Kidney infections can be sudden or chronic. They can be extremely painful and even life-threatening if not treated on time. If your general health is good, you should recover from a kidney infection without problems.
In this article, we discuss the causes and symptoms of kidney infection.
What causes of kidney infection?
The most common cause of kidney infections is an infection in the urinary tract that spreads to either one or both kidneys. Bacterial infections also cause kidney infections.
Following bacteria can cause kidney infection:
- E. coli.
- Proteus mirabilis.
Viruses are also capable of causing kidney infections, but they are rare in healthy people.
Symptoms of kidney infection
Common symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- Pain in your lower back/side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain when you pee
- Urine that smells bad or is cloudy
- Having to urinate often
It’s important to see a healthcare provider right away if you experience these symptoms. A kidney infection can have serious immediate and long-term consequences if it is not properly identified and treated.
How to detect kidney infection?
Kidney infection – also known as pyelonephritis – is commonly diagnosed by two types of urine tests:
Your urine sample is collected at your doctor’s office or lab for this test. Your urine sample will be examined under a microscope to check for white blood cells or bacteria, which can be signs of an infection.
Even healthy people may also have bacteria in their urine. So it is important to see urinalysis results in conjunction with your symptoms and not as definitive evidence of an infection.
2. Urine culture
A sample of your urine may be put in a container where the bacteria can grow to help identify the type of bacteria causing your infection and direct your treatment.
3. Blood culture
A doctor might request a blood test occasionally to check for indicators of an infection. Your blood sample is put in a container to encourage bacterial development for two to three days, and then it is tested for bacteria that may suggest an infection.
When treated immediately, kidney infections are rarely life-threatening. Maintaining proper hygiene and emptying your bladder can help stop urinary tract infections (UTIs) from spreading to your kidneys.
Talk to your provider about preventing infections if you have an underlying condition that makes you more likely to get an infection.
1. Can urine infection cause kidney failure?
Not usually. In most cases, UTIs can be treated successfully without causing kidney damage. If the issue is not resolved and the infection persists, UTIs brought on by conditions such as a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate gland (in males) may result in kidney damage.