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When To Seek Kidney Infection Treatment

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When To Seek Kidney Infection Treatment

A kidney infection is known as pyelonephritis, where bacteria enter the organ and cause pain, soreness and swelling. If left untreated, the infection can become life-threatening.

The kidneys are part of the urinary tract. Their purpose is to filter the blood flowing through the body to remove waste. The waste becomes the urine that passes through the ureters, the bladder, then out of the urethra.

Any part of the urinary tract can get infected, but it becomes most dangerous if the infection reaches the kidneys.

What causes kidney infections?

The bacteria known as E. coli is the most common cause of kidney infections. These bacteria come from the intestines and usually first infect the bladder. If left unchecked, they can multiply further and eventually get to the kidneys.

Another way to get a kidney infection is through an infection elsewhere in the body that will eventually travel to the kidneys through the blood. While rare, it is also possible to get infected after surgery.

How is a kidney infection diagnosed?

The first step in kidney infection diagnosis is looking at urine composition. Lab tests would check for blood and other substances that should not be present in urine. If the urinary tract is infected, bacteria will be found in the urine. The lab can do a urine culture to identify the type of bacteria.

Identifying the bacteria helps determine the appropriate treatment for kidney infections.

To determine the part of the urinary tract that is infected, the doctor can run other tests like MRIs, CT scans, X-rays and for men, rectal exams.

kidney infections

What are the symptoms of kidney infections?

Symptoms of kidney infections can vary from one person to another depending on the severity, their age and medical history. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Pain when urinating.
  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Having difficulty urinating even if there is an urge to do so.
  • Foul smell coming from urine.
  • A fever, possibly with chills.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

The challenge with symptoms of kidney infections is that they appear similar to other urinary tract infections. That is why proper diagnosis is required.

Can kidney infections be prevented?

You can prevent kidney infections by:

  • Drinking enough fluids every day to flush out bacteria.
  • Not holding in urine and going to the bathroom when needed.
  • Urinating after sex.
  • Washing the genitals every day.
  • Treating constipation.
  • Avoiding condoms and diaphragms with spermicide.

Because of the proximity of the anus to the urethra, be careful when wiping after a bowel movement. Wiping from front to back is the best to prevent bacteria from getting into the urinary tract.

What is the treatment for kidney infections?

The treatment for kidney infections depends on your situation. Doctors will assess your condition and provide antibiotics as necessary. The length of the treatment varies with your level of infection. Most of the time, you will be asked to take a urinalysis after medication to ensure the bacteria is gone.

The most aggressive treatment for kidney infections can involve surgery to unblock passageways or fix the urinary tract.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care

When to Visit ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care for Kidney Infection Treatment

Are you experiencing severe symptoms of kidney infection? Your condition may be severe if you find blood in your urine or have a fever.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care provides patients with quality care and services. Staff are ER-trained to determine patient conditions, and patients only pay for the level of service they receive - either ER or urgent care. The emergency department is open 24/7 and the urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You don't need an appointment; all walk-ins are welcome.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care is located at 1075 Medical Center Parkway, Maumee, OH 43537.