What Causes Kidney Infections
Most kidney infections are caused by bacteria that normally live in your large intestine. The bacteria get into your kidneys from the outside by traveling up your urinary tract:
First, bacteria get in your urethra
Then the bacteria travel up to your bladder
From the bladder, bacteria can move up to your kidneys through your ureters
You’re more likely to get kidney infections:
If something is blocking your urinary tract so it’s hard for urine to flow out
An infection of the bloodstream
How Do You Prevent A Kidney Infection
If your dog has a condition that would have them more likely to develop a kidney infection, as soon as any symptoms are noticed, take them to your vet right away. Most dogs with kidney infections, if caught early and treated properly, can quickly and fully recover. If you do not treat a kidney infection right away, this can develop kidney failure.
What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infection
As has been explained before, bacteria is usually flushed out when urine flows out of the body. However, sometimes this may not be the case, and instead of getting flushed out, the bacteria get into the urinary tract and find their way into the kidney.
Why does this happen, and what could be the cause?
- Pregnancy may trigger the onset of a kidney infection. Since the uterus is larger than it usually would be, it can squeeze the ureters, thus reducing the outflow of urine. With the outflow of urine reduced, it is easy for the bacteria to find their way into the kidneys.
- Diabetes mellitus that is left unattended may also lead the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.
- Abnormalities in the body or organ structure may block urine flow. These abnormalities could be kidney stones, surgery, stents, or stricture.
- Compression of the urethra as a result of a prostate gland that has been enlarged. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Reflux of the urine flows back into the kidneys from the bladder.
- A low-performing immune system.
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How Can I Prevent Kidney Infections
The following simple measures can help to prevent kidney infections:
- Drink plenty of water to flush bacteria out of your urethra and bladder. Drink 1.5 to 2 litres a day and aim for pale yellow urine.
- Dont delay peeing avoid holding on.
- Make sure your bladder is as empty as possible every time you go.
- Women should always wipe from the front to the back after going to the toilet.
- Pee before and soon after sexual intercourse.
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How To Check For Kidney Infection
Are you feeling a little under the weather? Do you have a fever, chills, a burning feeling or pain when urinating and a general sense of not feeling well? Its possible that you have a kidney infection. Although they are not common, its important to be able to recognize the symptoms and get treatment if needed.
In this article, well discuss how to check for a kidney infection and what to do if you think you might have one.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Pain in your lower back, one or both sides or your groin
- Urinating more often than normal
- Feeling like you have to urinate even if you just went
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Blood or pus in your urine
- Urine that is cloudy or smells bad
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. If you are currently taking medicine to treat a UTI, but you are still having any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
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.
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Signs That Your Kidneys Are Infected
Kidney infections are a type of UTI, but the symptoms differ somewhat from those of a bladder infection. Symptoms of kidney infections include:
- Frequent, painful urination
- Dark, cloudy, or bloody urine, often with a bad smell
When a UTI spreads to the kidneys, the symptoms are severe. The fever is often very high, and you may feel very sick. People over 65 may have different symptoms confusion, hallucinations, or garbled speech. They may wet themselves more than usual and experience shivering or shaking.
Antibiotics For Kidney Infections
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for kidney infections. The drugs used and the length of time of the treatment depend on your health and the bacteria found in your urine tests.
Symptoms of a kidney infection often begin to clear up within a few days of treatment. But you might need to continue antibiotics for a week or longer. Finish taking the full course of antibiotics even if you start feeling better.
Your provider might want you to have a repeat urine culture test to make sure that the infection has cleared. If the infection is still present, you’ll need to take another course of antibiotics.
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The Symptoms Of Cystitis
The usual symptoms of an infection of the urinary bladder:
- Burning or pain when passing urine
- A need to pass urine again and again, with very little urine passed
- Pressure or pain in your lower belly
- Urine that looks cloudy or reddish
- Urine with a bad smell
- Tiredness and feeling unwell, perhaps a low fever
Four Key Concepts And Talking Points
1. Talk to patients about their kidneys, CKD, and their risk.
What is CKD? CKD means the kidneys are damaged and may no longer filter blood well. This damage happens over many years. As more damage occurs, the kidneys are unable to keep the body healthy then dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed to maintain health.
How can I lower my risk for CKD? The steps you take to manage your diabetes and high blood pressure also help protect your kidneys. Choosing healthy foods, quitting smoking, and being more physically active are all important steps.
2. Communicate the importance of testing and how CKD is diagnosed.
What are the symptoms of CKD? Most people with CKD have no symptoms until their kidneys are about to fail. The only way to know if you have kidney disease is to get tested. The sooner kidney disease is found, the sooner you can take steps to begin treatment and keep your kidneys healthier longer.
How do you check for CKD? A blood test and a urine test are used to find kidney disease. Because you are at risk, you should get these tests regularly:
- GFR A blood test measures how much blood your kidneys filter each minute, which is known as your glomerular filtration rate .
- Urine Albumin A urine test checks for albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the filters in the kidneys are damaged.
3. Explain the progressive nature of CKD and the basics of treatment.
4. Begin to speak about dialysis and transplantation.
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Getting Tested For A Uti
Testing for a UTI usually takes place in a doctors office, laboratory, or hospital. Most tests for UTIs involve a urine sample obtained by clean-catch or catheterization. Your doctor can help determine which method is appropriate for you.
- Clean catch urine samples are collected by patients with special precautions to prevent outside germs from getting into the urine sample. Patients are given instructions on obtaining a clean catch sample and avoiding contamination.
- Catheterization involves inserting a thin rubber tube through the urethra into the bladder. When performing this procedure, the urine is collected in a sterile container for testing before removing the catheter.
So How Long Does It Take A Uti To Turn Into A Kidney Infection
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of a UTI so you may catch the infection before it becomes a more complicated illness, such as a kidney infection.
As Healthline explains, symptoms of a kidney infection usually appear two days after infection. While the chances of kidney damage is low, it is not a good idea to leave these infections to worsen, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
In fact, even Medical News Today agrees, people should not delay treatment can lead to a life threatening kidney infection called emphysematous pyelonephritis. This infection increases a persons risk of septic shock, bladder rupture, and death.
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Kidney Infection Home Remedies
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
What Happens If A Kidney Infection Is Left Untreated
If a kidney infection is left untreated, it can lead to a number of complications including kidney scarring, blood poisoning, and pregnancy complications if you are expecting which is why its crucial to get in touch with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms or signs of kidney infection .
Its important to note that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a kidney infection including drinking plenty of water, urinating after sex, and going to the bathroom once you feel the urge to go.
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One of the most reliable ways to keep an eye on your kidney health is through regular testing this can be done with your doctor or if you would prefer, from the comfort of home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds Kidney Function Test allows you to monitor your kidney function and performance. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should consider taking a Kidney Function Test if any of the below are applicable to you:
- You suffer from high blood pressure
- You suffer from diabetes
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Can I Carry Out A Kidney Check Test At Home
There are at-home tests in the market which measure kidney health. It does this by spotting protein in the urine, which could be an indication of a kidney infection or general kidney function deterioration as a result of another cause. Generally they are dip sticks tests where you dip the test strip in your urine and observe the color change by comparing your results with the color chart on the box to understand your results. The strip will turn a color once it detects protein in your urine showing a presence of portein in your urine.
It is generally advised that you seek medical attention even after your at-home kidney test, so as to get expert guidance.
Utis Vs Kidney Infections: How To Tell The Difference
It starts with a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. Whether at work, school or running errands, you have to drop what youre doing and find a restroom now. But once you can finally relieve yourself, you cant go. Or, if you do go, it feels painful and uncomfortable.
If this has happened to you, it might have been a urinary tract infection or kidney infection.
Many people ignore signs of a bladder infection and wait it out until symptoms improve, says Dr. Ross Watson, a board-certified family practitioner at Beaufort Memorial Primary Care. But if you seek medical help, we can often resolve painful symptoms quickly.
Heres how to tell if you have a UTI or kidney infection and what you can do to start feeling better.
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What Is A Uti
The urinary tract consists of two kidneys, two ureters that carry urine from the kidneys, the urinary bladder, which receives urine from the ureters, and the urethra, from which urine exits the body. When we speak of a UTI, we generally mean a urinary bladder infection. Can a UTI become a kidney infection? That’s an important concern since kidney infections are dangerous. The kidneys remove wastes from the body, maintain the balance of water and crucial electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and have many other functions.
Normally, urine is sterile. The kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra have no bacteria or other germs. A UTI is an infection of any part of the urinary system. Urinary infections are common, and more than half of all women will have at least one in their lives.
Most infections of the urinary tract are ascending infections. The bacteria enter from the urethra and travel up to the bladder. Infection of the bladder is called cystitis. UTI is four times as common in women as in men since women have a shorter urethra.
A UTI is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract. Bladder infections are the most common and are called cystitis. Infections that only involve the urethra are called urethritis. A kidney infection, called pyelonephritis, is also a type of UTI.
When Will I Begin To Feel Better
Once you start treatment, you should start to feel better in a few days.
Can I have sex while being treated for a kidney infection?After you have started treatment and your symptoms have gone away, it is usually safe to have sex. Remember to urinate after sex to avoid getting more bacteria in your urinary tract.
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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 youre 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 youre 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.
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How Do You Know If Something Is Wrong With Your Kidneys
If you would simply like to check in on your kidney function, one of the most reliable ways to find out more is through a test this can be done with your local doctor or from home with LetsGetCheckeds at-home lab test.
Constant fatigue, difficulty sleeping and poor appetite, as well as the signs mentioned above, can also be indicators that your kidney isnt functioning how it should. If you are concerned about your kidney health, its important to reach out to your doctor or a medical professional to find out more.
The best way to check your kidney function from home is with a home test kit. The process is simple:
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Complications From A Kidney Infection
Full recovery is expected after a treating a kidney infection with antibiotics, However, in rare cases complications can occur including:
- Bacteria from a kidney infection getting into the bloodstream, particularly if treatment is delayed. This can cause blood poisoning and can be potentially life-threatening
- The development of a kidney abscess a collection of pus that forms within the kidney
- Permanent damage to kidney tissues
The above complications are rare but may become more likely if:
- You become severely ill with the kidney infection
- You already have other problems with your kidneys, like polycystic kidney disease, reflux or kidney failure
- You have kidney stones
- Your immune system is suppressed for example, if you have cancer, if youre taking medication such as steroids or chemotherapy, or if you have AIDS
- You have poorly controlled diabetes
- You are an older person
Another rare complication is Emphysematous pyelonephritis where kidney tissues are rapidly destroyed by the infection and the bacteria releases toxic gases that build up inside the kidneys. It tends to affect people who have poorly controlled diabetes and is a very serious illness.