Kidney infections can be an extremely unpleasant experience, often marked by discomfort and malaise. To understand whether your ailment might be due to this, it is important to know the symptoms, causes, and possible treatments for a kidney infection.
What is a Kidney Infection?
A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that originates in your bladder or urethra and then travels to your kidneys. These infections are usually caused by bacteria, and if not treated promptly, they can cause serious health complications.
Symptoms of Kidney Infections
Understanding the symptoms of kidney infections can help you know when to seek medical attention. These can be somewhat nondescript and may include:
- Persistent high fever
- Lower back or side pain
- Frequent urination
- Urgent need to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Abdominal pain
Additionally, you might experience general feelings of being unwell such as fatigue, weakness, and malaise. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional if these symptoms persist.
Causes of Kidney Infections
In the majority of cases, kidney infections are caused by bacteria that have entered through the urethra and traveled up into the bladder. From there, the bacteria can continue up to the kidneys, causing an infection. Less commonly, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and reach the kidneys that way. Factors such as urinary tract blockages, a weakened immune system, or damage to nerves around the bladder can increase the risk of developing a kidney infection.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect a kidney infection, the best course of action is to visit a healthcare professional or clinic – you can learn more here. These specialists will likely conduct a urine test to check for bacteria, as well as a physical examination. In certain cases, additional tests such as a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, a kidney infection is commonly treated with antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. Painkillers may also be prescribed to help manage symptoms. In severe cases, hospital treatment may be required.
Prevention of Kidney Infections
To prevent kidney infections, it’s important to take steps to prevent UTIs, which are typically the precursor to kidney infections. This includes habits like drinking plenty of fluids to flush bacteria from your urinary tract, urinating as soon as you feel the need, and ensuring thorough personal hygiene.
Women, in particular, can reduce their risk by wiping from front to back after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anal region from spreading to the urethra and bladder.
Experiencing a kidney infection can be distressing, especially when the symptoms leave you feeling unwell. But by staying informed about the symptoms, causes, and treatments, you can take prompt action if you suspect a kidney infection.
If you are interested to dive deeper into this topic, the NHS website is a reliable source where you can learn more about urology. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect you have a kidney infection, as prompt treatment is necessary to avoid serious health complications. It’s vital not to underestimate the seriousness of this condition, so remain vigilant about your health and take care when managing your symptoms.