Kidney Infections: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention
Kidney infections are a serious health concern that can cause permanent damage to your kidneys if left untreated. The infection usually starts in your urinary tract and can spread to your kidneys, causing a range of symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about kidney infections, including symptoms, treatment, and prevention:
Symptoms of Kidney Infections
Early detection of kidney infections is crucial for successful treatment. Knowing the symptoms can help you seek medical attention before it’s too late. Some of the most common signs of a UTI gone wrong include:
A burning sensation while urinating is often an early sign of a kidney infection. You may also need to urinate more frequently, and your urine may appear cloudy or have a strong odor.
Fever and Chills
As the infection spreads to your kidneys, you may develop a fever and chills as your body tries to fight off the bacteria. Your temperature may rise above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and you may feel shivery even when wrapped up in a warm blanket.
Back pain is another common symptom of a kidney infection. The pain usually starts on one side and may be a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain. The pain may be so severe that it makes it difficult to sit or lie down comfortably.
Nausea and Vomiting
The severity of the kidney infection may cause nausea and vomiting. Your body may also feel upset as it attempts to fight off bacteria.
Feeling exhausted, even after getting enough sleep, is another symptom of a kidney infection. Your body may be working overtime to fight off the infection, which can leave you feeling drained and weak.
Treatment for Kidney Infections
If you suspect that you have a kidney infection, it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately. Left untreated, a kidney infection can cause permanent kidney damage, sepsis, and even death. To diagnose a kidney infection, your doctor will usually perform a physical examination and take a urine sample for testing. They may also order blood tests or imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to check the condition of your kidneys.
Treatment usually involves a course of antibiotics. In most cases, you will need to take the medication for two weeks to ensure the infection is completely gone. Your doctor may also recommend pain relievers to help manage the discomfort and fever reducers to bring down your temperature.
In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary, especially if the infection is severe, you have a high fever, or you’re experiencing dehydration or vomiting.
Preventing Kidney Infections
Prevention is always the best course of action when it comes to your health. The following tips can help you reduce your risk of developing a kidney infection:
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom
- Drink plenty of water to help flush bacteria out of your system
- Urinate after sex to help flush bacteria out of your urinary tract
- Avoid using vaginal douches or sprays, which can upset the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina
- Use a barrier method of contraception to help reduce the risk of infections from sex
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants and underwear, which can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bacteria
- Change out of wet bathing suits and workout clothes as soon as possible
- Don’t hold your pee for too long, as this can increase the risk of urinary tract infections
In conclusion, kidney infections are a serious health concern that requires medical attention. Knowing the symptoms, treatment, and prevention can help reduce your risk and prevent complications. It’s always best to seek immediate medical attention when you suspect a kidney infection to avoid long-term damage to your health.