one of the most common urologic conditions that we see in general urology practice, Fara Bellows, M.D., a urologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Still, kidney infections are no joke.
This is a serious organ infection, and people need to take care of it, urologist David Kaufman, M.D., of New Yorks Central Park Urology, tells SELF. Bladder infections are really uncomfortable, but kidney infections can be deadly.
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract consists of:
- Kidneys: The majority of humans have two kidneys, one on either side of the abdomen. Kidneys remove poisonous substances from the blood.
- Ureters: Urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Each kidney has one ureter connecting it to the bladder.
- Bladder: This is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine.
- Urethra: A tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In males, the urethra travels down the middle of the penis to an opening at the end. In females, the urethra runs from the bladder to just above the vaginal opening. The urethra in females is shorter than in males.
their urine tested. The usual course of treatment for a kidney infection is antibiotics, though some people require other forms of treatment.
What Are Utis And Kidney Infections
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract the urethra, bladder and kidneys. Normally, your body flushes out harmful bacteria with urine. However, sometimes bacteria can still travel inside and infect the urinary tract. Infections can develop after having sex, using vaginal douches or spermicides, or when the bladder doesnt empty.
Women get UTIs more frequently than men because a womans urethra is shorter than a mans, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily. However, men can still get UTIs. People with diabetes and those with weakened immune systems may also be at higher risk for UTIs.
Kidney infections are a type of UTI. Most kidney infections occur when bacteria that infect the lower urinary tract travel to one or both kidneys. Kidney infections can be serious, and its important to treat them soon to avoid getting very sick.
UTIs cause pain or burning during urination. You may also have:
- Cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling urine
- Difficulty urinating
A kidney infection can also cause the symptoms listed above, as well as:
- Pain in the back, side or groin
Your doctor is ultimately the best person to decide if you have a UTI or kidney infection, Dr. Watson says. At your exam, discuss any ongoing symptoms, and your doctor will arrange for testing.
Doctors typically will order a urine test, which involves taking a small sample of urine and sending it to a laboratory to be analyzed for bacteria and white blood cells.
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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.
Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics Long
While there are some common side effects and risk for creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is safe to take antibiotics preventively under the guidance of your physician.
If you have recurring UTIs , you may benefit from a low-dose prophylactic antibiotic, Dr. Sussman said. Some may require intermittent treatment at the sign of symptoms, while others may require a single dose after sexual intercourse or when symptoms occur. However, its important you discuss the underlying causes with your doctor before being prescribed antibiotics prophylactically.
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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:
What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like
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:
- Pain. This is often a dull, aching type of pain that most commonly affects the back, side, or abdomen.
- Urine changes. If you have a kidney infection, you may notice that your urine is cloudy, smells bad, or contains blood.
- Urgent, painful urination. A UTI can irritate the lining of your urinary tract. As a result, you may feel the urgent need to urinate and experience a painful, burning sensation when you do so.
- Fever. People with a kidney infection typically develop a fever, which can often be high. A raised temperature is one of your bodys ways of trying to fight the infection.
- Chills.Chills are a feeling of being cold without any apparent cause. For example, you could be wrapped up under a blanket and still shiver or feel very cold. In extreme cases, chills may lead to episodes of strong, uncontrollable shaking, which are known as rigors.
- Nausea or vomiting. The infection may cause you to feel nauseated or to vomit.
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.
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How Does Kidney Infection Affect Your Stomach
Stomach is one of essential organs of your digestive system. And the kidneys are part of your urinary system. But sometime they can affect each other if one of them goes awry. For instance if you have infection in the kidney, it may also cause pain in the stomach. There are a number of ways of how kidney infection can affect your stomach.
Treatments For Kidney Infections
Your doctor may first prescribe a general antibiotic. When the lab results come in, they may switch to a specific antibiotic that treats the type of infection you have. It’s common to have antibiotics prescribed for at least two weeks. It’s important to complete the antibiotic course so that the infection doesn’t return.
If your infection is severe, you may have to be hospitalized. Antibiotics, as well as fluids, may be given through an IV in your arm to ensure the drug will reach the kidneys.
If your infection is due to an underlying medical problem such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate, you might have to be referred to a specialist for treatment.
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Burning Pain With Urination
If you want to get fancy, this is called dysuria, and its common in womens health issues like yeast infections and vaginal infections. Inflammation along the lining of the urethra can cause that sort of burning sensation when you go to the bathroom, says Leisman.