Signs Of A Kidney Infection To Know And When To Go To The Hospital
Youre probably not constantly on the lookout for signs of a kidney infection. But getting a urinary tract infection can open you up to also getting an infection in one or both kidneys, which means this is an illness that should be on your radar. Yep, it’s an unfortunate truth: A urinary tract infection can lead to a kidney infection, which is medically known as pyelonephritis and can be incredibly serious. So if youre experiencing symptoms of a UTI and thinking, Eh, I can wait a few more days to get those antibiotics, think again. Heres what you need to know about the signs of a kidney infection, its underlying causes, why its so important to get treatment as soon as you can, and more.
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.
Risk Factors For A Kidney Infection
There are a few things that can up your risk factor of contracting a kidney infection, according to the Mayo Clinic, and some you have zero control over:
Having avagina. The urethra, that small tube that carries urine out of your body, is shorter in people with vaginas than it is in people with penises. That makes it easier for bacteria to travel from outside your body into the bladder. Your urethra is also close to your vagina and anus, which opens you up to more chances that bacteria from one of those areas will get into your urinary tract.
Having something blocking your urinary tract. That can be anything that slows down the flow of urine or makes it hard for you to fully empty your bladder when you pee, like a kidney stone.
Other potential risk factors include having damage to the nerves around your bladder, using a urinary catheter for the first time, and having a condition like vesicoureteral reflux, which causes urine to flow the wrong way, the Mayo Clinic says.
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Uncommon Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection You Should Know
About 40% of women develop at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Having one UTI over the span of decades doesnt sound too bad, but not all women are that lucky.
Its estimated that 20-30% of women will have a second UTI within 3-4 months. And for 11% of women, UTIs become an ongoing problem, recurring at least once every year and often more frequently.
UTIs typically cause a specific cluster of symptoms: a strong need to urinate, frequent urination, burning when you urinate, and passing small amounts of urine. Women receive comprehensive care for UTIs at Fred A. Williams, MD, so call the office in Paris, Texas, if you experience any of those symptoms.
Were also available to answer your questions if you develop one or more of these three uncommon symptoms of a UTI.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will usually be able to tell whats causing your pain by your description of your symptoms, along with a physical exam. Testing your urine can also help your doctor identify what type of infection you have. Usually, a sample of your urine is taken in your doctors office and sent to a lab to check for infection.
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Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
There Is Great Advice In These Comments
I have had many people visit this page and leave comments. If you need more advice, I would recommend looking through them.
The list is long, but there is some great wisdom to be gained from others who have experienced persistent bladder pain.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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Urinary Tract Infection Treatment
If you are a healthy adult man or a woman who is not pregnant, a few days of antibiotic pills will usually cure your urinary tract infection. If you are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe a medicine that is safe for you and the baby. Usually, symptoms of the infection go away 1 to 2 days after you start taking the medicine. Its important that you follow your doctors instructions for taking the medicine, even if you start to feel better. Skipping pills could make the treatment less effective.
Your doctor may also suggest a medicine to numb your urinary tract and make you feel better while the antibiotic starts to work. The medicine makes your urine turn bright orange, so dont be alarmed by the color when you urinate.
Bladder Cancer: Less Common In Women
Bladder cancer is rare, especially in women. Of the roughly 83,730 new diagnoses each year in the United States, about 19,450 are in women, according to the American Cancer Society . The most common symptom is blood in the urine some women also experience a painful, burning sensation when urinating.
Bladder cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. According to the ACS, most people need surgery to remove a tumor or tumors. All or parts of the bladder are removed in severe cases.
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How Is Interstitial Cystitis Treated
There is no cure for interstitial cystitis. A wide array of treatment options exist for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, although well-designed clinical trials to evaluate effectiveness are largely lacking 32). Multimodal therapy that includes pentosan polysulfate sodium , a tricyclic antidepressant, and an antihistamine is a relatively new approach to symptom relief based on advances in understanding of the complementary pathophysiologic mechanisms, but it remains to be evaluated in well-designed clinical effectiveness trials 33). It is important to set realistic goals and expectations with patients because individual responses vary and the evidence base is weak.
You may need to try several treatments or a combination of treatments before you notice an improvement in your symptoms.
Table 3. Multimodal Therapy for Interstitial Cystitis
Most people feel better after trying one or more of the following treatments:
Intravesical hyaluronic acid is a natural proteoglycan used in Europe and Canada for the treatment of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, but it is not approved for this use in the United States because supporting clinical trial data were lacking 45). An uncontrolled European trial demonstrated that intravesical hyaluronic acid treatments in combination with chondroitin sulfate led to markedly decreased pain and urgency at 12 weeks 46).
OTHER ADJUNCTIVE THERAPIES
Changes In Your Reproductive System
Bladder pain in women may also be a result of thinning vaginal skin, says Karl Luber, MD, a urogynecologist and a founder of the female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery fellowship program at UCSDKaiser Permanente in San Diego.
This is called atrophy and it’s most common when menopause deprives the tissues surrounding the vagina of estrogen, he explains. Oral estrogen doesnt help, but a vaginal estrogen cream may ease symptoms.
Talking with your doctor about bladder pain and discomfort can help determine where the problem really lies, Dr. Luber says.
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Why Does It Feel Like I Have A Uti But I Don T
With interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome , the bladder is stressed out and damaged more frequently. Having a feeling of pressure or pain around your bladder is called bladder-pressure. The lower urinary tract also has more than 6 weeks of pain and rarely shows evidence of an infection or any obvious causes.
Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections
Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, but they are more common in women. This is because the urethra in females is shorter and closer to the anus, where E. coli bacteria are common. Older adults also are at higher risk for developing cystitis. This increased risk may be due to incomplete emptying of the bladder. There are several medical conditions that can be related to this, including an enlarged prostate or a bladder prolapse .
If you get frequent urinary tract infections, your healthcare provider may do tests to check for other health problems such as diabetes or an abnormal urinary systemthat may be contributing to your infections. People with frequent UTIs are occasionally given low-dose antibiotics for a period of time to prevent the infection from coming back. This cautious approach to treating frequent UTIs is because your body can develop a resistance to the antibiotic and you can get other types of infections, such as C. diff colitis. This practice is used very infrequently.
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What Causes A Bladder Infection
Bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder cause bladder infections. Normally, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination.
Bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. This overwhelms the bodys ability to destroy them, resulting in a bladder infection.
According to the
- a frequent sensation of having to urinate, which is called urgency
- cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen or lower back
When bladder infections spread, they can also cause mid-back pain. This pain is associated with infection in the kidneys. Unlike muscular back pain, this pain will be persistent regardless of your position or activity.
A kidney infection will often cause fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Youll typically feel quite ill. Kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections and require urgent medical attention.
What Causes A Uti
The most common cause of UTIs is bacteria. While more than one type of bacteria can cause a UTI, Escherichia coli is often the culprit. When bacteria get inside of the urinary tract, your body takes steps to protect you from the threat and fight it off. This results in inflammation that you may perceive as pain or pressure.
Inflammation also leads to swelling, making it difficult for urine to move through the urinary tract. Thats why you may feel like you need to urinate often or like you cant completely empty urine when you go to the bathroom.
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What Happens If My Uti Doesn’t Go Away With Antibiotics
If you don’t treat a UTI, a long-lasting kidney infection can hurt your kidneys forever. It can affect the way your kidneys function and lead to kidney scars, high blood pressure, and other issues. Sometimes it can even be life-threatening. You’ll take antibiotics to treat a kidney infection.
Why Do I Still Have Uti Symptoms After Antibiotics
Extensive research demonstrates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are gradually reducing the effectiveness of UTI treatments. It’s becoming increasingly common for some urinary tract infections to fail to respond to such therapy. When this occurs, the bacteria will continue to multiply, and symptoms persist.
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Physical Therapy For Ic
Recently, many people with IC, and their physicians, are turning to physical therapy to help treat symptoms. This kind of therapy is especially helpful for pelvic floor dysfunction . I believe this may be helpful for patients with Bladder Spasm or Overactive Bladder as the muscles in the pelvic area are often very tight.
Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
If your doctor thinks your pain may be from vaginal inflammation, he or she may wipe the lining of your vagina with a swab to collect mucus. The mucus will be looked at under a microscope to see if it has yeast or other organisms. If your pain is from an infection in your urethra , your doctor may swab it to test for bacteria. If an infection cant be found, your doctor may suggest other tests.
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How Do Utis Begin
Many types of bacteria live in the intestines and genital area, but this is not true of the urinary system. In fact, urine is sterile. So when errant bacteria, such as the E. coli shown here, is accidentally introduced into the urinary system, it can start a UTI. Typically, bacteria travel up the urethra to the bladder, where an infection can take hold. Women are more susceptible than men, probably because they have shorter urethras.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Uti And Interstitial Cystitis
The Difference Between a UTI and IC In women who have interstitial cystitis, urine culture results will be negative, meaning that no bacteria are found in the urine as with a urinary tract infection. With IC, women may also experience pain during sexual intercourse, another symptom not commonly associated with a UTI.
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How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing urinary tract infections and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. Sorry, but dont rely on cranberry juice or supplements for thisthe science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive UTI-prevention method. Instead, whenever you feel a bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could lead to an infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow, the organization says.
Kaufman also stresses the importance of urinating like a fire hose after sex. It might even be helpful to skip peeing before sex as long as that doesnt make you uncomfortable, he says. This allows you to build up a forceful stream that may better help remove any bacteria that might have been pushed up there during sex.
Also, we referenced this above, but its important to reiterate: After you pee , you should be sure to wipe from front to back, as wiping back to front can spread harmful bacteria from your rectum to your urethra, where it can cause an infection.
Oh My Aching Bladder: Is It A Uti Or Ic
OH MY ACHING BLADDER: IS IT A UTI OR IC?
One in five women will have at least one urinary tract infection in her lifetime, according to the National Kidney Foundation. And, if youve ever had a urinary tract infection, you are all too familiar with the burning urination and constant feeling of needing to go to the bathroom. But, did you know that some of the symptoms of a UTI are similar or the same as symptoms women experience when they have interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome? How is a woman to know if its a UTI or painful bladder syndrome?
What is a Urinary Tract Infection ?
A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, most commonly affecting the bladder and the urethra . When bacteria gets into the urethra and travels to the bladder, a UTI is often the result. With a UTI, the bladder lining also becomes red, swollen and inflamed.
Common symptoms of a UTI include:
- Urinary urgency or the feeling that you need to urinate often. You may have to run to the bathroom several times per hour only to find you urinate only a few drops.
- A burning sensation when urinating.
- Abdominal pain, pelvic pressure and/or lower back pain. You may experience lower abdominal discomfort, bloating and/or feel pressure in the lower pelvic area, especially when urinating.
- Blood in the urine. Urine can appear to have a reddish or dark orange tiny, which signifies blood in the urine from the infection.
- Cloudy urine that has an odor
- Fever and/or chills
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