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I was so surprised when my mother told me kidney infections are dangerous. She said if left untreated, they could cause blood poisoning, loss of a kidney, or perhaps even death. I have a friend who suffers from kidney infections, so I am so much worried about her now. I know that most people do not recognize the symptoms or think the symptoms are another disease. That is why I would appreciate to hear anything more about kidney infection.

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There are some warning signs of a kidney infection, such as burning during urination. This is also a good sign of an untreated urinary tract infections can lead to kidney infections. It should not be confused this burning because of kidney infection, with the itching and burning caused by a yeast infection. This burning is painful and will sometimes bring tears to patient’s eyes. Some other symptoms are pain in the lower back, right around the waist that could feel like a dull ache. It could be a sharp stabbing pain and it could feel like someone punching you repeatedly. For people who get frequent kidney infections, the number one sign is the fatigue. Usually, a low-grade fever goes along with a kidney infection in the early stages and if the infection goes untreated, the fever will rise. If your friend has any of these symptoms, she should call the doctor immediately. Doctors do not fool around with possible kidney infection, and he will probably prescribe a sulfa drug, which is most effective.
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I've suffered from frequent kidney infections for about 5 years now. I average about 2-3 per year, sometimes more. My Doctor has ordered a number of tests, blood tests, ultrasound, etc. but we haven't found a root cause.

If your friend continues to get them frequently, she'll likely need to become aware of the subtle symptoms that signal a kidney infection is coming on. She can read about them online, there are a variety of resources if you just plug "kidney infection" into a search engine. I've found early detection and treatment prevents a kidney infection from reaching the full fledged high fever, chills, pain, fatigue, etc. stages and also helps me to avoid a lot of down time (1-2 missed days of work versus a week or more). For me, the following works well:

-Pay attention to your urine. I drink a lot of water, to keep hydrated and flush my system. Some people get symptoms typical of a bladder infection first (painful urination, urgent need to urinate, etc.) unfortunately, I've only experienced those symptoms once. Most likely the kidney infection just "shows up". BUT I have found that when I'm getting a kidney infection my urine has a distinct smell that is different from the norm. It sounds weird, and I'm not advising that one stick their head in the toilet and sniff their pee on a regular basis, but you can notice the subtle change in scent easily if you're aware and looking for it. I would describe it as an almost sweet smell.

- Buy over-the-counter, at home, urine test strips. The AZO brand makes some, called "Urinary Tract Infection Test Test Strips" that you can get at any Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc. The pack usually contains 3 test strips, so I keep them on hand at home. Each test strip has 2 square test pads on it, one tests for Nitrates and the other for White Blood Cells. I've found that when I have a kidney infection the Nitrates square shows up negative, but the White Blood Cell square shows positive. So, if I notice my urine has a funny smell to it, or I'm experiencing any other kidney infection symptoms, I test my urine immediately. I have found this to be a HUGE help in getting treatment before the kidney infection becomes more serious.

- Get to your Doctor's office ASAP. I'm fortunate that my Doctor is very proactive with my kidney infections. Because I get them so frequently, I can call her office and tell them I think I have a kidney infection and they'll have me come in right away, that day, ASAP. They'll work me in between her other appointments. I bring my home test strip with me and sometimes (though not always) they will have me take another test in the office. I've never had a false alarm yet. She then gives me a shot of antibiotics to begin fighting the infection right away, and writes me a prescription for 2 weeks of antibiotics to follow up with. THIS IS CRUCIAL. You simply can NOT wait for a scheduled appointment a few days (or more) later. A kidney infection progresses quickly and while you might not feel horrible or sick initially, within a day or two you will. My experience has been that I have about a 24-48 hour window at the beginning of a kidney infection where, if I get a shot of antibiotics and a prescription, I can completely avoid the major symptoms and downtime. The few times I wasn't able to get treatment right away, during that window, I was extremely sick for over a week, very fatigued and in a lot of pain. If your Doctor can't get you in right away, or the next day, then you should definitely go to a clinic or hospital.

- Know your medications. The first time I had a kidney infection the antibiotics that were prescribed weren't strong enough to kill the infection, and it lingered. (I'm allergic to some antibiotics, sulfa medications). Subsequently, my Doctor switched me to another antibiotic that we have used consistantly with great success since that time. Unfortunately, the one time I wasn't able to get to my Doctor's office (on a weekend) I went to the hospital and they gave me a different antibiotic, a weaker one again. The infection lingered, I didn't feel better, and when I followed up with my regular doctor a week later she had to switch me to the stronger antibiotics. NOW I know the names of my antibiotics and I'm prepared to ask for them by name if I ever have to return to the hospital.

I hope this helps your friend. When I first started having kidney infections they were having a huge impact on my life: out of nowhere I'd be suddenly sick for days. I even lost a job because of it (although my former employer broke the law, violating part of our ADA and FMLA regulations). Now, I stay aware of the symptoms of my kidney infections, address them right away when they occur and am able to not worry about them constantly.

Hope this info is a help to someone out there!
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That sweet smell is most likely a yest infection that is causing your UTI/kidney infections... I've have them for 13 years & numerous doctors & endless frustrastions... I finally one maginificient urogynecologist who diagnosed me with a yeast infection... so simple yet so many doctors missed it!!!!!! No I didn't have the tradition symptoms just recurrent UTIs & kidney infections. So I just kept getting more infections & more antibiotics... ultimately treating the yeast stoped the infections and the endless merry-go-round of antibiotics & recurrent infections... it was nightmare. I can't believe so many gyneocologists missed this... I saw urologists... kidney specialists.. you name it... anyway... be aware that... the antibiotics that cure you can make you sick at the same time...
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I told my doctor that I was having pain in my right kidney and he just told me to drink water . I was confused on what to do I worried to tell him again cuz he may say the same can I have a second advice..?
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