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Kidney Infection Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Kidney Infection?

The urinary tract system includes bladder, ureters, urethra and kidneys. When any of these components get infected, they form a type of urinary tract infection. Generally, experts classify kidney infection under upper urinary tract infection while infections in bladder and urethra are classified as lower urinary tract infection. Kidney infection needs immediate medical attention because they can enter the bloodstream or damage kidneys permanently and can be fatal. Usually, infection in the bladder leads to kidney infection. This is because the infectious bacteria may travel up to the kidney from the bladder through the ureters.

What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Infection?

The following symptoms are likely to evolve during kidney infection:

  • Urine at frequent intervals.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Stinking or cloudy urine.
  • Fever.
  • Back pain.
  • Groin pain.
  • Hematuria i.e. blood or pus in urine.
  • Pain or burning while urinating.

It is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as the symptoms evolve because symptoms rarely evolve during an early stage. Delaying diagnosis any further may lead to complications.

What Causes Kidney Infection?

Urethra is a tube that transports urine from the body. When bacteria enter the body through urethra, it affects the kidney and eventually results in kidney infection. In very rare cases, infection can travel through the blood stream from other organs and affect the kidneys. Also, kidney infection due to a surgery is very rare.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Kidney Infection?

The following factors will increase the risk of kidney infection:

  • Weak immune system.
  • Gender; Women tend to suffer from kidney infection more than men. This is because women’s urethra is relatively shorter than men’s which means that bacteria needs to travel a shorter distance from the bladder.
  • Blockage in the urinary tract due to kidney stone or any other abnormality.
  • Vesicoureteral reflux i.e. urine flowing in the wrong way.
  • Impairment of nerves around the bladder.
  • Excess use of urinary catheter.

What Are The Complications Of Kidney Infection?

The possible complications of kidney infection include:

How Is Kidney Infection Diagnosed?

Firstly, doctors observe the symptoms that evolve. Then the following can be helpful in diagnosing kidney infection:

  • Urine test.
  • Blood culture i.e. checking bacteria in the blood.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Computerized tomography or CT scan.
  • Voiding cystourethrogram.

With the help of one or more of these tests, doctors are able to diagnose kidney infection and suggest proper treatment.

How Is Kidney Infection Treated?

Treatment could be done in three different ways depending upon the severity of the condition. These may include:

  • Antibiotics. If kidney infection is diagnosed at a quite early stage, antibiotics could help cure the infection.
  • Hospitalization. In a relatively advanced stage, doctors suggest being admitted to a hospital where antibiotics are given at frequent intervals intravenously.

Surgery. Structural abnormality may require a surgery.

Drinking plenty of water and applying heat on the abdomen could help preventing the infection to get worse.


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By : Natural Health News

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