A kidney infection occurs when lower urinary tract infection spreads upwards in the urinary tract involving the kidneys. Cloudy urine or urinary odor may also be present. Sharing some kidney infections symptoms to check and prevent any of their severe repercussions. Kidney infection in medical terms in known as Pyelonephritis. Kidney infection can be acute or chronic. Acute one comes and goes with treatment but chronic pyelonephritis never really goes away, and it causes the urine to flow upwards from bladder up into the kidney. They may also be severe and fatal
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Causes of Kidney Infection:
Kidney infection occurs when bacteria E Coli infects our kidneys. These E. Coli bacteria live in our bowel tract. When they get into the opening of urethra and move through the urinary tract first infecting bladder and then kidney, it causes kidney infections. This happens when accidentally bacteria spreads from anus to urethra. It happens due to poor hygiene or during unprotected sex. Some factors that put us at risk of kidney infections include:
- Women and children are more prone to kidney infections as anus is closer to urethra in women than in men.
- If you have a condition that blocks or obstructs urinary tract such as kidney stone, enlarged prostate and also children with constipation are at risk
- Having a neo natal abnormality in urinary tract
- Having a condition where you can not empty your bladder fully which infects the tract
- Having an infection of prostate gland, where infection spreads from prostate gland to kidneys.
- Having a weakened immune system due to diabetes or chemotherapy side effects
- Infection arising due to use of urinary catheter
- Sexual intercourse can irritate urethra and allow bacteria to travel into your bladder
- Being pregnant where physical changes delay and slowdown the flow of urine in our body
- Having undergone female genital mutilation illegally.
Kidney Infection Symptoms to Check:
- Severe pain in your back or side, towards genitals and around your kidney
- Fever with temperature very high around 103F or more
- Feeling weak and tired
- Shivering and chills
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick and nauseated
- Smelly, cloudy and bloody urine
- Burning pain when you pass urine
- The urge to pass urine more often than usual
- Not able to urinate fully
Kidney Infection Symptoms in Children:
- Irritable and cranky
- Lack of energy and lethargic
- Not eating
- Vomits and diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Delay in growth
- Blood in urine
- Bed wetting
- Foul smell in urine
Complications from Kidney Infection Include:
- Permanent kidney damage which leads to chronic kidney disease
- Blood poisoning or sepsis. As kidney filters waste blood and if kidney fails all bacteria can enter the blood stream and circulate in our body. This results in confusion or disorientation and excessive sweating. It also triggers rapid heartbeat, pale skin and breathlessness
- Pregnancy complications like low birth weight of babies
- Kidney Abscess: Here pus develops inside tissue of the kidney. People with diabetes are more prone to kidney abscess. It is more severe as bacteria in abscess can spread to other parts via blood stream
- High blood pressure
- Premature labor and birth
Prevention of Kidney Infection:
To prevent kidney infection, we must ensure no urinary tract infection. By maintaining proper health and hygiene this can be achieved. Other ways to reduce Kidney infection chances are:
- Urinate frequently: Never hold or control the urine. Whenever the urge be, you must urinate
- Drink plenty of fluids, specially water: Drinking plenty of fluids can help in removing bacteria from body and keeping the tract clean
- Urinate after intercourse: Urinating as soon as possible after intercourse helps in clearing bacteria from urethra thus reducing the risk of infection
- Wipe properly: Do not wipe from back to front as the infection spreads this way. Adopt a habit of wiping from front to back
- Do not use cosmetics in genitals as they cause infections.
- Choose contraceptive wisely, as some foster bacterial growth in vagina.
- Maintain healthy levels of estrogen this prevents kidney infections
- Do not take bath in tub, use shower. As tubs may have germs spreading infections
- Do not wear tight panties, but wear breathable under wears. Tight fabrics cause bacteria onset on moist under wear so opt for cotton ones
- Eat probiotics like yogurt daily to prevent any infection
- Do no wear sweaty pants and swimwear for long after finishing workouts, change immediately.
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The above compilation on Kidney Infection Symptoms to check is based on readings and learnings over time. There are some severe impacts these kidney infections may cause, so be sure to check these symptoms and ensure proper care. They must be given medical attention immediately to prevent painful repercussions. Check more about pyelonephritis here. Most kidney infections are treated successfully if detected on time. And there are rare fatal occurrences. Though some people may develop further problems.