Kidney Infection

The kidney helps in removing the waste and balancing the amount of fluid and electrolytes present in your body. All the amount of blood present in your body passes through the kidney several times a day and gets filtered.

Kidney infection is called pyelonephritis, which is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI)that starts with your urethra or bladder and transfer to your kidney. It is essential to get proper medical treatment for your kidney infection because it may cause severe damage to your kidney or the infection spreads to your bloodstream and could be fatal.

Causes of kidney infection

Bacteria from your urinary tract which involves urine will get affected due to urinary infection. This untreated UTI risks your kidney as the bacteria affect your kidney. It multiplies and gives major complications. Infections from other organs pass through the bloodstream and spread the bacteria to your kidney. Some surgeries like artificial joint replacement, artificial heart valve can increase the risk of having a kidney infection. In rare scenarios, you need surgery else we can treat it with regular medicine.

Risk factors

Your risk to kidney infection is high if you have the following,

Sex: If you are a woman you are more prone to kidney infections because urethra will be shorter than men. So it will be easy for the bacteria to enter the bladder. As the urethra is present closer to the anal and vaginal area risk is high. So untreated infection in the bladder can affect kidneys. The risk of getting kidney infection is higher in pregnant women.

Urinary tract blockage: There will be Urinary tract blockage due to kidney stones, abnormal urinary tract structure, or enlarged prostate gland in men. This will cause irregular or slow flow of urine or feeling heavy bladder even after urinating.

Weak immune system: Some medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, HIV can weaken your immune system. Drugs suggested to protect transplanted organs could also have a similar effect.

Nerve damage: Damage to the spinal cord or nerves surrounding it blocks the symptoms to a bladder infection when it causes kidney infection in the longer term.

Urinary catheter: Catheters are tubes used in surgical procedures to drain urine. This can cause some infections and affect your urinary tract.

Symptoms of kidney infection

Symptoms of kidney infection are,

  • Fever
  • Blood in urine or pus present in the urine
  • Abdomen pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Back or groin pain

Complications

If your kidney infection is left untreated you can have serious complications like,

Kidney scarring: When there is scarring or thickened blood vessels(glomeruli) around the kidney, it affects the waste filter process of the kidney. There will be protein leakage inside the kidney and leads to kidney failure.

Septicemia: As blood from the kidney spreads to all parts of your body, in case of infection your blood carries the infection and infects all the blood.

Pregnancy complications: There is a high risk during the delivery of babies if the mother has a kidney infection.

Prevention steps

  • Increase your water intake, this can flush your bacteria through urine
  • Don’t delay urination. Soon as the urge arises it is necessary to urinate and empty the bladder.
  • It is important to empty your bladder after intercourse to prevent the bacteria from entering your urinary tract
  • Avoid highly chemical products in your genital areas.

It is important to seek medical attention when your symptoms for UTI is not reduced although treated. This can give major complications with your health.

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