When To Seek Medical Advice
Contact your GP if you have a high temperature, persistent pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination. Contact your GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you have blood in your urine, you should always see your GP so the cause can be investigated.
Your GP can carry out some simple tests to help diagnose a kidney infection.
See diagnosing kidney infections for more information
Why Should I Take The Full Dose
Antibiotics work well against UTIs. You might start to feel better after being on the medicine for just a few days.
But even so, keep taking your medicine. If you stop your antibiotics too soon, you wonât kill all the bacteria in your urinary tract.
These germs can become resistant to antibiotics. That means the meds will no longer kill these bugs in the future. So if you get another UTI, the medication you take might not treat it. Take the full course of your medicine to make sure all the bacteria are dead.
Tell Your Doctor If Youre Taking Any Other Remedies Or Medications
Many patients turn to at-home UTI remedies or over-the-counter medicine to first treat their UTI. Patients should be sure to provide the full details of their medical history to their doctor before taking nitrofurantoin including any medications , supplements, and herbs, as well as any history of kidney disease, anemia, diabetes, electrolyte imbalance, vitamin B deficiency, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, or any other diseases.
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Medical Treatment For Kidney Infections
Antibiotics are always the first line of defense against a kidney infection. If the kidney infection isnt severe, a doctor will likely give you oral antibiotics to take once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days.
Its important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even if you feel better within several days, as stopping early could lead to antibiotic resistance or re-infection. A doctor will also encourage you to drink plenty of water.
In some cases, kidney infections may require admission to the hospital. Youll be given fluids and antibiotics intravenously through an IV, both of which can help treat the infection.
In addition, lab work and imaging may be done to determine the severity of infection as well as the cause, such as a blockage due to a kidney stone or anatomical abnormality.
If you have recurring UTIs that increase your risk of frequent kidney infections, a doctor will help you establish the cause of their frequency and help you prevent further infections from occurring.
What Is The Difference Between A Bladder Infection And A Kidney Infection
Kidney and bladder infections are both considered urinary tract infections. Although they share similar symptoms, there are differences between the two. A kidney infections signs and symptoms vary significantly from person to person and normally develop within a day or as fast as a few hours.
Understanding the difference between a bladder and kidney infection can ensure you take the proper steps towards healing and speeding up doctor consultation sessions.
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Shortness Of Breath After Very Little Effort
Why this happens:
Being short of breath can be related to the kidneys in two ways. First, extra fluid in the body can build up in the lungs. And second, anemia can leave your body oxygen-starved and short of breath.
What patients said:
At the times when I get the shortness of breath, its alarming to me. It just fears me. I think maybe I might fall or something so I usually go sit down for awhile.
I couldnt sleep at night. I couldnt catch my breath, like I was drowning or something. And, the bloating, cant breathe, cant walk anywhere. It was bad.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
The most common causes of UTI infections are E. colibacterial strains that usually inhabit the colon. However, many other bacteria can occasionally cause an infection. In addition, yeasts and some parasites may cause UTIs. In the U.S., most infections are due to Gram-negative bacteria with E. coli causing the majority of infections.
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A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
A UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the bodys drainage system for removing urine. It consists of :
- The kidneys: organs that filter waste from the blood and produce 12 quarts of urine per day
- The ureters: the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder
- The bladder: the organ that stores urine
- The urethra: a tube at the bottom of the bladder that allows urine to exit the body
Most UTIs occur as a result of bacteria such as Escherichia coli . However, other types of pathogens, such as viruses and fungi, can also cause UTIs.
A UTI may occur when a pathogen enters the urethra and infects any part of the urinary tract. The infection can irritate the lining of the urinary tract, leading to symptoms
resistant infections that do not respond to traditional treatments and are more likely to result in potential complications.
Doctors may prescribe different antibiotics depending on whether the UTI is simple or complicated.
The type of antibiotic, the dose, and the length of treatment a doctor prescribes will depend on a persons health status and the bacteria found in the urine culture. For example, treatment for complicated UTIs may take 714 days and require broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics as well as hospitalization.
Doctors may prescribe the following first-line antibiotics for uncomplicated UTIs:
When Should You Go To The Hospital For A Kidney Infection
Kidney infection is a potentially hazardous illness. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent potentially permanent loss of kidney function. If you notice kidney infection symptoms such as pain in your side, fever, or nausea, see a doctor immediately. If you canât make an appointment with your regular doctor, do not hesitate to visit urgent care or an emergency room.
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Who’s Most Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Women and children are most at risk of developing a kidney infection, as well as other urinary tract infections such as cystitis.
Other factors can also put you more at risk of developing a kidney infection, including:
- having a condition that blocks, or obstructs, your urinary tract, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate children with constipation can also be at an increased risk
- being born with an abnormality in your urinary tract
- having a condition that prevents you emptying your bladder fully, such as an injury to your spinal cord this can allow bacteria in your bladder to multiply and spread
- having a weakened immune system for example, due to type 2 diabetes or as a side effect of chemotherapy
- having an infection of the prostate gland called prostatitis the infection can spread from the prostate gland into the kidneys
- having a urinary catheter
- being female and sexually active sexual intercourse can irritate the urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
- being pregnant this can cause physical changes that slow the flow of urine out of your body and make it easier for bacteria to spread to the kidneys
- having undergone female genital mutilation an illegal practice where a woman’s genitals are deliberately cut or changed for cultural, religious and social reasons
Can I Go To Work With A Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections are treated on an outpatient basis with oral antibiotics. Symptom relief typically occurs after a few days of treatment, so it may be possible to go to work at that point. Many patients, however, require a week or two before they feel well enough to work. As always, never go to work with a fever.
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Antibiotics And The Treatment Process
Although powerful, the antibiotics listed above do not always work. Certain strains of bacteria can build resistance to antibiotics. As a result, veterinarians use another method to make sure the infection is actually clearing the pets body.
During treatment, the urine must be recultured to be sure the prescribed antibiotic is still effective against the targeted bacteria. After treatment ends, the urine must be recultured at least three times at six- to eight-week intervals before the dog will receive a clean billof health.
Other Urinary Tract Antibiotics
There are other prescription antibiotics that may be administered for urinary tract infections however are not specifically for treating kidney infections. For example, Macrobid is particularly for dealing with bladder infections and must not be used for kidney infections although it minimizes the growth of bacteria in similar ways that kidney infection antibiotics will. Make certain you consult your physician to verify where the infection is located along the urinary tract prior to deciding in between macrobid or kidney infection prescription antibiotics.
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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.
Best Antibiotics For Uti Treatment
According to International clinical guidelines on how to treat UTI, these are the best antibiotics for UTI. I have listed them in preference order according to the guidelines.
If you do not recognize some of the names on the list, it may be because some of these drugs are available in the EU, but not in the USA.
This list is only applicable to otherwise healthy and non-pregnant adults.
Brand names: Macrobid, Nitrofurantoin, Furadantin, Furalan, Macrodantin.
This is my favorite antibiotic for UTI treatment because it has the least impact on gut flora. Still, if you are taking Macrobid for UTI, check out my post on the pros and cons of nitrofurantoin. This antibiotic works best for UTIs caused by E. coli bacteria.
Brand names: Septra, Bactrim, Sulfatrim.
This antibiotic is becoming less popular due to E. colis increasing resistance to it. In some studies, more than 34% of women diagnosed with a UTI had E. coli bacteria resistant to this group of antibiotics. However, it is still an excellent choice if you know that your bacteria are sensitive to it as it is a safe antibiotic.
3. Fosfomycin trometamol
Brand name: Monurol.
A single oral dose of fosfomycin trometamol, 3 g , get highly concentrated in the urine. Results of recent randomized trials show that single-dose was enough to treat an uncomplicated UTI in women.
Brand names: Alexid, Dysedin, Penomax, Melysin, Selexid, Relexid, Emcil, Pivicil.
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Oral Versus Parenteral Administration
Growing data suggest that oral antibiotic therapy, parenteral antibiotic therapy, and initial parenteral antibiotic therapy followed by oral antibiotic therapy are equally effective regimens, although most of the studies have been small. Some clinicians believe that initiating therapy with an intravenous or intramuscular dose of medication reduces the risk of therapeutic failure other clinicians believe that a completely oral course is sufficient. Data exist to support both assertions.
One conventional regimen comprises levofloxacin, 500 mg/day, given intravenously and then orally for 7-14 days. A short-course regimen of intravenous levofloxacin at 750 mg/day for 5 days proved non-inferior to that conventional regimen in a prospective, open-label, randomized, controlled clinical trial in 317 Chinese patients with complicated urinary tract infections and acute pyelonephritis.
To be considered for oral therapy, patients must meet several prerequisites. They must, of course, be able to tolerate oral medication. In addition, they must have no indication for admission, and close monitoring to ensure good compliance must be possible.
The 2010 guidelines from the Infectious Disease Society of America recommend that women with pyelonephritis who require hospitalization be treated initially with an intravenous antimicrobial regimen. The choice of antimicrobial agents should be based on local resistance data, with the regimen tailored on the basis of susceptibility results.
Home Remedies For A Kidney Infection
You cant DIY a kidney infection away. But home remedies might help stave off some symptoms. Heres the best of the bunch:
- Take OTC pain relievers. These cant cure a kidney infection, but they might relieve discomfort in the short term. Options like acetaminophen can also help bring a fever down.
- Ditch the caffeine and booze. Drinking alcohol or caffeine can make your kidneys work overtime. This extra strain might make it harder for your infection to clear.
- Take a probiotic.Probioticshelp your good bacteria bounce back after a round of antibiotics. Some research also suggests they can help folks with kidney issues.
- Stay uber-hydrated. Youll want to drink lots and lots of fluids to flush out your bladder and urethra as frequently as possible.
- Try apple cider vinegar . Theres no scientific evidence that ACV is the MVP of kidney infections. But some folks like to drink it as a tonic for its antimicrobial properties.
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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:
Symptoms Of Kidney Infection
Symptoms of pyelonephritis often begin suddenly with chills, fever, pain in the lower part of the back on either side, nausea, and vomiting.
, including frequent, painful urination. One or both kidneys may be enlarged and painful, and doctors may find tenderness in the small of the back on the affected side. Sometimes the muscles of the abdomen are tightly contracted. Irritation from the infection or the passing of a kidney stone can cause spasms of the ureters. If the ureters go into spasms, people may experience episodes of intense pain . In children, symptoms of a kidney infection Urinary Tract Infection in Children A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary bladder , the kidneys , or both. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Infants and younger read more often are slight and more difficult to recognize. In older people, pyelonephritis may not cause any symptoms that seem to indicate a problem in the urinary tract. Instead, older people may have a decrease in mental function , fever, or an infection of the bloodstream .
In chronic pyelonephritis, the pain may be vague, and fever may come and go or not occur at all.
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Kidney Pain And Alcohol Abuse
Although the kidneys do not directly filter alcohol, problems associated with the kidneys may be related to the alcohol abuse. Alcohol can affect certain renal hormones such as anti-diuretic hormone and result in dehydration.
Alcohol may also raises the risk of atherosclerosis and cause clot formation in the kidneys.
Antibiotics Dosage How Many Over The Counter Antibiotics Pills Should You Take
Depending on the type of antibiotic you take, the dosage varies. The strength of each antibiotic varies. Moreover, depending on the bacterial infection, the strength and the dosage is decided. However, it is important to complete the antibiotic course fully. In most cases, the recommended antibiotic course spans between 5 to 7 days. In certain cases, 3 to 5 days would be sufficient.
What Is A Uti
Before we talk about the antibiotics that treat UTIs, lets discuss what the medications are targeting.
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, refer to a group of infections that can happen anywhere along the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladders, and urethra. Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs because bacteria often cause themEscherichia coli is the type of bacteria notoriously famous for causing most UTIs.
Most germs that cause these infections typically live on the skin in unharmful numbers, especially in areas like the vaginal folds. However, once in the urinary tract, they can multiply to unsafe colony numbers and cause symptoms .
UTI symptoms include: burning during urination, needing to pee frequently, lower abdominal pain or cramping, blood in your urine, and feeling the need to urinate even if you just went to the bathroom.
How Long Do I Need To Take Antibiotics To Treat A Uti
How long you take antibiotics for a UTI depends on how severe your UTI is and which antibiotic youre prescribed. Some medications like fosfomycin only require one dose, while a more severe UTI might require 14 days or more of treatment. Most require 3 to 7 days of treatment.
Within the first 1 to 2 days of starting your antibiotics, youll probably notice your UTI symptoms start to fade away. If your UTI is more severe or youve had symptoms for a while before starting antibiotics, it might take a few more days for you to notice improvement.
In any case, its important to take all the antibiotics youre prescribed, even if you start feeling better before finishing them. Stopping antibiotics early can lead to antibiotic resistance, which means the medication might not work as well as it should if you need it to treat an infection in the future. It can also mean your UTI might come back if you havent treated it completely.
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