From Wrong To Worse: Infection And Disease
Two of the most common kidney problems are infections and kidney stones.
Technically, kidney infection is a form of urinary tract infection resulting from E. coli bacteria gaining access to the urinary tract and connecting with the kidneys. This form of infection is common and generally treated with antibiotics.
Kidney stones, on the other hand, are solid, chemical deposits that form inside the kidneyoften due to dehydration. A kidney stone can be nearly invisible to the naked eye, as large as a marble, or bigger.
Tiny kidney stones pass out of the body in the urine, so youre never aware of those. Larger kidney stones, however, can become lodged in the ureter, a thin tube connecting the kidneys and the bladder.
When they become stuck, these stones can cause severe pain in the side or back, blood in the urine, and difficulty urinating.
It can take days or even weeks for a kidney stone to pass on its own. So, if youre experiencing kidney stone symptoms, see a health care professional as soon as possible.
When To See A Doctor For A Uti
Always go to your primary care physician immediately if there is blood in the urine, if you have a fever, and/or low back pain with your UTI symptoms, Sajdak advises. UTIs can move fast, so its better to go sooner than later.
Although natural remedies can be beneficial for alleviating UTI symptoms and preventing recurrent UTIs, they may not be effective in treating the infection.
If symptoms still persist after three days then it is time to move on to antibiotics, says Ivy Branin, ND, a naturopathic doctor in New York City who specializes in womens health. I often recommend a patient to see their doctor for a UA and a prescription for antibiotics just in case and to fill it if they have no improvement after three days.
Leaving a UTI untreated can cause additional health problems. Bacteria can reach the ureters or kidneys and cause kidney infections. Untreated UTIs during pregnancy can also potentially cause early labor and low birth weight. Seeking treatment for UTI that isnt going awayor one that keeps coming backis always a good thing.
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Prevention Is Key To Fighting Kidney Disease
Now that weve looked at the bad news, youll be happy to hear that theres a good side here, too, and it is this: For the most part, the conditions that lead to kidney problems are avoidable. And, often times, very avoidable.
A great way to start is by asking your health-care professional for blood panel readings of three key measures of kidney health: the BUN and creatinine levels and your eGFR numbers.
Heres a quick overview of the two:
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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 suppressedâ 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.
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Will Probiotics Prevent Utis
There are studies that indicate that if you can make your gut flora more beneficial in certain ways, that may help prevent UTIs, but thats not well established, says Dr. Eilber, and certainly, if its someone who has taken a lot of antibiotics, I think the probiotics are important just to maintain your gut health.
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What Causes Kidney Infections
A kidney infection is caused by a bacterial infection that moves from your dogs bladder up the ureters, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. The most common bacteria that are seen in kidney infections are E. coli and Staphylococcus. Other bacteria such as Proteus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and pseudomonas can also cause bladder infection and can be seen in dogs with kidney infections.
Should Uti Treatment Vary According To Whats Causing The Infection
Your UTI treatment may vary according to whats causing the infection. Certain UTIs, especially chronic and recurring ones, will need antibiotic treatment as opposed to simple home remedies.
If youre prescribed antibiotics to treat a UTI, a healthcare professional may choose an antibiotic thats specific to the type of bacteria thats triggering your infection.
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Dr. Propst agrees. Theres really not any evidence to suggest that taking probiotics would hurt you, but the evidence that theyre helping is really limited, she says. And they can be cost-prohibitive.
A 2015 Cochrane review of nine studies involving probiotic therapy for UTI didnt find any significant benefit for probiotics, either.
What Causes A Kidney Infection
The bacteria or viruses that cause kidney infections usually come from another part of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, ureters or urethra and spread to your kidneys. Less commonly, the bacteria or viruses come from an infection elsewhere in your body.
Kidney infection can also happen if the flow of urine through your urinary tract is blocked. This can happen due to:
- An enlarged prostate
- A problem with the shape of your urinary tract that makes it harder for urine to pass through
A kidney infection is not contagiousyou cannot catch one from another person or spread a kidney infection if you have one.
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Are Kidney Infections Serious What Is The Prognosis
Generally, urinary tract and kidney infections are common conditions with an overall favorable outlook.
- A kidney infection can be managed at home if the infection is diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics.
- Severe or complicated infections may require more intensive treatment and possible hospitalization.
- Personal hygiene is important in the prevention of recurring kidney infections.
- Cranberry juice is a simple natural remedy to prevent recurring kidney infections.
Rarely, serious complications from a kidney infection occur.
Water To Flush The Infection
Most kidney diseases are due to improper drinking habits. People either drink excess water or never notice their very low consumption of water.
Drinking very low water makes it easy for kidney infections to spread to the organ.
Excess of water will lead to low sodium levels in the blood and it is very dangerous.
Therefore, you must try to be conscious about how much water your drink every day. Never drink water if you arent thirsty.
Drink only when you are thirsty. Thirst is an important signal from our body that indicates the need for water. So, drink only water when you are thirsty.
Dont drink any other liquid items such as juices when you are thirsty. It will not quench your thirst as well as doesnt help the kidneys.
While drinking water, dont rush it. Find a comfortable spot to sit and take small sips. Do not gulp the entire bottle in one go. Try to take small sips and feel the thirst-quenching with every sip.
Following this treatment will solve most kidney-related problems.
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Not All Kidney Pain Is Treatable With At
While these solutions may help relieve, or in some cases eliminate, mild kidney pain, they will not stop infections from spreading. When left untreated, even the occasional UTI can turn into something more severe, which is why its always in your best interest to contact your urologist when you are experiencing any type of pain in your kidneys.
Based on your symptoms, an in-office visit may not be required. Talk to your urologist and ask questions about the type of pain you are experiencing. They will be able to tell you if at-home remedies are possible, or if you need to schedule an appointment.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. And dont forget to download our Nutrition & Lifestyle Guide before you go for more health and wellness tips from our urological experts!
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:
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Home Remedies For Kidney Infection Cure
Kidney infection can lead to a serious health condition and sometimes it can be life-threatening. The doctor gives you heavy doses of antibiotics for a kidney infection.
There are many proven natural home remedies which can help you to cure kidney infection without antibiotic. But if you have severe symptoms of likes fever and sharp pain because of kidney infection then visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Drinking lots of water is a good home remedy for a kidney infection. It can help you to get rid of the infection as well as prevent you from happening again. Drinking lots of water also help to prevent forming a kidney stone.
Water helps to dilute urine and flush out bacteria through urination. We recommend you drink 8-10 glass of water daily. Make sure drinking water should be de-mineralized.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best home remedies for a kidney infection. Due to the acidic nature of ACV, it helps to kill bacteria which can cause infection.
- Take a tablespoon of ACV and add in one glass of water. Drink this diluted ACV after every three hours.
- You can also mix 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Drink this home remedy once in a day until you get rid of kidney infection.
Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
The symptoms of a kidney infection usually start in the bladder or urethra and spread to one or both of your kidneys.
If not treated properly, the infection can cause permanent damage to your kidney, which can be life-threatening.
The common symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Abdominal pain.
- An urge to urinate frequently
- Blood in the urine
- Urine with a bad smell
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Can You Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
If youre experiencing the symptoms of a UTI, you should always check in with your doctor first.
Because theyre at higher risk for complications, men and pregnant women should never try to treat a UTI at home, according to Rena Malik, M.D., a urologist and director of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
But for some women with no other serious health problems, it can be possible to treat a UTI at home, without antibiotics. For instance, mild or uncomplicated UTIs may clear out of the bladder naturally, as a strong immune system can help resolve these infections.
To boost your immune system and help reduce your risk of severe UTIs, its important to stay well-hydrated and incorporate essential vitamins and nutrients into your diet. And while these methods wont treat your UTI as effectively as antibiotics after its occured, they can help prevent future ones from occurring.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Improved Renal Function
Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, which has antibacterial properties that can help in treating kidney infections that are particularly caused by E. coli. Plus, it can help balance the pH levels in the body and prevent the infection from spreading.
How to consume:
Caution: Do not drink undiluted apple cider vinegar on empty stomach.
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Home Remedies For Utis
When bacteria enter the urinary tract system, it can cause a urinary tract infection. Bacteria, and specifically Escherichia coli , is the most common cause of UTIs, but dehydration, holding urination for a long time, certain health conditions, and hormonal changes can also cause a UTI or increase your risk of infection. The average UTI can last anywhere from a few days to more than a week. Some UTIs will go away on their own, but more severe cases require medical attention. With antibiotic treatment, many people with severe UTIs start to feel relief within a couple of days. For mild UTIs, home remedies may help alleviate symptoms, and/or prevent infections from developing.
Here are some of the most common home remedies for UTIs:
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How Can You Prevent A Kidney Infection
A kidney infection generally results due to the advancement of preexisting bacteria from the lower urinary tract up to the kidneys. Thus, the ideal way to stave off the threat of kidney infections is by not having bacteria in the urethra or bladder.
The following preventive steps can help in this regard:
- Keep your body sufficiently hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The higher your water intake, the higher your chances of flushing out bacteria from the urethra while passing urine.
- Holding off on the need to urinate is a complete no-no. Find a toilet to answer the call of nature as soon as you feel the urge. Develop a habit of going to the bathroom every 4â6 hours to urinate.
- Emptying your bladder after having sexual intercourse can help eliminate any bacteria festering in the urethra. It is also recommended to wash the genitals before and after sex.
- It is recommended to wipe the genitals from front to back after passing stools or urine, to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria to the urethra.
- Eat plenty of fiber so that stools come out easily and do not irritate or cause skin lesions. Constipation increases the risk of developing a kidney infection.
- Refrain from using feminine products that can irritate the urethra, such as deodorant sprays and douches.
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What Antibiotics Are Used For The Treatment And Cure Of Kidney Infections
The most important component of the treatment of kidney infection is the prompt administration of antibiotics. As soon as the diagnosis of UTI or kidney infection is made by an analysis of urine, antibiotics need to be started. Typically, a strong antibiotic is started first, one which would be effective in treating all typical bacteria suspected of causing the infection. Once the actual bacteria are recovered and their sensitivity is determined, then a different antibiotic may be selected if the bacteria show resistance to the antibiotic that was originally started.
Several types of antibiotics are available and used to treat kidney infection. The choice depends on specific situations, clinical setting, tolerance, allergies, and ability to take oral medications.
Some of the common antibiotics used include
The doctor diagnosing the kidney infection can determine what is the most appropriate in a given situation.
Similar to any infection, a routine follow-up with the physician treating the kidney infection is important to assure that therapy has been effective. More immediate follow up may be necessary if the symptoms of the infection do not improve after a few days of antibiotics and supportive care. In such cases, further investigation may be necessary to rule out a complicated kidney infection and to assure that the organism causing the infection is sensitive to the prescribed antibiotics.
Try Drinking Some Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
While the research is a bit unclear, cranberries have been used as a prevention of UTI for generations. Studies have shown that cranberries actually make it harder for the bacteria that cause UTIs to stick to the urinary tract walls. So, while not really a remedy, if you frequently get UTIs, it might be worth drinking a couple of glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice, or snacking on the actual fruit .
Is A Cat Ear Infection An Emergency
If your cat exhibits any symptoms of infection, it is best to schedule an appointment with his or her veterinarian as soon as possible. In cats, the ear infection is uncommon, and it can cause serious complications, as well as long-term pain and discomfort, if left untreated.
A secondary cause of ear infections in cats is a health issue that contributes to an underlying condition. By using a veterinarian to diagnose and treat the condition, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of complications. Cat infections of the outer ear are more common than those of dogs. Ear infections are more common in cats with poor immune systems, diabetes, or allergies. Ear infections in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including growths, allergies, parasites, and more. You should consult a veterinarian right away if your pet becomes uncomfortable and requires treatment for an infection. Chronic ear infections can lead to paralysis of the facial muscles as well as hearing loss in adults.
To prevent ear infections in cats, it is critical to check their ears on a regular basis. You should consult with your veterinarian if your cat has a long-term or recurring ear infection. Tissue swelling may be reduced in canals by taking medications. Surgery is sometimes required to correct the problem.