A kidney is tasked with the responsibility of cleaning wastes and any extra fluids found in the blood. Kidneys are part of the urinary tract which makes and removes urine from the body thus getting rid of any toxic waste product.
Kidney infection also is known as Pyelonephritis is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that starts from your bladder or urethra all the way to your kidneys. A kidney infection is mainly caused by bacteria called E-coli bacteria. This bacteria works by multiplying from the bladder or urethra into any of the kidneys or both hence passing the harmful substances in form of an infection.
In the urinary tract, the bladder is the part that is mostly infected by a urinary tract infection. When the bacteria travels into the ureter, you end up developing a very complicated problem in the form of a kidney infection.
A kidney infection requires very urgent medical attention. If it is not treated as early as possible, the infection can end up rendering your kidneys useless since they will be permanently damaged. The bacteria may also end up multiplying into your bloodstream from where they may cause an infection that can lead to death.
Kidney infections are usually treated by the use of antibiotics. Constant use of these antibiotics is not recommended especially if an individual does not have any kidney infection. This is because the bacteria may mutate and get used to the antibiotics making them to continue multiplying even if a person is on medication.
Women are mostly linked with kidney infections. However, other people such as pregnant women, children with less than 2 years and elders that have 60 years and above have been termed as highly prone to kidney infections.
There are two types of kidney infections:
- Uncomplicated kidney infection.
- Complicated kidney infection.
Uncomplicated kidney infection does not pose dangerous health conditions to a patient. A person that has this type of kidney infection has minimal chances of facing serious health complications.
For patients suffering from complicated kidney infections, urgent medication is required since they are subjected to a series of complications and serious illness.
Symptoms of a kidney infection
Kidney infection often develop very fast and can end up reaching devastating levels within a short time frame. Signs and symptoms of kidney infection may include:
Since the main reason behind a kidney infection is bacteria, the temperature of a patient’s body may exceed normal levels and reach 100.4 degrees thus causing a severe fever.
Nausea and vomiting
A person who is affected by any form of kidney infection will constantly throw up as a result of the toxins that are present in the blood. Nausea is also a common symptom depicted by patients of any kidney infection.
An individual suffering from a kidney infection will experience severe pain especially in the lower back, side or groin area. This pain makes an individual restless since it is very severe.
Frequent urge to urinate
When the kidney infection has reached its peak, the patient will have the urge to frequently urinate especially during the night.
When the kidney infection is not treated during the early stages of development, it may end up having adverse side effects on your body. The symptoms witnessed at this stage are more severe and can even take the life of a patient. Some of the symptoms associated with an advanced kidney infection include:
- Blood in urine that is often released as by the infection especially if it progresses into one’s bladder.
- Apart from being bloody, the urine may also be cloudy and smelly. This symptom shows the presence of protein in your urine as a result of protein leakage from the kidney into the urine.
- Burning sensation or pain when urinating.
- Pain in the groin area may also be experienced as a result of inflammation and swelling in a patient’s kidney. The pain may also extend into the lower abdomen and buttocks region.
It is highly recommended that you seek medical attention whenever you start experiencing any of the symptoms given above. This will prevent any serious threat to life that is caused by an adverse stage of a kidney infection.
Factors that increase the risk of a Kidney infection
Having a urinary tract blockage
A urinary tract blockage consists of anything that may limit or slow down the normal flow of urine. This may include a kidney stone, enlarged prostate gland in men or an abnormal growth in your urinary tract.
Weak immune system
Medical conditions such as diabetes and HIV may weaken your immune system hence subjecting you to a kidney infection.
Damage to the nerves and around your bladder
When the spinal cord or nerve is damaged, your bladder may end up being blocked after which it will lead to a kidney infection.
Using a urinary catheter
A urinary catheter is a tube used in draining urine out of your bladder. This catheter may be placed after undergoing some diagnostic tests or a surgical procedure.
Wrong flow of urine
Urine may flow from your bladder back into the ureter and kidney. This condition is known as Vesicoureteral Reflux. A person with this condition is at a very high risk of getting a kidney infection from the moment they are born into their adulthood.
Preventing a kidney infection
You can reduce the risk of getting a kidney infection by using some of the steps given to prevent any urinary tract infection.
Drink plenty of fluids
Taking plenty of fluids especially water can be helpful in removing bacteria from your body in the form of urine.
Maintaining a healthy diet is important in boosting your immune system while at the same time reducing the chances of getting a urinary tract infection.
Maintain the hygiene of your toilet to prevent the risk of spreading bacteria in your body. Ensure that the toilet is always clean whenever a person has used it.