How Do I Know If I Have A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
It may feel like all urinary tract infections are the same they all feel pretty uncomfortable! But a UTI can occur anywhere within your urinary system and its important to know what to look for in case it travels to your kidneys. Read on to learn more about UTIs and Kidney Infections, and how to tell the difference between them.
Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy: Symptoms Treatment And Common Questions
In addition, as the uterus grows throughout pregnancy, it can put pressure on the bladder, making it more difficult to empty completely.
Pregnancy can also make a UTI more difficult to treat, which can have serious consequences, including pyelonephritis preterm labor low birth weight and .
A urinalysis and a urine culture are routinely performed at an initial prenatal visit to screen for UTIs, but if you’re pregnant and suspect you may have an infection, seek medical attention quickly.
And It Won’t Hurt To Try These
Like many women, you may have memorized the following age-old advice for preventing UTIs:
Wipe from front to back.
Urinate before and after sex.
Drink lots of water.
Avoid tight underpants and jeans.
These suggestions are directed at flushing the bladder and keeping E. coli from spreading into the urinary tract. Although studies have failed to show that they prevent either primary or recurrent UTIs, there’s no harm in trying them, Dr. Gupta says. “They can’t hurt, and if they help, you’re ahead of the game.”
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How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Developing A Bladder Infection
There are several things you can do to minimize your risk of developing a bladder infection:
- Wipe from front to back after having a bowel motion so your urethra is not contaminated
- Urinate as soon as possible after sexual intercourse
- Make sure your genital area is clean before and after sexual intercourse or activity
- Take your medications for diabetes as directed
- Eat a healthy diet and limiting sugar.
UTIs are not contagious nor sexually transmitted that is you cannot catch them from another person.
Confusion Alone Does Not Signal A Urinary Tract Infection
When an older adult becomes confused, many people both medical and non-medical assume that a UTI is responsible.
But aging increases the incidence of confusion and delirium, especially among those who are cognitively impaired, depressed, malnourished or completely dependent.
Delirium can be caused by various factors, the most common one being dehydration, notes Dr. Lathia.
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Prevention Of Urinary Tract Infection
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a UTI:
- Drink plenty of water and other liquids to help flush out bacteria.
- Urinate frequently, or about every two to three hours.
- For women: Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Urinate before and soon after having sexual intercourse.
- Avoid synthetic underwear, tight pants, and lingering in wet gym clothes or a bathing suit. Though none of this can cause a UTI, these habits can increase the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches, powders, and other potentially irritating feminine products.
- Use a method of birth control other than a diaphragm, spermicide, or unlubricated condoms.
What You Can Do
You can avoid foods known to cause fishy-smelling urine, but this can be difficult to do. Instead, make sure you drink plenty of water especially when drinking caffeine to help dilute the scent and stay hydrated.
Other symptoms include:
- urine that is cloudy or bloody
- pain or burning during urination
- feeling the need to urinate urgently or frequently
- lower abdominal or back pain
- mild fever
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Causes Kidney Stones Vs Utis
UTIs occur when bacteria make their way into the urinary tract and begin to multiply, which can lead to symptoms. Women are more likely to develop more UTIs than men because the female urethra is shorter, which means bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to establish an infection. If left untreated, these UTIs can continue to spread upward into the kidneys.
Kidney stones are generally the result of a less severe UTIs progression due to lack of treatment, but they can sometimes occur in other ways as well. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, a component of urine, the urine becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
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Why Some Women Get Recurrent Utis
The infections are usually caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that lives in the intestinal system. If E. coli are carried from the rectum to the vagina, they can enter the urethra and infect the bladder.
Risk factors for UTI vary with age. Before menopause, the most common risk factors are sexual intercourse and use of spermicides. It’s thought that sex increases the number of bacteria in the bladder, and many experts advise women to urinate after sex to flush them out. Spermicides may kill off Lactobacilli, beneficial bacteria in the vagina, making it easier for E. coli to move in.
After menopause, certain physical changes help set the stage for UTIs. The numbers of Lactobacilli in the vagina naturally decline. The bladder also contracts less strongly than it once did, making it more difficult to empty it completely.
In both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, genes play a role as well. Having a mother or sister who has frequent UTIs is also a risk factor.
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Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
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What Your Pee Smells Like
Another indicator that you could have a bladder infection is that your pee strongly smells when you urinate.
While your pee may always smell differently if you drink a lot of coffee, youll notice a particularly different smell if you have a bladder infection. It will have an off or funny smell that you arent used to.
What Is A Bladder Infection Or Urinary Tract Infection
Any infection that affects a part of your urinary tract is known as a urinary tract infection . One that only affects your bladder is a bladder infection. Doctors may narrow it down to the area that is affected, for example:
- If your urethra is affected, it is known as urethritis
- If your bladder is affected it is known as cystitis
- If your kidneys are affected it is known as pyelonephritis. This is a serious infection that can lead to kidney damage if a bladder infection is left untreated.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
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Is There A Test That Can Tell Me If I Have A Uti
Diagnosing a UTI involves testing your urine . This can be done in the doctors office or lab, and it looks for bacteria, white blood cells, and red blood cells in the urine.
This test is sometimes followed by a urine culture, which sees what bacteria are actually growing in the urinary tract and helps your healthcare provider select the best treatment.
If you have complicated or frequent UTIs, your healthcare provider may order additional tests. These include a study to see your urinary tract or a cystoscopy, which is a small tube to see inside the urethra and bladder.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms usually develop quickly, over a few hours or so, and may include:
- Pain in a loin or flank. .
- High temperature which may cause shivers.
- Feeling sick and/or being sick .
- Blood in the urine.
- There will also usually be symptoms of a bladder infection for example, pain on passing urine, and going to the toilet often.
Not all of the symptoms may develop, and sometimes a kidney infection can just cause vague symptoms. For example, just feeling generally unwell but not being able to say why.
In older people a kidney infection may cause confusion. This is why a urine test is often done when an elderly person suddenly becomes confused or appears generally unwell.
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.
When Should I Visit The Doctor For A Bladder Infection
You should talk to a doctor if youve contracted a bladder infection for the first time. You should also seek medical advice if you develop the symptoms of an upper UTI, if your symptoms havent cleared up after a few days or are getting worse, or if you find that you are getting infections frequently.
Your doctor will be able to prescribe a short course of antibiotics such as Nitrofurantoin, which can clear up the infection within a few days.
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Common Bladder Problems And When To Seek Help
Bladder problems can disrupt day-to-day life. When people have bladder problems, they may avoid social settings and have a harder time getting tasks done at home or at work. Common bladder problems include urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.
Some signs of a bladder problem may include:
- Inability to hold urine or leaking urine
- Needing to urinate more frequently or urgently
- Cloudy urine
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urinating
- Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating
- Trouble emptying the bladder
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your health care provider.
Treatment for bladder problems may include behavioral and lifestyle changes, exercises, medications, surgery, or a combination of these treatments and others. For more information on treatment and management of urinary incontinence, visit Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults.
When To See A Doctor
Contact your doctor if you have pain or discomfort when you urinate or other symptoms of a bladder infection, especially if the symptoms have been present for two days or more. If an infection lingers for too long, you risk the bacterial infection traveling to other parts of your body, including your kidneys. Therefore, you should seek treatment if you notice symptoms.
Your doctor will complete a physical examination and collect a urine sample to send for lab analysis to determine if an infection is present. Complications from an uncomplicated bladder infection are typically rare with antibiotic treatment. However, if you develop fever, chills, nausea, or confusion, you should immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms suggest a more serious infection that has spread to your kidneys. If you have a kidney infection, you may need an IV treatment of high-dose antibiotics, which may require hospitalization.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, which consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. While any of these parts can become infected, most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and the urethra . A UTI that infects the bladder is called cystitis one that infects the urethra is called urethritis.
The majority of UTIs that affect the bladder and the urethra are caused by E. coli or other bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract, which can travel from the anus to the urethra. UTIs that affect the urethra are also caused by sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma. Most of the time, urinating flushes out lingering bacteria in the urethra before it causes problems, though your body isnt always able to do this.
Less often, UTIs involve the upper urinary tract, which includes the kidneys and the ureters . A UTI infection in the kidneys, called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection, most often begins in the bladder and moves up through the ureters to one or both kidneys. In certain cases, a kidney infection can lead to serious health problems.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection often called a UTI is an infection of any part of your urinary system. This includes your:
UTIs can be classified as involving the upper tract or the lower tract . Since infections usually come into the urethra from the outside, most infections involve the lower tract. UTIs can affect people of all ages, and they tend to be more common in women. In fact, some studies have shown that women are eight times more likely than men to develop a UTI.
The most common cause of a UTI is a bacteria called Escherichia coli , which causes more than 80% of infections outside of the hospital. Other types of bacteria and certain types of fungi and viruses can also cause UTIs.
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When To Call A Professional
If you have risk factors for developing complicated bladder infections , you should be particularly careful to watch for these signs of infection. You also should seek immediate medical attention if you develop fever, chills, confusion, nausea, vomiting, or flank pain, which may suggest that a bladder infection has spread to the kidney or blood.
Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
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