The most common cause of kidney infections is Bacteria. It enters your urinary tract through the tube that carries urine from your body (urethra) and can multiply and travel to your kidneys. Bacteria from an infection elsewhere in your body also can spread through your bloodstream to your kidneys.
Pyelonephritis is a condition (Infection of the kidneys) that occurs when the infection spreads from your urethra or bladder to one or both kidneys.
It is important to seek medical attention for kidney infections as soon as possible. It’s important to recognize that kidney infections have the potential to cause permanent damage to your kidneys or they may spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection.
Antibiotics are often used to treat kidney infections, so hospitalization might be necessary.
Symptoms / Signs
- Pain in the back, side, or groin.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Frequently urinating.
- Constant urge to urinate.
- Pain or burning when urinating.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Urine that contains pus or blood (hematuria).
- Urine that smells bad or that is cloudy.
When to see a Doctor
Firstly, when you experience symptoms or signs that are troubling, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Do a follow-up visit to your doctor, when you feel your signs and symptoms haven’t improved after being treated for a urinary tract infection
Kidney infection complications can result in life-threatening complications. If you are experiencing kidney infection symptoms associated with bloody urine or nausea and vomiting, you should seek emergency medical care.
The most common reason for Kidney infections is Urinary Tract. The urinary tract contains bacteria that can multiply and travel into your kidneys from the tube that carries urine from your body (urethra).
Bacteria from other parts of the body can spread through the bloodstream and cause kidney infections. Though Infections of the kidney are rare, still can occur if, for example, you have an artificial joint or heart valve that gets infected.
In rare cases, kidney infections may occur after kidney surgery.
Kidney infections can be caused by several factors, including:
- Being female:Women’s urethras are shorter than men. Because of this, it is easier for bacteria to enter the bladder from the outside. Bacteria are more likely to enter the bladder when the urethra is near the anus and vagina. This can result in kidney infection after entering the bladder. A pregnant woman has an even higher risk of developing a kidney infection.
- Urinary Tract Blockage: In men, the Enlarged prostate gland may cause slowed urine flow and reduced bladder emptying when urinating, indicating something abnormal in your urinary tract.
- Deficiency of Immunity: Conditions like diabetes and HIV, may cause compromise in your immune system. Several medications, such as those taken to avoid rejection of transplanted organs, may also lead to lowered immunity.
- Nerve damage in the bladder: When the feeling of a bladder infection is blocked by a nerve or spinal cord injury, you find it difficult to tell when it’s progressing to a kidney infection.
- Catheter induced infection: A urinary catheter normally is used to drain urine from the bladder. It may be used during certain surgical procedures or diagnostic tests. You can use it continuously if you are confined to your bed.
- Incorrectly urinating because of a medical condition: This is referred to as a condition called vesicoureteral reflux. It occurs when urine pools in the ureters and kidneys due to a backflow of urine from the bladder. As a child and adult, people with this condition are more vulnerable to kidney infections.
How to prevent Kidney infections
It is of high importance to understand and take necessary measures, so that you reduce the risks of kidney infection. There are several ways to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Some important steps are as follows:
Consume plenty of fluids, especially water: It helps your body get rid itself of bacteria when you urinate.
Urinate frequently: Whenever you feel the need to urinate, don’t put off urination.
Empty your bladder after urinating: Rinsing after intercourse reduces your risk of infection by flushing bacteria out of the urethra.
Be sure to wipe carefully: To prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra, it is helpful to wipe from front to back after urinating and after a bowel movement.
Normally, your doctor may ask you for a urine sample that will be tested for bacteria, blood, or pus. If required, you may be advised to get a blood culture by your doctor (a laboratory test that looks for bacteria in your blood).
Few other tests may also be required for further diagnosis which may include ultrasounds, CT scans, and a voiding cystourethrogram, (it is an X-ray taken during voiding of the bladder) During a voiding cystourethrogram, a contrast dye is injected into the bladder while it is full, and as a person is urinating so an X-ray can be taken.
Treatment of kidney infections
Treatment for kidney infections usually clears up the signs and symptoms of infection within a few days. Infections of the kidney are treated with antibiotics first. Antibiotics may be needed for a week or more. Despite feeling better, you should finish the entire course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
A repeat urine culture may be recommended by your doctor to ensure the infection has been cleared. Taking another round of antibiotics may be necessary if the infection persists. The quantity and duration of the drugs prescribed by your doctor is determined by your health and the bacteria found in your urine tests.
Severe kidney infections require hospitalization
In the event of severe infection of the kidney, your doctor may advise hospitalization. The treatment might consist of receiving antibiotics and fluids intravenously (intravenously). Your stay in the hospital is determined by your condition and you may have to undergo treatment for some time.
Treatment of recurrent kidney infections
Urinary tract infections can lead to repeated kidney infections. An evaluation from the Best kidney Hospital in Bangalore (nephrologist) and a urinary surgeon (urologist) may be recommended. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct structural abnormalities