Signs And Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Signs and symptoms of a kidney infection include those of a lower urinary tract infection including painful and frequent urination as well as:
- Fever and chills
- Pain in the lower back or sides
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cloudy or smelly urine
- Dark or bloody urine
In people ages 65 and older, the above signs and symptoms of kidney infection may not occur. Instead, these individuals may experience confusion, hallucinations, or difficulty speaking.
In newborns and very young children, the only sign of a kidney infection may be a high fever.
Bipoc Communities And Kidney Infection
While many diseases affect different populations in the United States at different rates, there isnt much information available on the relative risk of kidney infection among different racial and ethnic groups.
Its well known that Black Americans are at higher risk for kidney failure than any other group 4 times as likely as white Americans, according to the National Kidney Foundation. But kidney infection rarely leads to kidney failure, accounting for a tiny sliver of cases.
There is some evidence that the risk of getting a UTI during pregnancy which can develop into a kidney infection is different for different groups, according to earlier research published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal.
Looking at records of 24,000 births, researchers found that rates of UTI during pregnancy were 28.7 percent for white and Asian women, 30.1 percent for Black women, and 41.1 percent for Hispanic women. However, once the researchers controlled for socioeconomic differences, there were no significant differences between the groups.
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.
Therefore, its important to know the symptoms of a kidney infection so that you know when to seek treatment.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and have pain that will not go away in your tummy, lower back or genitals.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you cannot get a GP appointment and need urgent medical attention, go to your nearest urgent care centre .
If you do not have a local UCC, go to your nearest A& E.
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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. Additionally, make sure to clean and monitor the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
- Urinate when you need to. Dont hold it, and try to empty your bladder completely.
- 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 will be. If you experience any of these symptoms, call or book online with PlushCare to set up a phone or video appointment with an experienced 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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What Causes Kidney Disease
We live in a world filled with unavoidable chemicals, toxins, and corrosive materials, things that overload our kidneys and force them to work harder than they should. Beyond filtering toxins from your blood, your kidneys are also
- Overseeing distribution of important minerals.
- Regulating your acid/alkaline balance to keep your body from becoming too acidic.
- Managing your bodys fluid levels.
- Releasing three essential hormones involved in blood pressure, bone building, and maintaining healthy red blood cells, among their other duties.
In addition, dehydration remains a problem for the majority of peopleif youre not drinking plenty of fresh, filtered water every day, you could be putting your own kidneys at risk. Thats why its important to remain vigilant and find ways to support your bodys built-in filtering system.
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Is It A Kidney Infection Or Something Else
Your symptoms could also result from another common illness. Some similar conditions you may mistake for a kidney infection include:
- Other UTIs. Other types of UTIs, such as those affecting the urethra and bladder, can also cause symptoms like urgent and painful urination, abdominal pain, and urine thats cloudy, foul-smelling, or bloody.
- Kidney stones.Kidney stones are hard deposits of materials like calcium or uric acid that form in the kidneys. When they become lodged in the kidneys, they can cause pain in the abdomen, side, or back, as well as nausea and vomiting.
- Lower back pain. If low back pain is your primary symptom, you may have a condition thats affecting your lower back. Examples include injuries, degenerative disc disease, and nerve compression.
- Pregnancy. Symptoms like frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal cramping can all be early signs of pregnancy.
Its always a good rule of thumb to seek medical attention if you experience any new or concerning symptoms. A healthcare professional can work with you to determine what may be causing them.
Heres an idea of what you can expect when you seek care for a possible kidney infection.
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Urinary Infections In Children
A urinary infection in a child needs to be investigated as it may indicate a more serious condition.
The most common urinary system condition is urinary reflux. With this condition, the bladder valve isnt working properly and allows urine to flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of a kidney infection.
Urinary reflux and the associated infections can scar or permanently damage the kidney, and can also lead to:
- high blood pressure
- toxaemia in pregnancy
- kidney failure.
Urinary reflux tends to run in families, so its important to screen children as early as possible if a close relative is known to have the problem.
For Urinary Tract Infections
Since three of the most common causes of kidney discomfort occur in the urinary tract, here are some remedies to relieve pain in the kidneys related to the urinary tract:
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to relieving pain in the kidneys since water will help flush bacteria out of the body. Plus, staying hydrated will help clear out the urinary tract as a whole and work to eliminate any possible infections.
Many specialists recommend the 8×8 rule, meaning you should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. However, water intake is highly dependant on you and your health, so take this article into consideration when determining your daily amount of water intake.
2. Drink Cranberry Juice
While not scientifically proven, cranberry juice is known to be a remedy for urinary tract infections. If you choose to alternate between cranberry juice and water, be sure to choose a cranberry juice that isnt packed full of additional sweeteners. A cranberry supplement or pure cranberry juice is always the best way to go!
3. Take Probiotics
Its no secret that probiotics are beneficial for you, especially when it comes to fighting bacteria and kidney pain. Studies show that probiotics can improve kidney function and assist in processing waste too.
4. Drink Parsley Juice
You can also mix parsley into a smoothie to make drinking it more bearable. Check out these recipes for inspiration!
5. Take a Warm Epsom Salt Bath
6. Apply Heat
7. Use Non-Aspirin Pain Killers
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Are There Home Remedies For A Urinary Tract Infection
There are a variety of self-care measures and other treatments available for urinary tract infections.
- Use a hot-water bottle to ease the pain.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods, all of which irritate the bladder.
- There are some indications that cranberry juice can help fight a urinary tract infection.
Because the symptoms of a urinary tract infection mimic those of other conditions, someone should see a health care professional if a urinary tract infection is suspected. A urine test is needed to confirm an infection. Self-care is not recommended.
Consume Apples And Apple Juice
Apples are also nutrient-dense. Their high acid content may help the kidneys to maintain acidity in the urine, possibly inhibiting further growth of bacteria. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial in helping the kidneys to heal following the infection. Learn more about the many health benefits of apples.
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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.
Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
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Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Flushing bacteria from the kidneys is an important goal when a person has a kidney infection. Drinking at least six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day can help, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
If a person has kidney failure, they may need to decrease this amount of fluid based on their doctors recommendations.
Complications Of Kidney Infections
Most kidney infections are treated successfully without complications, although some people may develop further problems.
Complications of a kidney infection are rare, but you’re more likely to develop them if you:
- are a child
- rapid heartbeat
Blood poisoning is a medical emergency that usually requires admission to a hospital intensive care unit while antibiotics are used to fight the infection.
If you’re taking certain medications for diabetes, such as metformin or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be temporarily withdrawn until you recover. This is because they can cause kidney damage during an episode of blood poisoning.
What Are Causes And Risk Factors For A Urinary Tract Infection
The urine is normally sterile. An infection occurs when bacteria get into the urine and begin to grow. The bacterial infection usually starts at the opening of the urethra where the urine leaves the body and moves upward into the urinary tract.
- The culprit in at least 90% of uncomplicated infections is a type of bacteria called Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli. These bacteria normally live in the bowel and around the anus.
- These bacteria can move from the area around the anus to the opening of the urethra. The two most common causes of this are improper wiping and sexual intercourse.
- Usually, the act of emptying the bladder flushes the bacteria out of the urethra. If there are too many bacteria, urinating may not stop their spread.
- The bacteria can travel up the urethra to the bladder, where they can grow and cause an infection.
- The infection can spread further as the bacteria move up from the bladder via the ureters.
- If they reach the kidney, they can cause a kidney infection , which can become a very serious condition if not treated promptly.
The following people are at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
The following special groups may be at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Quinolones .
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
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When Does A Uti Turn Into A Kidney Infection
What happens if a UTI goes untreated? If left untreated, the E. coli or other bacteria that caused your urinary tract infection can move farther up your urinary system.
When they reach your upper urinary system , you may experience a kidney infection, medically known as pyelonephritis.
Most people seek medical help and receive treatment before they get to this point.
Most often, the bacteria involved in a kidney infection are the same that caused the initial bladder or urethral infection. In rare instances, bacteria from your skin or the environment can cause a kidney infection.
Any condition that reduces or obstructs urine flow increases your risk of contracting a kidney infection as it allows bacteria to more easily flow from the bladder, up the ureters, to the kidneys. These conditions include:
- Kidney, bladder, or ureter stones
- Masses in the abdomen or pelvis caused by cancer or other disorders
Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
If your doctor thinks your pain may be from vaginal inflammation, he or she may wipe the lining of your vagina with a swab to collect mucus. The mucus will be looked at under a microscope to see if it has yeast or other organisms. If your pain is from an infection in your urethra , your doctor may swab it to test for bacteria. If an infection cant be found, your doctor may suggest other tests.
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