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.
Understanding Your Urinary Tract
Your urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises several different organs designed to extract, hold, and transport waste from your system in the form of urine. The main organs involved in the urinary system include:
- The kidneys: These two organs sit on each side of your body, generally around the waist. They filter out excess water and waste from your blood to create urine.
- The ureters: These two thin tubes run between the kidney and bladder, transporting urine to the bladder.
- The bladder: This organ stores urine until it reaches a certain level, at which point you feel the need to pee. The body voluntarily contracts the muscles that line the bladder to urinate.
- The urethra: This thin tube connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When you urinate, a muscle called the urinary sphincter relaxes as your bladder contracts to remove urine from your body.
Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria infect any part of your urinary system, but they are most common in your lower urinary tract, comprising the urethra and bladder.
Kidney Pain And Alcohol Abuse
Although the kidneys do not directly filter alcohol, problems associated with the kidneys may be related to the alcohol abuse. Alcohol can affect certain renal hormones such as anti-diuretic hormone and result in dehydration.
Alcohol may also raises the risk of atherosclerosis and cause clot formation in the kidneys.
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Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent A Kidney Infection
When it comes to preventing a kidney infection, its all about preventing UTIs that affect your urethra and bladder. Here are some ways you can help avoid an infection:
- Wipe from front to back. For women, this ensures bacteria from your anus doesnt enter your urethra.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush the urinary tract.
- Dont hold it. Use the bathroom when you need to go.
- Avoid using spermicide and diaphragms, and choose another form of birth control, such as lubricated condoms.
- Use the bathroom after sex to reduce bacteria that colonizes the urethra. There is no convincing data that it is effective, but it isnt harmful, Dr. Sussman added.
- Postmenopausal women who develop recurrent cystitis may benefit from vaginal estrogen to reduce vaginal dryness.
- Dont rely on over-the-counter remedies to treat your UTI, like cranberry juice or D-Mannose, to prevent a UTI or kidney infection. Several studies have shown no benefit with cranberry supplements or juice, Dr. Sussman said.
What Do The Kidneys Do In Our Body
Kidney is considered as one of the major organs of the body. This is because of its important role in various functions that keep us in healthy condition. The major functions of it include the following.
- Maintenance of fluid volume within the body.
- Maintenance of acid-base equilibrium within the body.
- Blood is purified of waste products, chemicals and toxins by the kidneys.
- Electrolytes such as Sodium, potassium and chloride are kept in the required amount in body with the help of the kidneys.
- Kidneys are also known to produce hormones and chemicals required for information transmission through nerves.
This article will discuss a bit more about the anatomy of the kidney as well as possible causes for kidney pain.
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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. Its important to know the symptoms of a kidney infection so that you know when to seek treatment.
Recognizing A Kidney Infection
When you have a UTI that spreads to your kidneys, youll probably have symptoms in your lower urinary tract first. But the following symptoms indicate that your kidneys may also be affected:
Fever and Chills A UTI thats limited to your lower urinary tract usually doesnt cause flu-like symptoms, but when it spreads to your kidneys, your bodys immune system tends to kick into higher gear.
Pain in Your Lower Back or Side Your kidneys are located on each side of your body in the lower part of your torso. A kidney infection can cause pain on one or both sides of your body, or more general pain in your lower back.
Pain caused by a kidney infection can range from mild to severe.
Nausea and Vomiting These symptoms, like fever and chills, indicate an infection thats more severe and advanced than a typical UTI.
Abdominal or Pelvic Pain An infection in your abdominal region, such as in your kidneys, can cause your abdominal muscles to contract, causing pain.
Your pelvic or groin area may also be painful due to muscle contraction.
Cloudy or Smelly Urine While its possible for an infection in your lower urinary tract to cause changes in your urine, if its noticeably cloudy or smells foul, thats an indication your UTI may have progressed to your kidneys.
Cloudy urine may indicate the presence of pus, a thick, white or yellow liquid that can form in areas of infection.
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Other Home Remedies For Kidney Infections
To alleviate kidney infection pain in the lower back and abdomen areas, hot compresses can be used. Kidney infections can cause the surrounding muscles to spasm and become painful.
Heating pads can be used to increase blood flow to speed up healing with the increase levels of oxygen to the area from the blood cells. Heat therapy also stretches the soft tissues and decreases stiffness to allow the muscles in the area to relax. Feelings of pain and soreness will also be reduced, even if temporarily, as heat receptors in the body can block the effect of pain to be detected.
Although a bath of Epsom salt can detoxify your body and help rid any waster or bacteria, bubble baths are not recommended for those with a kidney infection. Frequent baths can remove the protective mucous covering the urethra and some chemicals present in soaps can also provide easy entry for the bacteria into the kidneys.
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.
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Where Does Your Back Hurt With A Uti
A back pain you cant ignore An upper UTI can cause intense back pain as the infection reaches the kidneys. People will get pain in the lower back and groin area. Back pain comes with two other symptoms: high fever and vomiting. Upper infections happen when a lower UTI goes unchecked or does not respond to antibiotics.
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
The symptoms of a basic urinary tract infection often include:
- Dark, cloudy urine that may appear red or pink from blood
- Painful or burning urination, a condition known as dysuria
- An urgent and frequent need to urinate
- A small amount of urine when you do go to the bathroom
- Urine that smells bad
- Confusion, particularly in more elderly patients
- More intense feelings of general illness
If you are experiencing symptoms of a kidney infection seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you receive treatment the more likely you are to prevent long term damage and recover faster.
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How Is Kidney Pain Treated
Treatment of kidney pain depends on what condition is causing it. In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to help your doctor make a diagnosis:
- Urinalysis: Checks for the presence of blood, excess white blood cells , proteins, and certain chemicals that are linked to various kidney disorders.
- Imaging tests:Ultrasound or a CT scan provides an image of the physical structure of the kidneys and urinary tract, sees if stones are present, and helps determine if blood flow is adequate.
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.
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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:
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
These bacteria are responsible for about 90% of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections. E. coli are found in the colons of humans and animals and in their fecal waste. When E. coli or other bacteria end up in the urethra, they cause a urinary tract infection.
There are other types of bacteria also known to cause UTIs. According to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information the most common bacteria to cause UTIs are:
- Escherichia coli
- Klebsiella pneumoniae
- Streptococcus spp. , Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococci were each found to be the third pathogens in different periods during the two-year study.
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Kidney Pain Location And Sensation
There is usually a feeling of a stabbing pain in the upper back just below the ribs. It may also be a dull ache depending on the diagnosis. At times kidney pain may be felt in the upper abdominal area. In this case it is often confused for digestive issues. Pain can radiate to the back as well as to the groin region.
Picture 2 : Kidney pain located in the Right and Left Upper Quadrants Image source : HealthHype
What Is Kidney Pain
Kidney pain is discomfort that comes from the area where your kidneys are. It’s often described as a dull ache, you feel in your sides, back, or belly. But pain in these areas isn’t always a sign of a kidney issue. It’s easy to mistake kidney pain for ordinary back pain. But there are some differences in how kidney pain feels and where it’s located compared to back pain.
Kidney pain has many possible causes, and some could be serious. It’s important to let your doctor know if you notice pain that you think may be coming from one or both of these organs.
Where are your kidneys?
Your kidneys are two small organs shaped like beans. You have one on each side of your body. They’re each about the size of your fist. They’re below your rib cage on both sides of your spinal cord.
Your kidneys have important jobs. They clean out water, acids, and waste from your blood. They make urine so your body flushes out the waste. If they’re diseased or damaged in some way, they can’t do their work to maintain a healthy balance of salts, minerals like calcium, and water in your blood.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help you manage your blood pressure, keep your bones strong, and make red blood cells.
So it’s important to watch for any signs of kidney disease or damage, like pain.
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Can Kidney Infections Be Prevented
You can reduce your chances of developing a kidney infection by keeping your bladder and urethra free from bacteria. This can include drinking plenty of fluids, keeping your genitals clean and treating any constipation.
The symptoms of a kidney infection usually develop quite quickly over a few hours or days.
Common symptoms include:
- pain and discomfort in your side, lower back or around your genitals
- high temperature
- shivering or chills
- feeling very weak or tired
- loss of appetite
You may have other symptoms if you also have cystitis or urethritis . These additional symptoms may include:
- pain or a burning sensation during urination
- need to urinate frequently or urgently
- feeling that you’re unable to urinate fully
- blood in your urine
- cloudy or foul smelling urine
- pain in your lower abdomen
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.
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Prevention Of Kidney Infections
Kidney infections are the result of bladder infections migrating to one or both kidneys. Here are some methods to reduce your risk of UTIs and kidney infections:
- Maintain personal hygiene habits such as washing your genitals and wiping front to back.
- Individuals with indwelling bladder catheters should remember to have their catheters changed regularly to avoid irritation and infection. Make sure to clean and monitor the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
- Pee when you need to. Donât hold it, and try to completely empty your bladder without rushing anything.
- Urinate soon after sex, and make sure to practice safe sex in general.
- Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, and spermicidal lubes can potentially contribute to infection. Consider switching to different birth control methods if recurring infections are an issue.
If you suffer any symptoms of a urinary tract or kidney infection, talk to your doctor immediately. The faster you act, the more effective the treatment.
If you experience any of these symptoms, to set up a phone appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms usually develop quickly, over a few hours or so, and may include:
- Pain in a loin or flank. .
- High temperature which may cause shivers.
- Feeling sick and/or being sick .
- Blood in the urine.
- There will also usually be symptoms of a bladder infection – for example, pain on passing urine, and going to the toilet often.
Not all of the symptoms may develop, and sometimes a kidney infection can just cause vague symptoms. For example, just feeling generally unwell but not being able to say why.
In older people a kidney infection may cause confusion. This is why a urine test is often done when an elderly person suddenly becomes confused or appears generally unwell.
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