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"Why am I getting all these kidney infections?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy am I getting all these kidney infections?


My first kidney infection was 7 months ago. One month ago I had another, and now I've got another infection! I drink only water and hot tea (no sugar), I'm a vegan (due to allergies), and I take a multivitamin and probiotic every day and have for the past 10 years. Why am I all of the sudden getting all these infections?


Thank you for your interesting question, and I am sorry to hear about the kidney infections that you have been going through. I would recommend that you meet with your primary care physician to discuss this further, but here are some general considerations. First, kidney infections are characterized by fever, flank pain, and pain with urination. They are usually caused by vaginal (in women) or GI tract bacteria that ascend from the urethra to the bladder and then up to the kidneys (therefore bladder infections are often antecedent). Risk factors for urinary tract infections include sexual intercourse, a history of previous urinary tract infections, diaphragm-spermicide use, and recent antimicrobial medication use (this can adversely affect the vaginal bacterial flora). Additional factors that increase the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections include frequent sexual intercourse, having a new sex partner in the past year, and spermicide use in the past year. Some individuals are also more predisposed to urinary tract infections based on their particular pelvic anatomy. Finally, there is a possibility that your recurrent kidney infections are actually relapses rather than true reinfections. This would be the case if you were incompletely treated or if the infections involve a resistant strain of bacteria. In either case, I strongly recommend that you be seen by your primary care physician to discuss some of the above risk factors and to receive further evaluation. Good luck!

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