Kidney Disease & Disorders Community
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470425 tn?1246926200

Chronic Kidney Infections

Hi Doctor,

              My name is Lauren, and I have 21 years old. For the past two years, I have had reccuring UTI's That spread to my kidneys with in a day or two. I go to the local hospital, because I haven't any insurance and can not see a doctor any other way. In the last two years, I have had five kidney infections, one of which I was hospitalized. I was pregnant that time. It seems like my infections are getting closer together, and I am getting them more often. Are there any diseases that could possible have those symptoms. Do you think this is more of a Urinary problem, or is there possbily something wrong with my kidneys? I am very worried, and I appreciate any help you can give. On April 19th, there is a local Kidney Early Evaluation Program nearby and I am going to go, but In the meantime I could appreciate any help or suggestions for preventing them until the 19th. Thank you.
9 Responses
434278 tn?1324709825
Hi lauren, I was wondering if you have had a CT or an IVP?  Sometimes more serious things are causing repeated kidney infections like: nephroptosis and hydronephrosis.  It sounds like you are trying everything you know naturally to keep from getting these.  My nephew had chronic nephritis several years back.  Drs couldn't help him other than give him antibiotics over and over.  He finally tried the herb Cats Claw (which boost the immune system)  He still takes the Cats Claw, but doesn't have anymore problems.  Decided the herb was better than being on antibiotic for the rest of his life.
470425 tn?1246926200
Hi Karajo,Thank you for your opinons and concerns, no I haven't had a CT or IVP? Ct scans are expensive, and I haven't any insurance. I have always gone to the same hospital, and frankly it amazes me that No  doctor has looked at my record of infections and said a word to me about maybe needing to get any tests! Clearly there is something wrong! I will go and talk to a homepathic doctor, if this evaluation doesnt give me any answers. I looked up Nephroptosis, and Hydronephrosis, and I have to say that Hydronephrosis sounds kinda like what I might have. I am just trying to do everything I can to provent another infection until the 19th. Then maybe I can get some answers, anyways thank you for your help! I appreciate it.
Avatar universal

You have had these infections in the past years. What tests were done?

Was a kidney infection established? Were a urinalysis and urine culture done?

Repeated kidney infections require further evaluation.An underlying structural abnormality has to be ruled out.The presence of stones or cysts need to be excluded.A gynecologic consult may also be needed to rule out involvement of gynecologic structures. Genital hygiene and sexual practices need to be considered in cases such as these.Also,do you have any history of recent surgeries or instrumentation?

Surgeries and repeated instrumentations may increase the risk for urinary tract infections.
470425 tn?1246926200
Hi Vanessa, Yes I have had infections, Yes they did tell me it was a kidney infection. Yes a urinalysis was done. I need to go to the doctor, but I dont have any insurance. I have been pregnant twice in the last five years and I saw a gynecologist in the last year, all tests were normall, pap smear came back normal. I had surgery in 05, I had gallstones. If you have had gallstones, is there a greater risk of having kidney stones? Or vice versa?
439464 tn?1213831234
You can try drinking cranberry juice several times a day to keep your urine more acidic and reducing your chances of developing another UTI before your next appointment. It should be a pure juice without a lot of sugar added. Otherwise, go to a health food store and bought some cranberry pills. Good luck.
470425 tn?1246926200
Thank you DeeCee, i do drink cranberry juice, and water lots of it. I havent tried the cranberry pills, i will though. Thank you
473036 tn?1211760512
Hi Lauren,

Like you I suffer chronic bladder/kidney infections  my  problem was the I had kidney reflux, this is where the valves in the bladder do not function properly and allow urnine to flow back up the urethras into the kidney (reflux) causing constant paindful infectins, I am now 39 yrs old and have had this problem since birth, I have had many surgeries to correct this.  I am now very prone to bladder infectins to the stage that if I am intimate with my husband I must take an antibiotic straight away or the next day I suffer with an infection, we have a really good product over here called URAL that you drink that helps reduce the acidity in your urnie, it can only be taken for a few days but it works.  If you are having lots of infections you need to get this looked at, there are lots of scans etc that they do to see that your kidneys are working correctly. I get so many that I hardly get symptoms anymore just discomfort, I will go to my Dr and tell her I have an infection, I have not been wrong yet.  some women can also get cyctitis which is when you get an irritation (also known as honeymooners disease, when you have an active sex life and with womens plumbing you can get irritations)  the sysmtoms can also be frequency and feeling like you have to go but nothing happens.  if concerned get some tests done, better to be safe than sorry. drink lots of water and cranberry juice, this helpf with the urinary area.  good luck
Avatar universal

Gallstones and kidney stones are two different disease entities and there seems to be no association between these two. Although, when one reviews the mechanisms involved in stone formation, the condition of supersaturation ( that is more concentrated urine or bile ) plays a role for both structures. In kidneys, stones form given the right conditions. Dehydration plays a role, which concentrates the substrates for stone formation ( eg calcium).While for gallstone formation, the process is slightly different as this may involve the liver and its secretion of cholesterol:

"If there is an imbalance between these bile salts and cholesterol, then the bile fluid turns to sludge. This thickened fluid consists of a mucus gel containing cholesterol and calcium bilirubinate. If the imbalance worsens, cholesterol crystals form (called supersaturation ), which can eventually form gallstones. This process of gallstone formation is referred to as cholelithiasis . It is very slow and most often painless. "


Bile salts bind cholesterol for transport. If there is an imbalance between the cholesterol and the bile salts ,then this will lead to decrease transport of cholesterol and increased concentration in the bile. This supersaturation will lead to gallstone development.

The risk factors for kidney stone formation and gallstone formation also differ.
Avatar universal
Hi Lauren,
Like you, i had many kidney infections over about a year period two years ago - around 7 i think. Each time i went to the doctors, had the urine test and they prescribed antibiotics - which they eventually gave me a supply of so that i didn't have to visit the doctor each time! I spoke to many different doctors about it, and they were adamant that this was just something that happens to a lot of young women (I was 21 then). The situation really got me down, and eventually i broke down in tears infront of a nurse at the surgery - i explained the whole situation to her and how i was being brushed off each time by doctors. That day they did more blood and urine tests, and booked me in for an x-ray - in my experience you have to make a fuss to get things going with these people! Anyway earlier this year i was diagnosed with Medullary sponge kidney, which is something i've had since birth, not really harmful but it means im slightly more susceptible to kidney stones due to the abnormal shape of my kidneys (to be honest i dont totally understand it myself!) Apparently the kidney infections could have been a result of this, but most likely the sponge kidney was something they happened on by accident. Anyway, i haven't had a kidney infection for at nearly 2 years now, and mostly due to some good advice that the nurse gave me:
Don't overwash 'down there' - i was using a lot of soap in an effort to keep things clean, but apparently this ruins the delecate ph balance, so wash only with warm water. Also, don't use bubblebath - either plain water or bath salts - you can get nice salts for a relaxing bath. Two more things: wear cotton pants only - lets things breathe, and go for a wee after sex - apparently during sex bacteria gets 'pushed up' your tubes, close to your kidneys, increasing the chance of infection - having a wee washes the bacteria back down again. Oh! and one more, wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet. Simple things, but give them a try! Best of luck
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