Causes Of Kidney Infections
A kidney infection happens when bacteria infects your kidneys. The bacteria are usually a type called E. coli, which live in your bowel.
The bacteria get in through the opening of the urethra and move upwards through your urinary tract, first infecting your bladder and then your kidneys.
It’s thought the bacteria can get into your urinary tract by accidentally spreading from your anus to your urethra. This can happen if you wipe your bottom after going to the toilet and the soiled toilet paper comes into contact with your genitals. It can also happen during sex.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can develop if bacteria or fungi infect the skin and the infection spreads through your bloodstream into your kidney. However, this type of infection usually only occurs in people with weakened immune systems.
Amoxicillin/potassium Clavulanate Cefdinir Or Cephalexin
How it Works: is another combination drug that belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics. and belong to a different class of antibiotics thats closely related to penicillins.
All three antibiotics kill bacteria by destroying one of its most important components: the cell wall, which normally keeps bacteria structurally intact.
Amoxicillin/clavulanate: 500 twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cefdinir: 300 mg twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cephalexin: 250 mg to 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days
Notable side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash are common side effects of these antibiotics. In rare cases, all three have the potential to cause the dangerous skin reactions, SJS and TEN.
If you have a penicillin allergy, your healthcare provider wont prescribe amoxicillin/clavulanate. They may or may not prescribe cefdinir or cephalexin since there is a small chance that a person with a penicillin allergy may also be allergic to these two.
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
Kidney Infection Risk Factors
The following factors may increase a persons risk of developing a kidney infection:
- Female anatomy: The shorter length of a womans urethra, and its proximity to the vagina and anus, makes women more prone to urinary tract infections.
- Pregnancy: 2% of women develop a kidney infections during pregnancy due to changes in the size of the uterus, which can compress the ureters, reducing urinary flow and making it easier for bacteria to infect the urinary tract. It is especially important to treat a kidney infection during pregnancy to prevent complications.
- Blockage of the urinary tract: A large, obstructing kidney stone or an enlarged prostate can create a mechanical blockage of your urinary tract, causing a back up in urinary flow tor limits your ability to fully empty your bladder presents you with a higher risk of developing bladder and kidney infection.
- Weak immune system: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and HIV, can impair a persons immune system, making them more likely to develop infections and complications from them.
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 Procedures And Tests Diagnose Kidney Infections In Men And Women
The most important test in diagnosing kidney infection is a urinalysis . Urinalysis is a test to analyze urine sample and evaluate for an infection in the urine. Urinalysis is done by collecting a clean catch, midstream urine in a sterile collection cup. The urine may be analyzed by the doctor in the office using or by analysis in a laboratory.
Because urine is normally sterile, any finding suggesting an infection may be considered abnormal and supportive of a kidney infection.
Can You Prevent Kidney Infections
Prevention of urinary tract and kidney infection primarily focuses on reducing the associated risk factors. As mentioned earlier, the majority of urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria gaining entry into the urinary system through the urethra. Therefore, personal hygiene plays an important role in preventing kidney infection.
Examples of preventative measures include:
- Emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse or wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom may significantly reduce the chance of developing kidney infection in women.
- Drinking plenty of fluids has been shown to be the single most effective measure for preventing urinary tract infections.
- In individuals with long-standing urinary catheters, routinely scheduled changing of the catheter as well as regular cleaning around the catheter’s entry into the urethra are important steps in prevention of urinary tract infections.
- If kidney stones are the predisposing factor to repeated kidney infections, the removal of the stone and preventing future stones from forming may be necessary. These individuals may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and removal of kidney stones.
- Cranberries and cranberry juice can be beneficial in preventing kidney infections. It is important to note that cranberries may not treat an existing kidney infection, but have been found to be a simple preventive measure in addition to the other measures listed above.
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When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you have a fever and persistent tummy, lower back or genital pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination.
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection from damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream. You may also need painkillers.
If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection for example, if you have a pre-existing health condition or are pregnant, you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through an intravenous drip.
After taking antibiotics, you should feel completely better after about two weeks.
In rare cases, a kidney infection can cause further problems. These include blood poisoning and a build-up of pus in the kidney called an abscess.
Get Kidney Infection Treatment Online
Get kidney infection treatment online by speaking to a board-certified doctor, securely from your phone or computer today. Antibiotics for kidney infections are effective kidney infection treatment and are often the first line of treatment before it gets worse.
We accept these insurance plans and many more. Without insurance, appointments are just $119.
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See A Healthcare Provider
While UTIs arent usually a cause for major concern, if you dont get them treated, they can lead to more serious problems like a kidney infection. If you have a UTI, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The fastest way to feel better is by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing your infection.
If going to see a provider in-person is not an option , there are plenty of telehealth services available that will allow you to set up a virtual appointment. Check out GoodRx Care for treatment of UTIs as well as many other medical conditions.
During your appointment, your provider will ask you questions about what symptoms you are experiencing and if you are prone to UTIs. You might be asked to provide a urine sample either in the office you are seen in or at a lab close to you. Lastly, your provider will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to get started on right away.
Some common antibiotics used for treating UTIs include nitrofurantoin , sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , and ciprofloxacin . Typically, you only need to take them for 3 to 5 days, and most people start to feel relief within the first 2 to 3 days. Antibiotics can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea for many people. But, taking your dose with food can help lessen nausea and stomach upset, and taking a probiotic supplement like L. acidophilus can help with the diarrhea.
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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.
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What Are The Best Antibiotics For A Kidney Infection
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste materials from the body and forming urine. When bacteria enter the kidneys, usually through the tube known as the urethra that connects the bladder to the outside of the body, an infection may develop. Antibiotics are almost always used to treat these infections. Some available antibiotics for a kidney infection include fluoroquinolones, beta-lactam antibiotics, trimethoprim, and co-trimoxazole. Choosing the best antibiotics depends upon the severity and frequency of the infections as well as the overall health of the patient.
Fluoroquinolones are commonly used to treat a kidney infection. These medications are in a class known as broad-spectrum antibiotics. This means they may be used to treat a wide variety of infections, including kidney infections. This type of antibiotic is used primarily when there has been an ongoing history of kidney problems. A rash resembling measles may occur in some patients taking this type of antibiotic.
Can Online Doctors Write Prescriptions For Kidney Infections
Yes, our doctors write prescriptions for kidney infections for patients who qualify. Antibiotics are the first line of kidney infection treatment. Common antibiotics for kidney infection that our doctors may prescribe if you qualify include: Amoxicillin, Bactrim, Cephalexin, Cipro, and Clindamycin.
Request medicine for kidney infection through an online medical consultation with a doctor here.
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How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Kidney infection diagnosis is based on physical symptoms and urine testing. Most typically, a kidney infection diagnosis will be made by a general practitioner, urgent care physician, or emergency room physician.
Kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection, so symptoms will typically include symptoms of a bladder infection such as pain over the pubic area, frequent urination, and cloudy urine. The healthcare professional will look for specific symptoms of a kidney infection in addition to the UTI symptoms:
- Pain in the side or lower back pain
- Costovertebral angle tenderness, which is pain caused by tapping the back above the kidney
Fever, flank pain, and nausea are the strongest indicators of kidney infection.
The diagnosis is confirmed with urinalysis and a urine culture. The urine test will confirm the diagnosis by identifying white blood cells and other substances indicating infection. The urine culture is used to both identify the type of bacteria responsible for the infection and determine its resistance to antibiotics. Both are critical in determining the most effective antibiotic therapy.
Blood tests are not usually ordered for patients with an uncomplicated kidney infection, but blood will be tested for hospitalized patients.
When To Seek Immediate Medical Attention
UTIs are uncomfortable, but theyre not an immediate medical emergency. Some people make the mistake of assuming the same is true with a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are serious conditions and they do require medical attention. Untreated, a kidney infection can quickly cause long-term kidney damage or kidney scarring. These infections can also cause , which can lead to shock.
Because of this, a kidney infection can be fatal if it progresses. Its important to have it treated immediately by a healthcare professional.
Note that kidney stones, if untreated, can also cause a blockage that can lead to pyelonephritis and sepsis. This may require a procedure done with intravenous antibiotics by a urologist.
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Kidney Infection Treatment Options
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics, pain relievers, and fever reducers. Uncomplicated kidney infection and few complicated kidney infections will be treated on an outpatient basis by a general practitioner, but people with a complicated kidney infection likely require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.. Pregnant women may require additional consultation with an obstetrician or gynecologist.
Are Kidney Infections Serious What Is The Prognosis
Generally, urinary tract and kidney infections are common conditions with an overall favorable outlook.
- A kidney infection can be managed at home if the infection is diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics.
- Severe or complicated infections may require more intensive treatment and possible hospitalization.
- Personal hygiene is important in the prevention of recurring kidney infections.
- Cranberry juice is a simple natural remedy to prevent recurring kidney infections.
Rarely, serious complications from a kidney infection occur.
What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
What Signs And Symptoms May My Child Have
A fever may be the only symptom. Your child may also have any of the following:
- In newborns:
- Foul smelling urine
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History And Physical Examination
Clinical signs and symptoms of a UTI depend on the age of the child. Newborns with UTI may present with jaundice, sepsis, failure to thrive, vomiting, or fever. In infants and young children, typical signs and symptoms include fever, strong-smelling urine, hematuria, abdominal or flank pain, and new-onset urinary incontinence. School-aged children may have symptoms similar to adults, including dysuria, frequency, or urgency. Boys are at increased risk of UTI if younger than six months, or if younger than 12 months and uncircumcised. Girls are generally at an increased risk of UTI, particularly if younger than one year.3 Physical examination findings can be nonspecific but may include suprapubic tenderness or costovertebral angle tenderness.
Can Utis Be Prevented
These tips can help prevent UTIs:
- In infants and toddlers, change diapers often to help prevent the spread of bacteria that cause UTIs. When kids are potty trained, it’s important to teach them good hygiene. Girls should know to wipe from front to rear not rear to front to prevent germs from spreading from the anus to the urethra.
- School-age girls should avoid bubble baths and strong soaps that might cause irritation. They also should wear cotton underwear instead of nylon because it’s less likely to encourage bacterial growth.
- All kids should be taught not to “hold it” when they have to go. Pee that stays in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.
- Kids should drink plenty of fluids but avoid those with caffeine.
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