A kidney infection is not to be taken lightly, and you should never ignore the symptoms.
Left untreated, this type of infection can cause permanent damage to your kidneys and lead to other severe complications. Understanding the severity of this condition, would you be able to spot the symptoms of a kidney infection?
First, Let’s Understand How a Kidney Infection Happens
Bacteria or a virus that normally lives in the bowel can travel from the bladder to the urethra or ureter and into one or both kidneys. Medically known as pyelonephritis, kidney infections will often begin as a urinary tract infection (UTI) before spreading to the kidneys.
A UTI can be so mild you might not even notice the symptoms, but normally people will start to take note when they experience:
- Pain during urination due to the inflammation of the lining of the urethra
- Frequent urination. This occurs because your inflamed bladder makes it feel like you need to pee again.
You should not wait to see Dr. Diner if you have these UTI symptoms. Treating the urinary tract infection may prevent it from developing into a kidney infection.
When Symptoms Become More Severe
If symptoms gradually worsen, this may be a sign of a kidney infection. Along with the traditional UTI symptoms of frequent and painful urination, these additional symptoms will occur.
- Fever and Chills
- Pain In the Lower Back
- You will experience mild to severe pain on one of both sides of the lower back depending on where the infection has spread.
- Nausea and Vomiting
- This is a sign of a severe infection and should be treated as soon as possible.
- Abdominal and Pelvic Pain
- Cloudy, Smelly Urine
- You will notice cloudy urine accompanied by pus or thick urine that is white or yellow in color.
- Dark, Bloody Urine
When to Seek Treatment
Any of the above symptoms of a kidney infection require a visit to Dr. Diner for diagnosis.
Do not wait if you have a quick change in the severity of any symptom(s). Waiting can result in a blood infection known as sepsis. This serious condition is noted by rapid breathing and heart rate, rash, lethargy, elevated blood pressure, fever, chills, and confusion.
Don’t wait if you are pregnant since a kidney infection may cause low birth weight.
Don’t wait if you are being treated for a UTI with no improvement in your symptoms.
Don’t wait if you suddenly are vomiting and have bloody urine.
Ways to Lower Your Risk of a Kidney Infection
- Drink lots of water
- Never procrastinate when you need “to go”
- Always urinate after having sex
- Always wipe from front to back
- Avoid douches and deodorant sprays in the genital area
Contact Dr. Eric Diner of Suncoast Urology immediately if you experience any symptoms of a kidney infection or a urinary tract infection.