Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Infection
The signs and symptoms of a kidney infection can show as early as a few hours from when the infection occurred. These signs are what people feel that are different from the normal, and often what doctors use to help them with diagnosing the cause of the problem. The symptoms for kidney infection include:
- Back Pain
- Loss of appetite
- Fever with chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the groin area
- Pain in the side
The signs listed above are often mistaken by people as symptoms for other conditions. Pains in the body are simply disregarded as effects of daily stress or old age, while fever is taken simply as fever. The same is true with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as these conditions can normally happen even when nothing is seriously wrong with the body. However, it is important for affected individuals not to disregard these conditions and to consult with their doctor as soon as possible.
There are also instances when infections of the kidney are manifested by more serious signs and symptoms. People with the condition normally experience fever and pains, along with the following:
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination often with a burning sensation
- Cloudy urine
- Foul smelling urine
- Pus or blood in the urine
These symptoms are more obvious indicators that something is wrong with the body, and often cause many individuals to consult with their doctors. However, these symptoms are also very similar to what a bladder infection would cause. The effect is oftentimes a wrong diagnosis and a mistreatment of the condition which may lead to worse problems.
A bladder infection is the condition that has the most similar symptoms to kidney infections. A patient with bladder infection will experience painful urination or a burning sensation that comes with urinating and a frequent and urgent need for urination. The individual may also notice traces of blood in the urine or a cloudy consistency that is often accompanied by a foul odor.
The reason why many of the symptoms are similar for both cases is the fact that both bladder infection and kidney infection are types of a urinary tract infection. The urinary tract is made up of the bladder, the kidneys, and the urethra, and infection to any of these parts can be caused by the presence of or contamination of bacteria.
The Difference between Bladder Infection and Kidney Infection
It is important for affected individuals to be aware of the signs and symptoms of both bladder infection and kidney infection, and it is even more important that they be able to tell the difference. A bladder infection often involves the inflammation of the bladder and sometimes of the urethra as well, and most cases are due to bacterial infection. Kidney infection on the other hand, is often a result of the mistreatment of bladder infection. This leads to worse conditions, and will compromise the ability of the kidneys to function properly. In some cases, the infected kidneys can also affect other nearby organs of the body, and can even cause death.
A serious problem can arise when kidney infection is misdiagnosed as bladder infection. The later can be treated simply with antibiotics, while a kidney infection will also require lots of rest for the kidneys to fully recuperate. This is because the kidneys are more prone to damage and are also more important for the regulation of body processes.
The most tell-take signs that a bladder infection has developed or worsened into a kidney infection are:
- The presence of pain in the side and the back
- Feelings of nausea and vomiting
- High fever, often with chills
These simple signs, when experienced with the symptoms of a bladder infection, should tell anyone that he or she has a serious condition that should be treated properly with the help of a medical professional.
Who Are Most Prone?
Everyone is at risk of kidney infections, but there are some people who are more prone to the condition than others.
Women are considered to be more prone to kidney infections. In fact, women are six times more likely to get an infection than men are. The reason behind this is because the urethra of women is shorter than in men, making it easier for the infection to travel from the bladder to the kidneys. Of all women, younger females are also more prone to the infection because of their lifestyle and habits.
- Active Sex Life
One of the reasons why younger females are more prone to the infection is because of their more active sex life. Having an active sex life leaves anyone more prone to infections, be it women or men. It should also be noted that there are no major differences between the symptoms of kidney infection in men and kidney infection symptoms in women. Of course, having sex with multiple partners also increases your risk of acquiring the infections.
- Weakened Immune System
People who have a weak immune system are also more prone to contacting kidney infections. A weakened immune system is more susceptible bacteria or fungal infections which may enter the bloodstream and thus attack the kidneys.
- Kidney Stones
The presence of kidney stones also makes an individual more prone to kidney infection. Kidney stones cause the build-up of harmful chemicals and toxins in the inner lining of the kidneys. In effect, infection is more easily acquired and complications are also more likely to arise.
- Poor Toilet Hygiene
Proper toilet hygiene is essential for making sure that you do not acquire any infections in the kidneys or any part of the urinary tract. People who use toilet paper can unknowingly spread bacteria to the genital parts which can later on get through to the urinary tract and eventually to the kidneys. Also making sure that everything is maintained clean lets you be free of any bacteria that could potentially harm your body.
Some Additional Facts about Kidney Infection
Kidney infection is also referred to by the clinical term pyelonephritis. The term comes from the greek words ‘nephros’, meaning kidney, and ‘-itis’ meaning inflammation. The most common form of treatment for the infection is a prescription of antibiotics, which battles the bacteria that has infected the body’s internal organs. With most cases of kidney infection, the antibiotics are required for a prolonged period of time.
If the patient is unable to continue or follow the prescription properly, chances of the infection returning become much higher, with stronger antibiotics often needed to battle the infection. Also, proper diet and nutrition are essential in the treatment and prevention of kidney infection. Keeping the body hydrated and eating foods with lots of fiber is recommended as this allows proper and easier cleansing of the body.
Kidney infection can affect anyone. Its symptoms can be as simple as pains in the body and frequent urination, but it should never be taken lightly. A person who experiences any of the signs and symptoms of kidney infection should have themselves tested right away. It is also important that the patient be clear about all symptoms that he or she is experiencing to help the doctor better diagnose the condition. More importantly, a person should follow the doctor’s prescription properly as mistreatment of the infection can cause even worse complications. The kidneys are vital organs of the body. If your kidneys are unable to function properly or if they are infected or damaged in any way, the regulation of body processes is difficult to maintain. With this in mind, every individual should take proper care of their kidneys and their whole bodies to make sure that they do not become prone to infections and diseases.