When To Get Medical Advice
Its a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms havent started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if theyre allowed to spread.
What Tests Can Help Determine The Cause Of Kidney Pain
In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to help your healthcare provider make a diagnosis:
- Urinalysis: This test checks for the presence of blood, white blood cells , proteins and certain molecules that are linked to various kidney disorders.
- Imaging tests:Ultrasound or a CT scan can provide images of the physical structure of the kidneys and urinary tract. It can also tell your healthcare provider if stones are present and determine if urine flow is adequate.
Passing Of Kidney Stones
A lot of kidney stones will eventually leave your body by passing from the kidneys to the ureters to the bladder and out through your urine. This is the route your urine takes a trip every day. A stone going through this path can cause pain.
Passing a kidney stone can take a few days to a number of weeks. For this factor, the majority of medical professionals advise passing the stone or stones at home.
Your doctor might recommend anti-nausea or pain medications for you to take while youre attempting to pass the stone. Drinking more water can likewise help you eliminate your urinary system, but do not exaggerate it. Consuming 2 to 3 quarts of water per day must be enough.
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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.
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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.
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How Is This Condition Diagnosed
If you think you have a bladder infection you should talk with your healthcare provider. To help diagnose a bladder inflammation , you will typically be asked for a urine sample. Your urine will be collected in a sterile cup in a restroom at your providers office. You may want to avoid peeing right before your appointment so that youll be able to provide a sample during your office visit. Your provider will most likely do two tests on your urine: a urinalysis and a urine culture.
- Urinalysis: This test involves checking the appearance, concentration and content of urine.
- Urine culture: This test determines the type of bacteria causing the infection and to which antibiotics the bacteria is sensitive.
Your healthcare provider may also order additional testing if you continue to get bladder infections including an imaging test to look at your kidneys and a cystoscopy, which uses a special scope to look inside the bladder.
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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infections
Normally, bacteria are flushed out by the flow of urine. However, several problems can increase the risk of a kidney infection. These problems can include:
- Structural abnormalities blocking urine flow.
- An enlarged prostate gland compressing the urethra.
- Backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys.
- If your immune system is affected .
- Pregnancy, during which time the enlarging uterus can squeeze the ureters and reduce the flow of urine, allowing the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.
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How To Know If You Are Experiencing Kidney Pain
- Most kidney pains will be dull. This is especially when kidney disease is on the onset.
- With chronic kidney disease, the pain will however be severe.
- Since onset kidney pains are rarely specific, they can be confused with side organs pains such as the spleen, colon, or even the gallbladder.
- The only difference in these kidney pains is that they will be cramping.
- They may be sudden, recur once in a while or persist in chronic conditions.
- The pains will be felt on one side of the infected kidney or both sides of the back region in cases where both kidneys are infected.
- This pain will either throb, or just appear either once as sharp and deeply piercing pains that can be mild or in some cases quite severe .
- Severity of most other back pains increases with body movements. Kidney pains will be consistent and steady, body jerking, exercising will not alter the severity.
- To confirm if the pains are indeed related to kidney infections, the symptomatic pains will be accompanied by fever, fatigue, nausea, and most often, vomiting.
- The flank joint area will also be in pain or discomfort and especially the groin region.
- In case of pains caused by injury, there may be presence of injurious pain
- And if infections are the primary cause, the reproductive system will also be affected causing similar discomforts or most urinary tract diseases.
Signs You May Have Kidney Disease
More than 37 million American adults are living with kidney disease and most dont know it. There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people attribute them to other conditions. Also, those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. This is one of the reasons why only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know that they have it, says Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer at the National Kidney Foundation.
While the only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested, Dr. Vassalotti shares 10 possible signs you may have kidney disease. If youre at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or if youre older than age 60, its important to get tested annually for kidney disease. Be sure to mention any symptoms youre experiencing to your healthcare practitioner.
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How Do I Detox My Kidneys
There is no scientific evidence that kidney cleansing has any effect on kidney health. The best way to detoxify the kidneys is to not toxify them in the first place. Drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, avoid processed foods, reduce salt intake, quit smoking, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and unnecessary medications.
Back Pan Vs Kidney Pain: How To Tell The Difference
Theres usually no easy way to differentiate between back pain and kidney pain, especially for the constant ache of a kidney stone thats not demanding to be passed. Passing a kidney stone is a different story since it hurts so badly, and kidney infections provide clues in the form of other symptoms.
Unsurprisingly, your best bet is to see a doctor for a formal diagnosis. Be prepared for a physical exam, providing your family and medical history and undergoing tests. The tests can include urine analysis or culture as well as a plain abdominal X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
There is no cure or quick fix for getting rid of kidney stone pain, as people who have experienced the excruciating pain know. Dr. Charney said. The only solution is to have a physician prescribe pain medications and sometimes fluids while just giving yourself time to pass the stone. However, there are antibiotics for kidney infections as well as home remedies. The home remedies include using heat to the area where you have discomfort, keeping yourself hydrated and taking over the counter pain meds when needed.
Overall, the best advice to keep kidneys healthy is to exercise, keep hydrated especially in warm weather or when exercising, maintain a healthy weight, and quit smoking. And the best part? That advice works for back pain as well.
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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.
Can Sex Make A Uti Worse
If you already have a UTI, having sex can make the infection feel worse, exacerbating the symptoms. Using spermicides can increase discomfort because it can cause irritation. Using non-lubricated latex condoms can also increase friction leading to irritation. Using a water-based lubricant or lubricated condoms will help avoid making your UTI feel more irritated. After and before sex, be sure to urinate immediately to flush out the bacteria.
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When Should I Call My Doctor About A Bladder Infection
If you experience the symptoms of a bladder infection or urinary tract infection, call your healthcare provider to discuss a treatment plan.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Bladder infections are common urinary tract infections. You might feel pain and burning when you pee, as well as the urge to pee more frequently than you normally do. If you have these inflammatory symptoms, call your healthcare provider. You should start to feel better after a few days of antibiotic treatment, but its important to finish the entire prescription so the infection doesnt return.
Can You Have A Bladder Infection Without Pain
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Use Your Health Insurance Just Like You Normally Would To See Your Doctor
During your UTI treatment, you can take steps to ensure that you get the maximum effect out of your antibiotics while promoting your own comfort.
- Use a heating pad on your abdomen to soothe any pain and discomfort and relieve pressure.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria in your urinary tract.
- Avoid any food and drink that may irritate your urinary system. This includes coffee, alcohol, and sugary sodas that contain citrus juice or caffeine.
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What Dissolves Kidney Stones Fast
Your doctor can determine whether a juice may cause side effects for you or your baby.Water. When passing a stone, upping your water intake can help speed up the process. Lemon juice. Basil juice. Apple cider vinegar. Celery juice. Pomegranate juice. Kidney bean broth. Dandelion root juice.More items
Uti Or Something Else
Although burning during urination is a telltale sign of a UTI, it can also be a symptom of a number of other problems such as a vaginal yeast infection or certain sexually transmitted diseases . These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Simple lab tests are available to distinguish a UTI from an STD. Interstitial cystitis also has many of the same symptoms as a urinary tract infection. It can happen in both men and women and can start after a UTI. A cystoscopy, a thin tube and camera that is inserted into the bladder, can not diagnosis interstitial cystitis, but it can help identify abnormalities in the badder that cause cystitis.
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Is It Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
Because of where your kidneys are in your body, it is easy to confuse kidney pain and back pain. How can you tell the difference?
- Can happen on one or both sides
- Likely will not go away when you shift your body or rest
- Is usually felt in your lower back
- May shoot down one leg
- Feels more like a stabbing pain
- Gets worse when you do certain activities, like bending over or lifting something heavy
- May ease when you shift your body or rest
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
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.
What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the bodys master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that dont move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.
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What Is The Outlook For Kidney Infections
With treatment, the outlook for kidney infections is very positive. It is vital that you take all of any prescribed medications for the infection. You may begin feeling better shortly after beginning a treatment, but still need to take the entire prescribed treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/22/2019.
- National Kidney Foundation. Urinary Tract Infections Accessed 5/23/19.
- National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Pyelonephritis: Kidney Infection Accessed 5/23/19.