What is a kidney infection?
A kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a urinary tract infection. The cause of the disease is usually an infection in the lower urinary tract (in the bladder and urethra) then bacteria multiply and move up through the urinary tract and cause a kidney infection. A kidney infection has the potential for bacteria to enter the bloodstream leading to fatal sepsis. Let’s explore the signs of kidney infection in this article!
What are the signs and symptoms of a kidney infection?
A kidney infection can begin with symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection and become more serious if bacteria reach the upper urinary tract. Common symptoms are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the hips and lower abdomen
- Urinating frequently, feeling the need to urinate right away, and not being able to hold it in
- burning or pain when urinating
- There is pus or blood in the urine
- Urine has a bad smell
You may experience other symptoms and signs not mentioned. If you have any questions about symptoms, consult your doctor.
What causes kidney infections?
Bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body) causes a kidney infection, which then begins to multiply inside the bladder and urethra. The bacteria commonly found are E. coli or klebsiella. They are abundant in feces, while skin bacteria or other environmental bacteria are less likely to cause this health problem.
Blood contributes to disease by carrying bacteria from other parts of the body to the kidneys. Kidney infections are not uncommon through this route but can occur occasionally.
Who often gets kidney infections?
Although statistics on this disease are still limited. However, a population-based study in the United States suggests that the annual incidence is about 17 per 10,000 women and 4 per 10,000 men developing a kidney infection. The disease often changes with the seasons, the incidence of the disease is higher in women in July and August, and in men in August and September.
More seriously, the disease can affect patients of any age. You can prevent the disease by reducing your risk of getting it. Talk to your doctor for more information.
What factors increase the risk of kidney infection?
There are many factors that increase your risk of a kidney infection, such as:
- You’re female: because the female urethra is much shorter than the male’s, bacteria can easily travel from the outside of the body to the bladder. Therefore, women have a higher risk of disease than men
- Urinary tract obstruction: when urine flow is slow or bladder emptying capacity is reduced, bacteria can easily travel up to the ureters, increasing the risk of kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Weakened immune system: eg due to diabetes or HIV
- Nerve damage around the bladder
- Prolonged use of a urethral catheter
What medical techniques are used to diagnose kidney infections?
Based on vital signs and symptoms such as fever and back pain, your doctor may suspect a kidney infection. You may need to have a few more urine tests to look for bacteria in your blood or pus in your urine. When needed, your doctor will give you tests to check for bacteria or other organisms in your blood.
Your doctor may have imaging tests including ultrasound, computed tomography scans, or a type of X-ray to get a detailed picture of your kidneys and related organs.
What are the treatments for kidney infections?
The first thing you need to do is take antibiotics. The type of antibiotic and how long to take will depend on the extent of the infection, your general health, and the bacteria found in the urine. Signs and symptoms of a kidney infection may gradually disappear within a few days of treatment. But you need to keep taking antibiotics for a week or so. Remember to take the full dose of antibiotics as directed by your doctor.
If the infection is severe, your doctor may require you to be hospitalized. You may be given antibiotics intravenously.
If the disease recurs many times, you need to visit a kidney and urinary tract specialist to find the cause of the recurrence.
What lifestyle habits help you limit kidney infections?
You should be able to control your kidney infection by taking the following treatments:
Apply heat by placing a towel dipped in warm water on the abdomen, back or side to relieve pain and heaviness in the abdomen
Using pain relievers
Hydrate your body with enough water, which helps the body flush bacteria out through the urine stream. However, you should not drink coffee or alcohol. Instead, water and cranberry juice are recommended in this case. Certain active ingredients in cranberries can prevent certain types of bacteria from attaching to the inner wall of your bladder, helping you avoid re-infection
Do not hold urine for too long. You should also urinate before and after sex to prevent bacteria from entering through sex
Keep the “intimate area” clean
If you have a kidney stone, you need to remove the kidney stone from your body. You should also have regular prostate tests and treatment if your prostate is swollen;
You should not stop taking your medicine or change your dose because you feel better unless directed by your doctor
Do not use over-the-counter herbs or supplements without consulting your doctor as some herbs can make the kidneys work harder.
If you have any questions or suggestions, you should consult your doctor or medical professional for the best answer.
Top News hopes this article can help you learn more about the signs of kidney infection and wishes your health stays in the best condition!
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