When Urinary Tract Infections Turn Deadly
A urinary tract infection, like any infection, can progress into deadly sepsis. Do you know when to seek emergency care?
You might be hearing the words sepsis and urinary tract infection a lot right now, given former President Bill Clintons recent bout with both. Sepsis, the bodys overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, affects an estimated 49 million people worldwide each year, so Clinton is not alone in his battle with this potentially deadly condition.
A urinary tract infection, commonly referred to as a UTI, is an infection of the urinary tract. The tract starts at your kidneys and continues through the ureters, the urinary bladder, and the urethra. Most often, UTIs can be managed effectively when they are identified and treated quickly. An untreated UTI may spread to the kidney and can also cause sepsis, as is the case with the former President.
Women are more likely than men to develop UTIs, however, people with external genitals are still at risk of UTIs, though they might not be as aware of this risk or familiar with the symptoms that would lead them to seek care.
Typically, a UTI can be treated with an antibiotic in just a few days. If the UTI is not recognized and treated, or if antibiotics are not effective, as can be the case if it is an antibiotic resistant bacteria, sepsis can develop.
Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis:
How Do Dogs Get Bladder Infections
Bladder infections are somewhat common affecting up to 27% of dogs and have many potential causes. Typically, theyre a result of bacteria traveling up the urethra and into the bladder. Dogs can pick up bacteria from the environment, swimming, or even spread from their own rectal or genital areas.
Bladder Infection Vs Other Utis
The symptoms of a bladder infection, which people may refer to as cystitis, are very similar to those of UTIs in other parts of the urinary tract. As a result, it may be difficult to tell which part of the urinary tract has an infection based on the symptoms alone.
An infection in the urethra may cause pain and burning when urinating and discharge from the urethra, but bladder pain is not a symptom.
An infection that has spread to the kidneys will cause the most severe symptoms. A person with a kidney infection may notice the same symptoms as those of a bladder infection, plus fever, chills, and back pain.
Treatment is usually the same for all types of UTI, except for kidney infections. Treating a kidney infection may require a person to stay in the hospital.
Kidney infections can cause serious health conditions, so anyone with these symptoms should seek treatment as early as possible.
UTIs occur when harmful bacteria enter the urinary tract and start spreading.
- Biological sex: Females have a
Read Also: I Think I Have A Kidney Infection
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
A number of symptoms can indicate to your doctor that you may have a kidney infection. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely the infection involves the kidney. Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Sudden onset of chills
If you experience any of these sudden onset symptoms, please seek medical attention.
Diagnosis Of Kidney Infection
Imaging tests Imaging Tests of the Urinary Tract There are a variety of tests that can be used in the evaluation of a suspected kidney or urinary tract disorder. X-rays are usually not helpful in evaluating… read more are done in people who have intense back pain typical of renal colic, in those who do not respond to antibiotic treatment within 72 hours, in those whose symptoms return shortly after antibiotic treatment is finished, in those with long-standing or recurring pyelonephritis, in those whose blood test results indicate kidney damage, and in men . Ultrasonography or helical computed tomography studies done in these situations may reveal kidney stones, Stones in the Urinary Tract Stones are hard masses that form in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, or an infection or block of the flow of urine. Tiny stones may cause no symptoms, but larger stones… read more structural abnormalities, or other causes of urinary obstruction.
Don’t Miss: Tooth Infection And Hip Replacement
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:
- 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.
How Do You Know If Youre Dealing With A Standard Uti Or Severe Kidney Infection
Both are technically forms of UTIs. A standard UTI, though, typically just means youre dealing with cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. That inflammation causes those typical UTI symptoms like painful or burning urination and urgent or frequent urination, explains Dr. Mueller.
But a kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is caused by the same bacteria and oftentimes results from an untreated bladder infection. These symptoms are typically much more severe.
You May Like: Is Kidney Stones Considered Kidney Disease
Don’t Miss: Airborne Infection Isolation Room Requirements
Dont Sabotage Your Recovery
Dont give in and reach for the foods that are hurting you. I really sabotaged myself for a while because I would not give up that one cup of coffee in the morning. Once I got past that, I started to get better. Dont undermine your recovery with that one glass of wine or cup of coffee, the way I did. Just stop. If all goes well, this will be a temporary situation. You can go back to enjoying those things later, but for now, you have to get this situation under control.
Instead of your regular acidic indulgences, milk or vanilla ice cream can be pleasant and very soothing. Make sure you get a brand of ice cream that does not contain a lot of chemicals.
Donât Miss: How Aggressive Is Bladder Cancer In Dogs
How Do Dogs Act When Their Kidneys Are Failing
After approximately 2/3 of the kidney tissue is destroyed, there is a rapid rise in waste products in the bloodstream and an apparent sudden onset of severe disease. The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath.
You May Like: Most Exposures Lead To Hiv Infection True Or False
What Is A Natural Antibiotic
Ginger. The scientific community also recognizes ginger as a natural antibiotic. Several studies, including one published in 2017 , have demonstrated gingers ability to fight many strains of bacteria. Researchers are also exploring gingers power to combat seasickness and nausea and to lower blood sugar levels.
Seattle Childrens Urgent Care Locations
If your childs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Treatment for a Bladder Infection
Prevention of Bladder Infections in Girls
Also Check: Will Oil Of Oregano Kill Tooth Infection
When To See A Doctor
If you have signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor right away. Again, a kidney infection is seriousit can sometimes lead to a dangerous, life-threatening health condition called , the NIDDK says. Even if your infection doesnt progress to that, a kidney infection can become chronic, i.e., long-lasting, and can cause permanent damage to your kidneys, the NIDDK says. Kaufman recommends heading to your local urgent care facility or emergency room if you have signs of a kidney infection.
What Are Kidney Infections
Kidney infections, also referred to as pyelonephritis, are a serious type of urinary tract infection . This infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract, spread to the bladder, and then continue spreading until they reach one or both kidneys.
Kidneys are vital organs in your body since they are responsible for trapping and removing waste products and toxins through urine. Depending on the individual, you may start experiencing symptoms of kidney infection as soon as two hours after your kidneys get infected.
Kidney infections usually occur when the bacteria multiply and are not treated in time. Fortunately, most complications can be avoided with quick treatment.
Read Also: Can Acyclovir Help A Yeast Infection
Can A Dog Get Over A Uti Without Antibiotics
Urinary tract infections are serious enough on their own. If left untreated, they can lead to dysfunction of the lower urinary tract, kidney or bladder stones, inflammation of the prostate gland, infertility, blood poisoning, and even kidney infection and kidney failure.
Does Cranberry Juice Cure Utis
Cranberry juice and cranberry extract have been commonly used to treat and prevent UTIs and while cranberry certainly cant hurt and can help, its not a one and done solution for UTIs. There isnt a common consensus on whether or not cranberry actually reduces the number of UTIs a woman gets as studies have shown both that and the opposite. Dont expect that cranberry will cure a UTI without antibiotics. But if the pain is unbearable before you can get to the doctor, it can provide some relief.
Read Also: Where Is The Bladder Located
Recommended Reading: Natural Tooth Pain Relief Infection
Duration Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection usually starts out as a urinary tract infection that affects the bladder. Theres no rule for how long it takes a UTI to spread from your bladder to your kidneys.
If left untreated, a kidney infection may not resolve on its own, potentially becoming a severe infection or leading to a chronic or recurrent infection, notes the Mayo Clinic.
When treated with antibiotics, you may start to feel better two to three days after starting the drug. Its important, though, to continue your treatment for the entire course thats prescribed.
For a mild kidney infection, treatment can last 7 to 14 days. It may take a week or longer for your symptoms to resolve with treatment.
A severe or complicated kidney infection may take much longer to treat, depending on how far the infection has spread and what other complications it has caused, according to MedlinePlus.
Why Does My Dog Keep Getting Bladder Infections
A bladder infection occurs in 22 to 27% of dogs, making it a somewhat common condition. Diarrhoea is usually caused by bacteria traveling from the urethra upwards into the bladder and then crossing the urethra. A dog can be affected by any bacteria including bacterial infections from their own rectal or genital area, as well as from the environment or their swimming area.
Don’t Miss: Do I Need To See A Doctor For Ear Infection
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI.
A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if theyre needed.
How Serious Is A Uti
Urinary tract infections can be painful and uncomfortable, but they ultimately donât pose a serious threat to your health as long as you seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Read on to learn more about when urinary tract infections turn into kidney infections, the differences between the two, and what you can do to properly treat and prevent them.
Read: Get UTI Treatment Online
Don’t Miss: Do Urine Infections Go Away On Their Own
Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
How Can I Get Free Urine Flow
Go with the Flow
You May Like: Can You Get Over The Counter Medicine For Ear Infection
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti That Has Turned Into A Kidney Infection
Question posted by candidbucket on 30 Nov 2012
I’ve had this happen a few times, and everytime that I had a Kidney infection, I had severe pain in my back and in my belly, fever, nausea or vomiting, pain during urination , and I would see blood at the end of urination . You may not get all of the same symptoms that I had , but any of these symptoms could be a Kidney infection so you should be checked out as soon as you can. Hope you feel better!
Would constantly be bloated along with the rest of these symptoms be a symptom as well?
Tea colored urine can be blood in urine, you dont have to see bright red. Flank pain can mean kidney involvement. You can also have hazy urine with white sediment. I would see my dr.
Be well and take good care of YOU. Happy Holidays to you, too…
Fever, nausea, pain in mid section or back, red blood in urine, vomiting, stomach problems, including cramps. You don’t have to have all those symptoms, if you have fever and the pain is getting worse, or blood in urine, call your dr and go see him/her soon. Best of luck, patti
What Is The Treatment For A Kidney Infection
- Antibiotics will usually clear the infection. An antibiotic is usually prescribed straightaway if a kidney infection is suspected, even before the result of the urine test is known. Some germs are resistant to some antibiotics. Therefore, sometimes a change of antibiotic may be needed if the urine test shows a germ which is resistant to the initial antibiotic. The course of antibiotics is for 7-14 days, depending on which one is used. Commonly used antibiotics for kidney infections include ciprofloxacin, cefalexin, co-amoxiclav or trimethoprim.
- Painkillers such as paracetamol can ease pain and reduce a high temperature . Stronger painkillers may be needed if the pain is more severe. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen are not usually recommended for a person with a kidney infection. This is because they may possibly cause problems with the working of the kidney during a kidney infection.
- Plenty of fluid should be taken to prevent lack of fluid in the body .
In many cases, the infection is not too severe, treatment can be taken at home and the infection will clear with a course of antibiotic tablets. If treatment is to be home-based, a doctor should be called if the symptoms are not improving after 24 hours, or the person is feeling more unwell.
However, some people need to be admitted to hospital – for example if:
Don’t Miss: Will Bladder Infection Go Away On Its Own
Urinary Tract Infections In Men
Men can get UTIs, particularly if they have trouble with urine flow. Older men who experience prostatitis are at a higher risk. If the bladder is not emptying properly, the build up ofurine makes it more difficult to cure the infection.
A small number of young men may get a UTI. In males, this is usually the result of a sexually transmitted disease.