Dont Use Feminine Hygiene Sprays Or Douches
The downside of using these products was shown in a recent study that appeared in the journal BMC Womens Health. Douches and other types of intimate cleansers were linked with a 3.5 times greater risk of bacterial infection and 2.5 times higher risk of a UTI. The use of intimate wipes was also correlated with a twofold higher risk of developing a UTI.
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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.
Consider Switching Birth Control
Birth control methods with spermicides, as discussed above, have been linked to increased risk for UTIs. Additionally, other birth control methods, like intrauterine devices have also demonstrated to act as a source for recurrent UTIs. Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control options or if you suspect your current contraceptive may be causing recurrent UTIs.
Kidney Infection Fast Facts
A kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection that can affect one or both of your kidneys.
What causes a kidney infection?
The infection usually starts in your bladder or urethra and flows upstream to your kidneys. It can be bacterial or viral.
What are the symptoms of a kidney infection?
Common symptoms are painful urination and dark, cloudy, or bloody pee. You may also experience a dull ache in your back, abdomen, groin, or sides.
More serious symptoms can include chills, rashes, fever, mental confusion, fast breathing, or a rapid heart rate.
How to treat a kidney infection
Kidney infections require urgent attention and are usually treated with prescription antibiotics.
How serious is a kidney infection?
Kidney infections can get serious if left untreated. They can lead to permanent kidney damage and other health concerns.
- mid-back pain below your ribs on one side
Although rare, a skin rash is also a sign of a serious infection.
Anyone with a kidney can get a kidney infection. But there are some factors that bump up your risk:
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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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
What Are Potential Kidney Infection Complications
Most people recover 100% from a kidney infectionbut there is the possibility of serious complications if one is left untreated. As we mentioned, a kidney infection that doesnt get treated can cause a condition known as sepsis. This happens when your body responds overzealously to an infection, which can lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure and cause the body to go into shock, according to the NIDDK. This can make your organs fail, which, in the most extreme cases, can lead to death.
Even in non-life-threatening cases, if you have a kidney infection that becomes chronic, you can wind up with permanent kidney damage that can cause problems like kidney disease or high blood pressure. In pregnant people, untreated kidney infections can also increase the risk of having a baby with low birth weight, notes the Mayo Clinic.
All of that sounds scary, but heres whats most important to know: A kidney infection is treatable. Its all about how soon you seek treatment once you start experiencing kidney infection symptoms.
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When To Seek Medical Attention
Kidney infections are severe conditions that require immediate medical attention. This condition cause long-term kidney damage if left untreated.
Sometimes severe kidney infection causes sepsis, which eventually leads to shock. Thats why kidney infection cannot be allowed to progress further.
Although these natural remedies can help soothe most of the symptoms of kidney infections, youre highly recommended to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Causes Of Kidney Pain
There are a number of different things that can cause kidney pain, from infection to kidney stones and beyond. While alleviating your pain might seem like the #1 priority, never forego a doctor visit to get a treatment plan that will eliminate the source of the pain. Some common causes of intense kidney pain include infections along the urinary tract and kidney stones.
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What Causes Infection In Your Kidneys
When the bladder of the urinary tract gets infected with bacteria called E.coli, the infection begins within. There are other bacteria that can cause kidney infections they get through your skin, reaches the blood in some ways, and travel up to the kidneys. Some people get an infection through some surgery.
Follow Good Bathroom And Diapering Habits
Some children simply dont urinate often enough. Children should urinate often and when they first feel the need to go. Bacteria can grow and cause an infection when urine stays in the bladder too long. Caregivers should change diapers often for infants and toddlers, and should clean the genital area well. Gentle cleansers that do not irritate the skin are best.
Your child should always wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement. This step is most important after a bowel movement to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra and bladder.
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Can You Prevent Kidney Infections
Prevention of urinary tract and kidney infection primarily focuses on reducing the associated risk factors. As mentioned earlier, the majority of urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria gaining entry into the urinary system through the urethra. Therefore, personal hygiene plays an important role in preventing kidney infection.
Examples of preventative measures include:
- Emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse or wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom may significantly reduce the chance of developing kidney infection in women.
- Drinking plenty of fluids has been shown to be the single most effective measure for preventing urinary tract infections.
- In individuals with long-standing urinary catheters, routinely scheduled changing of the catheter as well as regular cleaning around the catheters entry into the urethra are important steps in prevention of urinary tract infections.
- If kidney stones are the predisposing factor to repeated kidney infections, the removal of the stone and preventing future stones from forming may be necessary. These individuals may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and removal of kidney stones.
- Cranberries and cranberry juice can be beneficial in preventing kidney infections. It is important to note that cranberries may not treat an existing kidney infection, but have been found to be a simple preventive measure in addition to the other measures listed above.
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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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Relieving Kidney Pain At Home Urinary Infections
If youre suffering from kidney pain due to an infection in the urinary tract, try the following remedies. If they dont work, make sure to schedule a visit with your urologist to discuss a treatment plan that will ensure the infection doesnt spread.
Hydration is key to flushing out infections of the urinary tract. Not only will staying hydrated help eliminate bacteria, it can relieve pain by reducing the concentration of your urine. Instead of turning to sugary drinks, increase your water intake. Water is always a better option as it causes less irritation. As a general rule of thumb, aim for 8, 8oz glasses a day.2 If youre active or have a strenuous lifestyle you may need more water to stay hydrated.
Probiotics help fight bacteria build-up in your gut and replaces it with good, immune boosting bacteria.3 Regularly taking probiotics may also help your kidney process waste, thus making treatments more effective.3
UTIs are oftentimes associated with cranberry juice and for good reasonit helps alleviate pain. Avoid overly processed cranberry juice cocktails and instead, opt for pure juice or some sort of supplement to help mitigate kidney pain and reduce the symptoms of a UTI.
If the bath doesn’t help, try adding direct heat with a heating pad or a heated water bottle. Place it on the affected area for about 20 minutes at a time to help reduce pain.2
Garlic Helps Protect Your Kidneys
The natural antibiotic properties of garlic can also help fight kidney infections. Moreover, it acts as a diuretic to help the kidneys flush out harmful toxins and microorganisms from the body.
A study published in Pathogens and Disease showed that oral treatment with garlic significantly lowered renal bacterial counts and protected mouse kidney from tissue destruction caused by P. aeruginosa. Prophylactic treatment with garlic was able to significantly lower renal bacterial counts in test group animals. Renal tissue lesions were of less severity in the garlic-treated group, suggesting attenuation of virulence of P. aeruginosa in the UTI model.
How to consume:
- Add garlic to your regular cooking and try incorporating them in soups, pasta dishes, and rice dishes. However, note that eating raw garlic daily on an empty stomach can cause stomach discomfort.
- Alternatively, you can try garlic capsules or supplements but only after consulting your doctor.
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When To See A Doctor For Your Uti
If your symptoms persist beyond a few days with no sign of improvement, or if your infection keeps recurring, its best to see a doctor. While many home remedies may ease symptoms if they persist your doctor will be able to determine the cause and prescribe a course of antibiotics that should help take care of your UTI right away and prevent it from leading to a worsening condition or infection.
Have you tried any of the above natural remedies for UTIs, or other home treatments to treat your urinary tract infection? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Avoid Bladder Irritating Foods When You Have A Uti
Certain foods are known bladder irritants – citrus or very acidic foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol – these can all irritate the bladder, leading to bladder leaks. And, if you currently have a UTI, they may affect you even more. Try to watch out for these common bladder irritants to prevent further irritation to your bladder and UTI.
Will Specific Foods Help With Utis
Unfortunately, no. Unless youre staying chronically dehydrated where youre not urinating that much so the bacteria are sitting in your bladder for long periods of time, theres nothing really dietary that will help, says Dr. Eilber.
Why do women get more UTIs than men?
Indeed, studies have shown what many of us assume: Women are significantly more likely to experience urinary tract infections than men. We have a really bad setup down there, says Dr. Eilber. One of the reasons why its unusual for men to get infections is because they have such a long urethra so the bacteria have a long way to go to get to the bladder and prostate unlike women where our urethra is so short those bacteria take a few steps and theyre already right there and ready to cause us problems.
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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Try Taking A Probiotic
Introducing a probiotic to your system may help to replenish the naturally occurring, healthy bacteria that live in the gut. It is thought that probiotics may prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract cells, and may also lower the urine Ph, making it less hospitable to harmful bacteria. And, if you have taken an antibiotic to treat a UTI, taking a probiotic is a great way to build up the healthy bacteria that may have been killed during your course of treatment. Probiotics are found in supplement form , or they occur naturally in some types of food, including certain yogurts, kombucha, or kefir.
What Happens If A Uti Is Left Untreated
Leaving a UTI untreated can cause additional health problems. Bacteria can reach the ureters or kidneys and cause kidney infections and possibly permanent kidney damage. Untreated UTIs in pregnant women can also potentially cause early labor and low birth weight. A UTI left untreated can result in a more serious infection, called . Sepsis is a true medical emergency, and if not treated as such can result in death.Seeking treatment for UTI that isnt going awayor one that keeps coming backis always a good thing.
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How Can I Make Sure My Kidney Infection Is Completely Gone
If you recently had a kidney infection, the health care professional will often repeat urine cultures after your treatment ends to make sure your infection has completely gone away and has not come back. If a repeat test shows infection, you may take another round of antibiotics. If your infection comes back again, he or she may prescribe antibiotics for a longer time period.
If your health care professional prescribes antibiotics, take all of the antibiotics as prescribed and follow the advice of the health care professional. Even if you start to feel better, you should finish all of your medicine.
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.
Consider Drinking Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is reported to reduce urinary tract infections. However, there is no strong data to support its use for urinary tract infections.
Cranberry juice contains certain chemicals that may deter the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. This may prevent bacteria from thriving on the wall of the bladder and thus lessens your risk of infection.
In one study, researchers found that cranberry juice reduced E. coli colonization of the bladder in an experimental mouse model of urinary tract infection and that the organic acids are active agents. The active treatments reduced bacterial counts in the bladder but did not cure the infection, indicating that cranberry juice is not a definitive treatment but it may promote clearance of the infection, for instance, in combination with antibiotics.
Consider drinking a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice. Do not drink this juice in large amounts or for extended time periods as it can cause side effects. Drinking more than 1 liter of this juice daily for a long time may increase the chances of developing kidney stones because it contains oxalates.
Many cranberry juice products contain significant amounts of sugar, so it is important to check if you have diabetes.