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 Stones And Pain
Kidney stone pain can be excruciating. Individuals who have never had a stone may be suffering from a great deal of discomfort without knowing why. In reality, kidney stones are generally silent until they begin to pass. A stone that grows to 3 millimeters or larger can block the ureter as it moves from the kidney to the bladder. This movement can cause unbearable pain, usually in the lower back, right / left flank, or groin. Kidney stone pain can be intermittent or ongoing.
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Bloating Or Fullness Distended Stomach Frequent Urge To Urinate And Frequent Urination
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Reviewed on 10/9/2020
Many different conditions can cause the symptoms of bloating, distended stomach, and urinary symptoms. Some conditions like diabetes can increase the risk for infection, which can cause these symptoms. Other common causes can include gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, or giardiasis. Talk to you doctor about any concerning symptoms to help determine the cause.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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How Do You Treat A Kidney Infection
To determine if you have a kidney infection, a doctor will analyze a sample of your urine. If you test positive for a kidney infection diagnosis, youll be prescribed antibiotics and, in some cases, a medication that helps relieve pain with urination.
People with severe kidney infections may need to be hospitalized to receive antibiotics and fluids intravenously. While you may begin to feel better a day or two after starting antibiotics, its important to complete the entire course of prescribed medication to help prevent repeat infections.
After starting antibiotics, you can help alleviate kidney infection pain by taking over-the-counter pain medication. You can also try to ease the discomfort by trying several home remedies for kidney infections, including drinking plenty of water, using a heating pad, and taking vitamin C.
Pain Or Burning With Urination
If it hurts to pee, a kidney stone may be to blame. Some people experience this type of pain as a stone travels through the ureter, getting closer to the bladder.
But its more likely, Dr. Pearle says, that any burning with urination is caused by an infection, such as a urinary tract infection, than by kidney stones. In one study, 8% of kidney stone patients had a UTI.
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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.
Gi Issues Caused By Kidney Stones
Normally, kidney stones cause symptoms such as pressure and pain in your lower back, fever, frequent urination, discomfort urinating, and bloody or discoloured urine. However, sometimes kidney stones can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort.
If youre experiencing sudden low back pain and gastrointestinal discomfort, dont ignore the possibility that it might be kidney stones.
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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.
Risk Factors For A Kidney Infection
There are a few things that can up your risk factor of contracting a kidney infection, according to the Mayo Clinic, and some you have zero control over:
Having avagina. The urethra, that small tube that carries urine out of your body, is shorter in people with vaginas than it is in people with penises. That makes it easier for bacteria to travel from outside your body into the bladder. Your urethra is also close to your vagina and anus, which opens you up to more chances that bacteria from one of those areas will get into your urinary tract.
Having something blocking your urinary tract. That can be anything that slows down the flow of urine or makes it hard for you to fully empty your bladder when you pee, like a kidney stone.
Other potential risk factors include having damage to the nerves around your bladder, using a urinary catheter for the first time, and having a condition like vesicoureteral reflux, which causes urine to flow the wrong way, the Mayo Clinic says.
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Food Tastes Like Metal
Why this happens:
A build-up of wastes in the blood can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just dont feel like eating.
What patients said:
Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like youre drinking iron.
I dont have the appetite I had before I started dialysis, I must have lost about 10 pounds.
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Ok So How Do I Make Sure I Never Get A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
As they say, prevention is the best cure! And there are many things you can do to ensure that youre reducing your risk for an infection, and preventing build up from occurring in the kidneys.
Practice good hygiene. Always wipe from front to back, keep your genital area clean, wash before and after sex. Basically, do your best to keep bacteria from even having a chance of getting into the urinary system in the first place.
Drink lots of water. If youre dehydrated, youre not only increasing your chance of a UTI, but youre also decreasing your urine output, meaning that more minerals have a chance to build up and settle in the urinary tract or kidneys.
Make sure to urinate whenever you feel you have to go. Dont hold it in. This concentrates the urine allowing bacteria to build up and spread.
Alter your diet if you find youre prone to kidney stones. Cut down on certain meats and shellfish and opting instead for more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid consuming too much sugar. Cut back on sodium, and eat more oxalate-rich foods .
And if you do start experiencing any of the symptoms above, be sure to see a doctor right away. UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones can usually be treated fairly easily, but its important to seek medical attention before any complications develop.
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How Do I Get My Kidneys To Stop Hurting
How to Feel Better
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out the bacteria.
- Get extra rest.
- Sit on the toilet, dont squat over it, which can prevent your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen but avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
Kidney Location Where Are Your Kidneys Located
As mentioned above most people have one kidney on each side of the posterior abdominal area. The specific location of the kidneys sometimes causes the pain sensation to be confused with other types of pain such as liver or back pain. It is very important to understand the exact location and sensation of kidney pain.
The picture below shows a drawing each kidney in the area where they are located. Flank pain is specifically found in this area. If movement of the muscle or massage does not relieve pain in this area you may be experiencing kidney pain.
Flank pain which is sharp or doesnt change upon movement is most likely kidney pain and not muscular pain.
Picture 1 : Surface of the kidney location Image source : meded.ucsd.edu
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Where Do Kidney Stones Come From
Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys. The crystals grow larger into stones. About 80% to 85% of kidney stones are made of calcium. The rest are uric acid stones, which form in people with low urine pH levels.
After stones form in the kidneys, they can dislodge and pass down the ureter, blocking the flow of urine. The result is periods of severe pain, including flank pain , sometimes with blood in the urine, nausea, and vomiting. As the stones pass down the ureter toward the bladder, they may cause frequent urination, bladder pressure, or pain in the groin.
If you experience any of these symptoms, see your primary care physician, says Dr. Eisner. He or she will likely perform a urinalysis and a renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, or CT scan to confirm kidney stones are the source of your pain and determine their size and number.
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.
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Prevention And Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Antibiotics are started as soon as the doctor suspects pyelonephritis and samples have been taken for laboratory tests. The choice of drug or its dosage may be modified based on the laboratory test results , how sick the person is, and whether the infection started in the hospital, where bacteria tend to be more resistant to antibiotics. Other factors that can alter the choice or dosage of drug include whether the person’s immune system is impaired and whether the person has a urinary tract abnormality .
Outpatient treatment with antibiotics given by mouth is usually successful if the person has:
No nausea or vomiting
No signs of dehydration
Alleviating Discomfort Caused By Uti Bloating
The bloating and pain associated with UTIs can cause severe discomfort and may last for a few days or even up to a week. Some suggestions for helping to alleviate this discomfort include:
- drink lots of water at least one large glass of water every hour to try and flush the infection out of the body
- eat small healthy meals regularly
- reduce sugar intake as certain types of bacteria feed off it in particular, avoid fizzy drinks as these can also cause gas
- limit your intake of any foods that you know you react to, such as wheat or beans
- certain nutrients have been shown to help with the symptoms of UTIs, including cranberry extract , D-mannose, and good bacteria
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How Long Does A Uti Last
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If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.
Why Does Kidney Disease Cause Weight Gain
Kidney disease doesnt just affect the kidneys, it affects the whole body. In the early stages, it can cause weight loss, while in the later stages it can cause weight gain. These variations are the result of different aspects of the disease. Heres some information to help you understand the issue of kidney disease and weight gain, courtesy of Dr. Allen Lauer, of Associates in Nephrology.
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Who’s Most Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Women and children are most at risk of developing a kidney infection, as well as other urinary tract infections such as cystitis.
In women, the urethra is closer to the anus than in men, making it easier for bacteria from the anus to enter the urethra accidentally. The female urethra is also much shorter than the male urethra . This makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder and move into the kidneys.
Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:
Kidney Infection Home Remedies
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
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When To Contact A Doctor
A person who is experiencing kidney pain should contact a doctor as soon as possible to find out what is causing it.
People must contact a doctor to diagnose and treat kidney pain. Receiving the correct treatment ensures that the kidneys do not become damaged, which can lead to kidney failure.
Doctors may order tests such as:
- urine tests, which can help them identify any infections
- imaging tests, such as CT or ultrasound scans
- cytology, which can help them identify cancer cells in the urine
Prevention Methods For Women
In addition to the above prevention methods, women can also:
- Avoid contraceptive methods that contain spermicide
- Avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method
- Avoid the use of feminine products on genital regions, such as deodorant sprays and douches, which have the potential to irritate the urethra
- Receive vaccination against certain E. coli strains
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Shortness Of Breath After Very Little Effort
Why this happens:
Being short of breath can be related to the kidneys in two ways. First, extra fluid in the body can build up in the lungs. And second, anemia can leave your body oxygen-starved and short of breath.
What patients said:
At the times when I get the shortness of breath, its alarming to me. It just fears me. I think maybe I might fall or something so I usually go sit down for awhile.
I couldnt sleep at night. I couldnt catch my breath, like I was drowning or something. And, the bloating, cant breathe, cant walk anywhere. It was bad.
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How Are Children Treated For Kidney Stones
Most childrens kidney stones can be treated with the shock wave lithotripsy , a completely non-invasive procedure. Your child is placed under anesthesia and sound waves of specific frequencies are focused on the stones to shatter them into fragments small enough to be easily passed during urination.
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Infectious Disease And Your Kidneys
What would you do if you had a fever with irritation or pain when you urinate? Would you wait a few days and then make an appointment to see a doctor? Dont wait. Those symptoms might be from a bladder infection. Bladder infections need to be treated. If a bladder infection is not resolved, it may lead to a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are rare, but they can cause a number of problems. Urine is one of the body fluids that normally have no bacteria. When the bladder is infected with bacteria, the bacteria in the bladder can travel up to the kidney. If this happens, you may have pain in the back or side, chills and fever, irritation or pain when urinating, or orangecolored urine . Nausea and vomiting can also occur. Urine is checked for bacteria in several ways. A test of the kidney, such as a scan or an ultrasound may be ordered. A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.
Most kidney infections start as bladder infections. Bladder infections usually get better with antibiotics in otherwise healthy people. The goal of antibiotics is to kill the bacteria in the bladder and prevent it from spreading. One dose is not enough you need to finish all of the pills in the prescription to be sure the bacteria are gone. If you still have symptoms when you finish the pills, you should call your doctor. You might need another or a different prescription.