A kidney infection is also called pyelonephritis. It happens when bacteria or viruses infect one or both of your kidneys. Pyelonephritis is a urinary tract infection that affects the kidneys. Often it occurs when the bacteria travel up from your urethra to the kidneys.
A tip to prevent a kidney infection is to drink lots and lots of water. It helps prevent and get rid of kidney infections by flushing out toxins and bacteria. When you do not drink adequate water, the urine you pass out is concentrated and the bacteria stick to your kidneys and can’t be flushed out. Therefore make a routine of drinking an ample amount of water daily, especially if you are prone to urinary tract infections. You should also visit the healthcare provider if you have a kidney infection. If left untreated, kidney infections can become life-threatening. So take them seriously. To get an expert opinion, you can visit the Best Nephrologist in Lahore.
Kidneys perform several functions in our body. They remove waste and take extra water from the blood to maintain blood pressure. If they do not work well, your survival becomes difficult, and to cleanse your blood, you need to get dialysis done.
What Are The Symptoms of A Kidney Infection?
Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Blood or pus in your pee
- Fever, chills, loss of appetite
- Flank pain
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Weakness or fatigue
Along with these symptoms, you may also have some of the symptoms of a bladder infection, such as:
- Burning or pain when you pee
- A constant urge to pee, even soon after you empty your bladder
- Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
- Pain in your lower belly
- Peeing much more often than usual
What Causes A Kidney Infection?
Usually, it is the bladder that gets infected first. The infection then spreads to the kidneys. The most common cause of kidney infection is a bacteria called E. coli. It happens because the E.coli bacteria are present in your digestive system, where it aids in digestion. Hence it is also present in your stool. Therefore if you wash your genitals from back to front, the E.coli can enter your urethra, eventually causing a urinary tract infection. However, if treated promptly, a kidney infection might not occur. But if it is not treated at the appropriate time, it can result in a kidney infection, which can be a severe condition. That’s the reason why you shouldn’t take kidney infections for granted.
What Are The Risk Factors For A Kidney Infection?
Women are more likely to get a kidney infection as compared to men. That is because of the shorter length of the urethra in females, as compared to men. Moreover, women’s urethra is closer to the anus, compared to men’s. It makes it easier for the bacteria to get into a woman’s urethra and kidneys.
Pregnant women are more likely to get bladder and kidney infections. It is because of hormone changes and the pressure the baby exerts on the mother’s bladder and ureters, which slows the flow of urine.
Following conditions also play a huge role in kidney infection:
- A blockage in your urinary tract
- A problem in the structure of your urinary tract, like a pinched urethra
- Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR)
You may also get an infection if you have:
- Nerve damage in your bladder
- A prostate infection, known as prostatitis
- A urinary catheter is a tube that goes into your bladder through your urethra to drain pee
- A weakened immune system, as with type 2 diabetes
How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed?
The doctor may diagnose kidney infection after carrying out a few tests in the laboratory. Tests include:
- Urine analysis to check for blood, pus, and bacteria in your urine
- Urine culture to know the kind of bacteria that has infected your kidneys
Your doctor may also use these tests:
- Ultrasound or CT
- Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)
- Digital rectal exam (for men)
- Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy
What Are The Complications of A Kidney Infection?
If left untreated, a kidney infection can cause serious problems like:
- Kidney damage
- Chronic kidney failure
- Blood poisoning (septicemia)
- Severe infection
- Problems in pregnancy
What Are The Treatment Options For A Kidney Infection?
To treat kidney infections caused by bacteria, your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics, which you may need to consume for 10 to 14 days. Your symptoms should improve within a few days, but make sure to take all of the medicine. Don’t leave taking medications when you feel better. Instead, complete the course as your healthcare provider has advised.
If you have a severe infection, you may need to stay in the hospital and get antibiotics intravenously (IV), through a needle.
The Bottom Line
Kidney infections can become a serious condition if left untreated. Therefore you should take them seriously. Make sure to visit the doctor if you have any of these symptoms. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a Nephrologist in Islamabad.