Last Updated on October 28, 2020We’ve all heard about how uncomfortable it is to deal with a urinary tract infection, and many of us have even experienced it first-hand. While a kidney infection is closely linked to a urinary tract infection, it is a little bit more unusual. That’s probably the reason why many people are still not aware of what it is and what its potential dangers are. Yes, sure, there are other far more serious kidney problems such as chronic kidney disease or kidney stones. But if left untreated for way too long, an infection may also become a severe threat to your health. In this article, we are going to share some signs of kidney infection that you should be aware of. But first, let’s figure out exactly what this health problem is all about.
1. Kidney infection[ads shortcode=”td_responsive”] Truth be told, a kidney infection is a urinary tract infection (UTI). After all, the kidneys are part of the urinary system, along with the urethra, the bladder, and the ureters. This means that, although we commonly use the term UTI to refer to lower urinary tract infections (urethra infection and bladder infection – the most frequently diagnosed forms of UTI), it can actually be used to refer to an infection in any part of the system. So, to put it simply, a kidney infection occurs when the E. coli bacteria, responsible for a lower urinary tract infection, finds its way into one of the kidneys (or both) via the ureters. This is by far the main reason for kidney infections. However, it is not the only one. It can also happen after kidney surgery or due to an infection in another part of your organism if the bacteria spreads to the kidney through the bloodstream. Because they have a shorter urethra, women have a higher risk of developing kidney infections. [ads shortcode=”td_responsive”]
2. Kidney infection symptoms[ads shortcode=”td_responsive”]
- Frequent urination Obviously, since a kidney infection is often a consequence of an untreated lower urinary tract infection, one of its early symptoms is precisely that constant urge to pee. If you’ve ever been through that, you know exactly what we are talking about. But do you know why it happens? It’s simple. It’s the natural response of the bladder to try to alleviate the irritation caused by bacteria: it contracts, and you feel like you really need to pee – even when you don’t.
- Back pain As a result of the bacterial infection, the kidney can become inflamed. Given the location of the organ, this change in volume can cause lower back pain. Doctors even usually apply pressure to this region to check if the infection has reached the kidney. If it hurts the patient, the bacteria is probably already there.
- Cloudy, smelly urine When you are dealing with a kidney infection, both the appearance and smell of your urine are very peculiar. On the one hand, the presence of an abnormal amount of white blood cells (sent by your immune system to fight the bacteria) will make your urine look cloudy. On the other hand, the fermentation of the bacteria will cause a bad odor. In some cases, it may also be possible to detect pus or blood in the urine.
- Fever Raising body temperature is one of the most common responses of the human immune system to fight threats. Strange as it may seem, this rarely happens in response to a lower urinary tract infection. So, if on top of the normal symptoms of this type of infection, you also have a fever, then you are most likely to have a kidney infection. Also, you might experience chills and nausea (and even vomiting).
- Pain when urinating Do you know what causes that distinctive pain while peeing? It’s the bacteria invading the tissue and nerve endings of your urethra. When they do so, the pain receptors are activated, and you feel a horrific pain as the pee goes through the canal. Oh man, it hurts just to think about it!
- Groin pain At first, associating groin pain with a kidney problem may seem a little weird. But it’s not. In fact, the kidneys are closely linked with the groin region, as they partially share the same nerve supply. That’s why a kidney infection can cause groin pain, so don’t forget to mention all your symptoms when you talk to your doctor.
- Dizziness When the bacteria spread through the bloodstream, it can provoke an inflammatory response that causes the blood vessels to dilate. In this case, the blood pressure will drop significantly, and the patient will experience dizziness. This can subject the body to such great stress that the patient may have to be taken to the emergency room. [ads shortcode=”td_responsive”]