Are There Any Complications From A Kidney Infection
Most people who develop a kidney infection make a full recovery if treatment is given promptly. Possible complications which occur in a small number of cases include:
- Sometimes germs from a kidney infection get into the bloodstream, particularly if treatment is delayed. This may cause blood poisoning . This can be serious or even life-threatening.
- In pregnant women who develop pyelonephritis occasionally, it may result in the baby being born early or with a lower birth weight.
- A kidney abscess can develop. This is a collection of pus that forms within the kidney.
- The infection can sometimes cause some permanent damage to kidney tissues.
These complications are uncommon but may be more likely if:
- You become severely ill with the kidney infection.
- You have kidney stones.
- Your immune system is suppressed – for example, if you have cancer, if you are taking medication such as steroids or chemotherapy, or if you have AIDS.
- You have poorly controlled diabetes.
- You are an older person .
- You are pregnant.
Emphysematous pyelonephritis is also a rare complication. In this condition the kidney tissues are rapidly destroyed by the infection and the bacteria can release toxic gases which can build up in the kidneys. You become very unwell if you develop this complication. This complication seems mostly to affect people who have poorly controlled diabetes.
How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed
Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.
Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.
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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.
Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:
- having a condition that blocks, or obstructs, your urinary tract, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate children with constipation can also be at an increased risk
- being born with an abnormality in your urinary tract
- having a condition that prevents you emptying your bladder fully, such as an injury to your spinal cord this can allow bacteria in your bladder to multiply and spread
- having a weakened immune system for example, due to type 2 diabetes or as a side effect of chemotherapy
- having an infection of the prostate gland called prostatitis the infection can spread from the prostate gland into the kidneys
- having a urinary catheter
- being female and sexually active sexual intercourse can irritate the urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
- being pregnant this can cause physical changes that slow the flow of urine out of your body and make it easier for bacteria to spread to the kidneys
- having undergone female genital mutilation an illegal practice where a woman’s genitals are deliberately cut or changed for cultural, religious and social reasons
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What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Kidney Infections In Men And Women
The most important test in diagnosing kidney infection is a urinalysis . Urinalysis is a test to analyze urine sample and evaluate for an infection in the urine. Urinalysis is done by collecting a clean catch, midstream urine in a sterile collection cup. The urine may be analyzed by the doctor in the office using or by analysis in a laboratory.
Because urine is normally sterile, any finding suggesting an infection may be considered abnormal and supportive of a kidney infection.
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Eating Diet & Nutrition
Experts dont think eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in preventing or treating bladder infections. If you have any type of UTI, talk with a health care professional about how much to drink each day to help prevent or relieve your infection.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and other components of the National Institutes of Health conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.
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How Do Antibiotics Treat A Uti
UTIs can be caused by many different types of germs including bacteria or fungi and in rare cases, even viruses. But bacterial UTIs are the most common.
If you have a bacterial UTI, the only way to treat it is by getting rid of the bacteria thats causing it. Thats where antibiotics come in. They either stop those bacteria from growing or directly kill the bacteria altogether.
Its worth noting that antibiotics only treat UTIs and other infections caused by bacteria. If you have a fungal or viral UTI, antibiotics wont help.
How Are Kidney Infections Treated
A physician will treat the disease based on his or her examination. He or she may start the patient on the standard treatment of a course of antibiotics before the lab tests results are available. The medication may change once the exact strain of bacteria is revealed by the lab tests.
If the treatment is effective, the patient should feel better in two to three days. If not, your healthcare provider will start looking for additional problems. Most antibiotic treatments last for 14 days and it is essential that patients take the pills as recommended for the full 14 days even though symptoms may disappear after a few days. The disappearance of symptoms does not mean all bacteria are killed. Some may remain and the infection may reappear.
There is also a concern that those bacteria that remain may develop resistance to the medication. For some reason the disease is more difficult to treat in men and they may have to take medication for up to six weeks. Patients with severe illness, those that have significant nausea and vomiting, high fevers, significant pain and signs of dehydration may be hospitalized for a few days while the antibiotics are administered intravenously. Urine samples are taken after about six weeks of treatment and examined to insure the bacterial infection is eradicated.
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Side Effects In Children
Children who take Augmentin can experience the same side effects as adults.
In addition to those side effects, children can experience tooth discoloration. Augmentin use can cause a brown, gray, or yellow staining of childrens teeth. In most cases, brushing or dental cleaning can reduce or remove the discoloration.
The following information describes some of the common uses of Augmentin and Augmentin XR.
Kidney Infection Treatment Options
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics, pain relievers, and fever reducers. Uncomplicated kidney infection and few complicated kidney infections will be treated on an outpatient basis by a general practitioner, but people with a complicated kidney infection likely require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.. Pregnant women may require additional consultation with an obstetrician or gynecologist.
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Drink Plenty Of Liquids
Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly water, will help to wash bacteria from your bladder and urinary tract.
Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts may also help prevent urinary tract infections . However, you should avoid cranberry juice or extracts if youre taking warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots. Cranberry juice can make the effects of warfarin more potent, so theres a risk of excessive bleeding.
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What Do I Need To Know About A Kidney Infection In My Child
A kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection . A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is a bacterial infection. The infection usually starts in your childs bladder or urethra and moves into his or her kidney. One or both kidneys may be infected. Kidney infections are more common in children younger than 3 years.
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How To Prevent Kidney Infection
You cant completely prevent future kidney infections. You will be at a higher risk if you have kidney stones, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
The female urinary system is also more prone to developing kidney infections because the womans urethra is shorter.
You can, however, do the following things to reduce the chance of developing a kidney infection:
- Dont use deodorant sprays or douches on your genitals.
- Avoid spermicide, which can trigger bacteria growth.
- Use lubricated condoms.
Treatment For Utis Vs Kidney Infection Treatment
UTIs, including kidney infections, can be treated with a course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic can depend on the type of bacteria thats causing your infection as well as how severe your infection is.
The doctor will often start you on an antibiotic that works against a wide variety of UTI-causing bacteria. If a urine culture is performed, the doctor may switch your antibiotic to one thats most effective at treating the specific bacterium thats causing your infection.
Simple UTIs can be treated with short 3- to 5-day courses of antibiotics. Treatment for kidney infections generally lasts 7 to 14 days, depending on which class of antibiotic is prescribed.
You may begin to feel better after only a few days on antibiotics. However, you should still make sure that you complete your entire treatment course as prescribed. If you do not take all of your antibiotics, the stronger bacteria may not be killed, causing your infection to persist and flare up again.
If youre pregnant, your doctor may also request a repeat urine sample following a kidney infection, even if your symptoms have resolved. This allows them to check to see whether your infection has completely cleared.
If there are still bacteria present in the sample, you may need another course of antibiotics. Persistence of bacteria can potentially harm an unborn baby.
People with severe kidney infections may need to be hospitalized. In this case, you may receive antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
The most common causes of UTI infections are E. colibacterial strains that usually inhabit the colon. However, many other bacteria can occasionally cause an infection. In addition, yeasts and some parasites may cause UTIs. In the U.S., most infections are due to Gram-negative bacteria with E. coli causing the majority of infections.
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What Are Different Types Of Kidney Infection
Kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, may be classified as uncomplicated, complicated, or chronic kidney infection .
A complicated kidney infection refers to a kidney infection in which there is an accompanying condition that increases the risk of severe infection and ineffective treatment, such as abnormalities of the urinary tract, urinary obstruction, or diabetes. It can also mean there is severe involvement of the kidney, for example, abscess formation, obstruction, or enlarged kidney, or gas is seen in the kidney by an imaging study, such as a CT scan. In these situations, the symptoms may be more severe and less responsive to usual treatments.
A chronic kidney infection may refer to a recurring kidney infection that could be a result of a kidney stone obstructing the ureter or other structural abnormalities in the ureters . These conditions are usually associated with milder symptoms, but they may last longer.
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What Are The Common Side Effects Of Kidney Infection Medications
Most antibiotics cause gastrointestinal problems including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. All antibiotics can cause a serious secondary diarrheal infection due to a bacteria known as Clostridium difficile. The most serious side effects of fluoroquinolones are psychiatric disorders, heart problems, and tendon problems.
Analgesics like acetaminophen are relatively safe when taken as directed. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal: nausea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Acetaminophen, however, can be toxic in excess. Acetaminophen overdose damages the liver and could require emergency treatment and hospitalization.
Side effects will vary based on the medication. This is not a complete list, and you should consult with a healthcare professional for possible side effects and drug interactions based on your specific situation.
Infections Can Also Be Caused By:
- Kidney stones, enlarged prostates, and other conditions that obstruct the urinary tract, preventing proper emptying of urine from the body
- Spinal cord injury and other conditions that prevent you from properly emptying your bladder
- Menopause or medications that alter the hormones in your body, thus changing the bacterial environment in your urinary tract system
- Any condition that suppresses the immune system
- Certain sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and mycoplasma
In rare cases, a virus or fungus can cause UTIs.
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Drink Lots Of Liquid Especially Water
Liquids can help flush bacteria from the urinary system. Water is best. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day. If you need to drink less water because of other health conditions, such as bladder control problems, kidney failure or heart disease, ask your health care provider how much liquid is healthy for you.
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Avoid Alcohol And Coffee
The kidneys most important role is to filter out harmful substances and toxins, and both alcohol and caffeine can require extra work from the kidneys. This may hinder the process of healing from an infection.
Alcohol and antibiotics also shouldnt be mixed, so avoid alcohol during your treatment for this reason as well.
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Seek Treatment Right Away
It is very important to get medical treatment for a kidney infection as soon as possibledo not wait for it to go away on its own. Kidney infections that are not treated soon enough can cause permanent kidney damage or can spread to other parts of your body and cause an even more serious infection, such as an infection in your blood , which can be fatal.
If you have pain, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain medicines. You can also use a heating pad to help with pain. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water.
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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What About Cranberry Juice For Uti
Its a long-held belief that consuming cranberry juice may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. While its true that cranberries contain an active ingredient that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract, there is still no evidence that cranberry products can treat a UTI.
One of the reasons: Products like cranberry juice or cranberry capsules are not explicitly formulated with the same amount of PACs that have shown potential in lab studies. Moreover, a 2019 report in the Journal of Urology noted that the availability of such products to the public is a severe limitation to the use of cranberries for UTI prophylaxis outside the research setting.
In all, theres actually very little high-quality research on the topic of prevention. For instance, a 2016 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that among female nursing home residents, daily consumption of cranberry capsules resulted in no significant prevention of UTIs.
While consuming cranberry juice or supplements is not considered a first-line treatment of urinary tract infections, in most cases, it cant hurt. After all, drinking plenty of liquids does dilute your urine and help spur more frequent urination, which flushes bacteria from the urinary tract. The exception: Those who are taking blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, should not consume cranberry juice. And those with diabetes should be mindful of the high-sugar content of fruit juices.
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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What Can I Do To Help Prevent My Child From Getting A Kidney Infection
If you suspect your child has a UTI, get them prompt medical treatment to help prevent the UTI from turning into a kidney infection. Here are some tips for preventing UTIs.
While preventative antibiotics have been found to reduce the number of recurrent UTIs, there isnt any evidence that their use decreases the risk of kidney infection or scarring. Uncircumcised boys that are less than one year old are ten times more likely to get UTIs than circumcised boys, but by age two the risk decreases and circumcision does not have an effect on infection rates.