What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like
Generally speaking, the symptoms of a kidney infection tend to come on over a period of several hours to a day. The symptoms may include:
- Pain. This is often a dull, aching type of pain that most commonly affects the back, side, or abdomen.
- Urine changes. If you have a kidney infection, you may notice that your urine is cloudy, smells bad, or contains blood.
- Urgent, painful urination. A UTI can irritate the lining of your urinary tract. As a result, you may feel the urgent need to urinate and experience a painful, burning sensation when you do so.
- Fever. People with a kidney infection typically develop a fever, which can often be high. A raised temperature is one of your bodys ways of trying to fight the infection.
- Chills.Chills are a feeling of being cold without any apparent cause. For example, you could be wrapped up under a blanket and still shiver or feel very cold. In extreme cases, chills may lead to episodes of strong, uncontrollable shaking, which are known as rigors.
- Nausea or vomiting. The infection may cause you to feel nauseated or to vomit.
Its important to note that you may not have all of the above symptoms with a kidney infection. If you develop concerning symptoms that may point to a kidney infection, seek prompt medical care.
Dr Hsiehs Personal Interest In Recurrent Uti And Interstitial Cystitis
Michael Hsieh has studied the immune system and infections for more than 25 years. Around 16 years ago, as a urology resident, he became interested in researching and treating chronic UTI. Since then, his research has been supported by grants from the NIH.
Throughout his research, Dr Hsieh has studied the naturally occurring microbiome, and how the presence of non-pathogenic bacteria may prevent urinary tract infections. He also headed a research group focussed on bladder inflammation, UTI and bladder cancer.
When To Go To A Doctor For UTI: Dr Hsiehs Experience
Most patients that see Michael Hsieh for urinary tract infections have suffered from multiple episodes and are desperate for something that works. His investigative approach has enabled him to assist patients with previously unidentified urinary pathogens.
|I am very careful about labelling patients with Interstitial Cystitis, I think a lot have occult UTI with difficult to culture organisms. By utilizing more accurate testing methods we are able to identify pathogens in many cases, and develop appropriate treatment.â|
You Can Get Help Without Going To A Doctors Office
In the past, receiving treatment for a UTI required scheduling an office visit and suffering through your symptoms until you can see a doctor. Now, telemedicine services like MDLIVE allow you can talk to a doctor via phone or videowherever you arein an average of 10 minutes or less. And if you need a prescription, you can have it in your hands that same day.
When it comes to UTIs, there are tests a doctor can run a urinalysis and culture, which can get quite expensive. However, if youre a healthy female between the ages of 18 and 65 with the symptoms of a UTI and without any complications, these tests most likely arent going to change the initial treatment a doctor prescribes, says Dr. Talbott.
If your doctor sees anything complicated in your symptoms, it does make sense to do a urinalysis and possibly other laboratory tests. But in a majority of cases, its reasonable to initiate treatment and forgo the cost and inconvenience of testing, and delay in treatment, because most of the time it wont change the antibiotic thats prescribed.
This makes telemedicine a more convenient and inexpensive way to get the treatment you need to minimize your discomfort and start feeling better, faster.*
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Irritation Down There Doesnt Necessarily Mean A Uti
Youre likely to remember the symptoms of a UTI if youve experienced one. You have a frequent urge to pee which often results in a minimal amount of urine and any urine that is released causes a painful, burning sensation. You could also have discolored or foul smelling urine, or pressure in your lower abdomen, back or sides below your ribs. In the elderly, confusion can be the main symptom of a UTI. Such discomfort, however, may not indicate a urinary tract infection.
Other diseases present similarly to a UTI. For example, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis lead to vaginal itchiness, irregular discharge or blood in the urine . At the onset, symptoms for sexually transmitted diseases can also be confused with those of UTIs. Thats why its important you seek professional medical advice when you start having symptoms you think are a urinary tract infection. If you do have a UTI, and you wait too long to receive treatment, it could lead to a more serious kidney and lower urinary tract infections.
Home Remedies For Bladder Infection Symptoms
Drinking plenty of water can help clear the infection and may help relieve your symptoms sooner. Some people find that taking cranberry extract also helps relieve their symptoms. However, research on this is inconclusive.
Some research suggests that consuming cranberry juice, extract, or pills can help prevent bladder infections. However, these are not treatments for a bladder infection if you already have one. It is also important to drink at least eight glasses of water each day to help keep your bladder healthy and prevent infection.
If you are currently treating a bladder infection, drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria and clear the infection.
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Why Antibiotics Might Not Work
Sometimes antibiotic treatment doesnt do the trick. This may occur when the bacteria causing the UTI become antibiotic resistant, meaning they outsmart and outlive the antibiotic.
See, bacteria have this amazing ability to mutate to evade being killed. And after being attacked multiple times by the same antibiotics we use on lots of people, the bacteria can learn to resist them. Some research estimates that as many as one in three uncomplicated UTIs are resistant to at least one common antibiotic. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million people in the U.S. get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year.
This sounds bad, and thats fair: Its not great news. But this doesnt spell doomsday either.
If your UTI isnt responding to treatment with one antibiotic, your doctor may prescribe another type of antibiotic. Most bacteria arent resistant to all the antibiotics out there, so chances are your urologist or primary care doctor has encountered this situation before and knows how to help.
Should You See A Urologist For A Urinary Tract Infection
Youve got to urinateall the timeand it hurts when you go.
Memorably uncomfortable and distracting, a urinary tract infection can radically disrupt your life. Although the body is built to keep bacteria from entering the urinary tract, sometimes those defenses break down. Then, bacteria make their way through the urethra, enter the urinary tract and multiply, resulting in a UTI.
A UTI typically causes the following symptoms:
- Cloudy, discolored and/or bloody urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- No symptom relief with urination
- Pain, burning and/or stinging when urinating Pelvic pain
The most common UTIs affect the bladder and urethra. However, a more serious infection can migrate to the kidneys. According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in five women has a UTI at some point in life. And while the condition is more common in women, 12 percent of men get UTIs as well, according to the Urology Care Foundation. UTIs are also more common as both women and men age.
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What Is A Kidney Infection
Experts believe that many kidney infections start as an infection of the lower parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder or urethra. Many times, these infections happen when bacteria from your bowel enter your urinary tract through your urethra.
Its possible for a UTI to continue to move up your urinary tract, progressing from your bladder into your kidneys.
How Urinary Tract Infections Are Diagnosed
Doctors will use the following tests depending on the severity to diagnose urinary tract infection
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Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.
Women Are 10x More Likely To Get A Uti Than Men
When it comes to developing a urinary tract infection, anatomy isnât in a womanâs favor. Her urethra is shorter than a manâs, making it easier for bacteria to travel up to the bladder and multiply. That doesnât mean that men donât suffer from UTIs though. They do, especially as they age, but not at the same rate as women.
Statistics from the National Kidney Foundation show that 1 in 5 women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime. And unfortunately, once you get one, youâre more inclined to have another. Some women are also more prone to infection because of pregnancy and both perimenopause and menopause.
Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms that have been coated with spermicide.
Lactose Intolerance: Only Those With Lactose Intolerance Need To Restrict Dairy Products
There has been NO research suggesting people with interstitial cystitis have a higher risk for lactose intolerance.
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and dairy products. Some people have trouble digesting lactose. When they drink milk or eat a milk product, they feel bloated and may experience diarrhea and gas. Many people with lactose intolerance can enjoy small amounts of milk and dairy products without any difficulty. However, level of lactose tolerance varies greatly from person to person, so if consuming dairy seems to make your IC symptoms worse, you may want to consider getting your calcium and vitamin D from other IC-friendly sources:
- Lactose-free, almond or rice milk with as few ingredients as possible
- Nuts and seeds
- Hard cheese
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Does Cranberry Juice Cure Utis
Cranberry juice and cranberry extract have been commonly used to treat and prevent UTIs and while cranberry certainly cant hurt and can help, its not a one and done solution for UTIs. There isnt a common consensus on whether or not cranberry actually reduces the number of UTIs a woman gets as studies have shown both that and the opposite. Dont expect that cranberry will cure a UTI without antibiotics. But if the pain is unbearable before you can get to the doctor, it can provide some relief.
Complications Of A Uti
Complications of UTIs arent common, but they can be serious and require immediate treatment by a doctor. They usually affect people diagnosed with diabetes, a weakened immune system, men with recurrent UTIs, or women who are pregnant.
If a UTI is left untreated, bacteria may travel to the kidneys causing kidney infection, damage and even kidney failure. Blood poisoning can happen and occurs when the infection spreads from the kidneys to the blood-stream.
If the infection moves to the kidneys, there may be high fever, back pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
The most common symptom of UTIs is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You may even feel the need to do so after just coming from the bathroom. Other signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections include:
- Pain or a burning sensation when you pee
- Presence of pus or blood in your urine
- Urine that looks cloudy or smells bad
- Soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, side, or back
If the infection has progressed to your kidneys, your symptoms may also include:
Children younger than two years old with a kidney infection may not show any signs of the condition. They may only have a high fever and not feel pain or experience problems with urination. In some cases, older people may also not show the typical signs and symptoms. You might only notice confusion or muddled speech.
When To Go To The Er For Uti Symptoms
If your symptoms have progressed to the point of lethargy, pain, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and/or blood in the urine, you need to get to the nearest Advance ER right away.
If you are pregnant, have diabetes, use a catheter, have an enlarged prostate or are prone to kidney stones, it is especially important for you to see a physician right away when you first start to show symptoms of a UTI, said Dr. Shalev. Also, babies and children need prompt care.
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How Are They Treated
Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor will usually cure a bladder infection. It may help to drink lots of water and other fluids and to urinate often, emptying your bladder each time.
If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take the pills exactly as you are told. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to finish taking them all so that you do not get sick again.
Treatment For Frequent Urination
Theres not one way to stop frequent urination. The first step to figuring out whats going on, though, is a urinalysis, the classic test in which you pee in a cup, to rule out any infection or hematuria , explains Dr. Moore. Experts also often recommend keeping a bladder diary documenting the frequency of your urination, which you can share with your doctor.
Once your doctor can rule out those causes, they might suggest certain lifestyle changes to reduce frequent urination, including decreasing your overall fluid intake to less than 64 ounces a day, tapering your consumption of bladder irritants like caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol, and implementing pelvic floor exercises. If those strategies dont work for a patient, a health care provider might try other medical interventions like prescriptions or bladder injections, says Dr. Moore.
During pregnancy, the treatment process for frequent urination is similar, but theres also a major emphasis on kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in order to help hold in urine, says Dr. Pedroso. Additionally, proactively emptying the bladder at certain time intervals, such as every two hours, regardless of the urge to urinate, can improve bladder control and decrease sudden urges, she adds.
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Symptoms That Show You Are Suffering From A Uti
As earlier mentioned, some of the symptoms mimic those of a sexually transmitted infection. However, it is best to see your gynecologist if experiencing any of the following symptoms. This is essential in order to ascertain the problem and get treatment. These symptoms include:
- When one pees, experiencing a burning sensation
- Frequently having a pressing need to pee, and sometimes the very little is released when one goes to the bathroom
- The urine is characterized by a bloody, cloudy, dark appearance and will smell strange
- Having the shakes and feeling fatigued
- If the infection has affected your kidneys, you may experience chills or fever
- Experiencing pressure or pain on your lower abdomen or back
Which Specialist Should You See If You Have A Uti
You should see a primary care physician if you suspect you may have a UTI. A diagnosis of a UTI is often made after a routine urine examination requested by a physician. Fortunately, most UTIs are treated by antibiotics. However, recurrent UTIs warrant specialist care your primary care physician can refer you to a urologist for further care.
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Things You Can Try Yourself
If you have mild symptoms of cystitis, it can help to:
- take paracetamol up to 4 times a day to reduce pain
- give children liquid paracetamol follow the instructions on the bottle
- drink plenty of water
- avoid drinks that may irritate your bladder, like fruit juices, coffee and alcohol
- pee frequently
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent cystitis from happening, which might help. However, theres no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat cystitis if the infection has already started.