Truth be told, a kidney infection can be a terribly irritating experience. Is it the discomfort should talk about, or the burning? What about the embarrassing need to find the closest loo? It is important that we discuss kidney infection because we will learn the early warning signs and one can seek immediate medical attention.
Common Kidney Infection Signs
Increased Urinary Frequency
This is one of the first and most common signs that you may have a kidney infection. It is the need to urinate several times in the space of a few minutes.
Urgency to Urinate
It is in the adult nature to control the urge to urinate, especially in situations where there’s no appropriate place to urinate. But with kidney infections, this ability to hold urine seems to be lost. It becomes urgent to pass out urine.
Burning While Urinating
You must have noticed that urine is hot, if you have ever felt it, that is. This is because it is an acidic substance; however, our urinary tract is capable of moving it without any burn. People with kidney infections experience burns while urinating because bacteria may cause inflammation in the kidneys. This may lead to some more sensitive feeling while passing urine through the urine stream
When kidney infection is mild, there is a possibility that fever will occur. The fever occurrence shows that your body is struggling with an infection and making some attempts to get control of it. Feel free, however, to deal with the fever, even as you find a lasting solution to the infection.
Lower Back Pain
As a result of the position of the kidneys, an infection which affects it has some effects on the back, causing pain. This pain may be low and throbbing, or more serious and penetrating.
Groin pain occurs as a result of the burning sensation from the kidney infection. This pain may be severe and may take various forms.
Offensive Smelling Urine
Urine, already, has got a foul odor. You can`t imagine how terrible it is when you have a kidney infection; the odor is much worse. So with kidney infections, an active bacterial infection brews, hence the waste materials produced by these organisms, together with your natural waste, gives a terribly repulsive sulfur smelling odor.
Blood in Urine
Blood appearing in urine is a symptom of kidney infections, although some other conditions have got this symptom. This symptom is as a result of the bacterial infection which has worsened from the initial stage. Inflammation in the urinary tract will result in some measure of bleeding. Women are more likely to experience bleeding because their urinary tract is generally longer, having a greater surface area.
Nausea And Vomiting
These are hidden symptoms which occur with some other symptoms which have been mentioned.
Pain during Sexual Intercourse
Another hidden sign of kidney infection is an unusual pain during intercourse. This may occur as a result of inflammation along the urinary tract or vagina. This pain may continue after intercourse, and extend to the back or abdomen.
Cloudy urine is more commonly associated with the presence of a sexually transmitted infection, however, if kidney infections are left untreated, they will have a high bacterial density that causes cloudiness in the urine.
Kidney Infection Risk Factors?
Really, anyone can have a kidney infection, however, here are some factors that make it more likely.
- Women are at a higher risk of kidney infections because a female`s urethra is shorter than that of a male. This makes it easier for bacteria to reach the urinary tract of a female. Also, the urethra in women is closer to the vagina and anus, which allows bacteria to spread more easily to the urinary tract.
- A shift in the urinary tract in pregnancy, making it easier for bacteria to get to the kidneys.
- A weakened immune system which is a problem with health conditions such as diabetes, HIV or AIDS, and drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Damage to the spinal cord or nerve damage to the bladder could keep you from noticing the signs of kidney infection.
- Problems emptying the bladder completely which is called urinary retention. It can also occur in people with spina bifida or multiple sclerosis.
- Urine backup which happens when urine backs up to one or both of the kidneys, instead of the normal one-way outflow. It’s called vesicoureteral reflux, and is most common in children.
- Problems with the shape of the urinary tract.
- About 1 out of 30 Urinary Tract Infections leads to a kidney infection.
Kidney Infection Facts
- Kidney infection is one of the infections that can involve the urinary tract.
- Kidney infections are not contagious.
- Treatment of kidney infection involves oral or intravenous antibiotics.
- Infection of the kidney is common, especially in young females.
- Kidney infections can be prevented by drinking lots of fluids, changing urinary catheters frequently, good hygiene practices, and taking preventive antibiotics in certain people at high risk.
- Causes of a kidney infection are bacteria that have gained entry to the urinary tract, usually through the anus or vagina.
- If treated early and adequately, kidney infection generally has a good outcome.
- Risk factors for kidney infection are pregnancy, sexual intercourse, a history of urinary tract infection, spermicide use, kidney stones, use of urinary catheters, diabetes, and surgery or instrumentation of the urinary tract.
- Once age 40 is attained, the number of functional nephrons present in each kidney start falling at a rate of 1% a year. Despite this decline in the number of functional nephrons in kidneys the kidneys continue to function normally because the nephrons have a tendency of enlarging once the demise begins.
- The blood flow in kidneys is higher than the blood flow in the heart, liver, and brain.
- In each hour, kidneys receive around 120 pints of blood.
- Kidneys measure around 4.5 inches in length.
- If the nephrons in both kidneys are taken out and placed end to end horizontally, they will cover a distance of 16 kilometers.
- Kidneys are responsible for maintaining a constant amount of fluid in the body. The entire blood in the body gets filtered around 400 times in a day through the kidneys.
- Kidneys are about the size of a standard computer mouse or a mobile phone.
- Each kidney weighs about 4-6 ounces.
- Each kidney consists of at least a million nephrons. Nephrons are tiny filters that are capable of filtering blood and eliminating waste materials.
- Even though the kidneys weigh only 0.5% of the entire body weight, they receive more arterial blood compared to other organs in the body. In fact, almost 25% of the blood pumped by the heart goes to the kidneys.
Treating Kidney Infection
- Treatment is determined by the severity of the kidney infection.
- For mild infections, oral antibiotics by a doctor`s prescription are the first line of treatment.
- The type of antibiotics taken may change once the results of the urine tests have been traced to a specific bacterial infection.
- There will be a series of urine cultures after treatment to ensure the infection is completely gone.
- Sometimes, a surgery may be required to repair a blockage or unusual shape in the urinary tract. This ensures the prevention of new kidney infections.