As a variant of urinary tract infection, kidney infection is a condition that occurs in the urinary tract. This is particularly common among young women.
Prompt antibiotic treatment for kidney infection is necessary to successfully treat the condition. For people afflicted with this condition, drinking lots of liquids is highly recommended. Experts add that cranberry juice has excellent benefits as well.
Before exploring tips and home remedies for kidney infection, one needs to understand its nature and what happens during the bacterial attack on the urinary system.
Table of Contents
- What Happens to Our Kidneys during an Infection?
- Causes of Kidney Infection
- Risk Factors for Urinary Tract and Kidney Infection
- A) Sexual intercourse,
- B) Previously developed urinary tract infection;
- C) Use of spermicides;
- D) Family history of recurrent urinary tract infection;
- E) Pregnancy:
- F) Physiological effects of menopause can increase the risk for urinary tract and kidney infections.
- G) Prostate enlargement in men;
- H) Catheters
- I) Kidney stones and other urinary system abnormalities cause blockage of urine.
- J) Diabetes mellitus increases kidney infection risks in men and women.
- Symptoms of Kidney Infection
- Different Types of Kidney Infection
- Bacterial Causes of Kidney Infection
- Treatment and Home Remedies for Kidney Infection
What Happens to Our Kidneys during an Infection?
Our kidneys play a vital role in filtering and removing waste products circulating in the blood. In addition, this organ also regulates blood pressure, maintains electrolyte levels, and helps in the producing red blood cells.
Kidney infection is a condition that occurs in the urinary tract, which is composed of the urethra, ureters, bladder and kidneys. If any of these areas get infected, this results in a condition known as urinary tract infection. But when only the kidney is infected, it is called kidney infection.
Causes of Kidney Infection
Without bacterial infection, urine is sterile. Thus, bacterial presence on our liquid waste is abnormal and can be deemed as a sign of urinary tract infection. In certain cases, bacteria can gain access to the urinary system by passing through the urethra, a long tube that transports urine from the bladder. As bacteria ascend, it can cause kidney infection once it reaches the bean-shaped organ.
In women, bacteria may also gain access from the vagina or rectum to the urinary system through the urethra. In rare cases, bacteria may also seep through the skin.
It should be noted that women are particularly prone to urinary tract infections since the length of their urethra is shorter compared to men’s.
Risk Factors for Urinary Tract and Kidney Infection
There are several risk factors for urinary tract or kidney infection. These include the following:
A) Sexual intercourse,
which is among the leading causes of urinary tract infection in view of the introduction of bacteria in the urethra;
B) Previously developed urinary tract infection;
C) Use of spermicides;
D) Family history of recurrent urinary tract infection;
Women are more likely to develop a urinary tract infection while they are pregnant .
F) Physiological effects of menopause can increase the risk for urinary tract and kidney infections.
These include vaginal dryness, urinary retention, urinary incontinence, and prolapsed pelvic organs;
G) Prostate enlargement in men;
can also raise infection risks since these contraptions provide an easy transport for the bacteria to travel to the bladder and the rest of the urinary system;
I) Kidney stones and other urinary system abnormalities cause blockage of urine.
This process allows bacteria to travel up to the kidney since there is nothing to wash it back down in view of the urine obstruction; and
J) Diabetes mellitus increases kidney infection risks in men and women.
Age, gender and ethnicity play as major contributing factors for kidney and urinary tract infections. Accordingly, children, women, and Caucasians are prone to developing the diseases. Moreover, being uncircumcised or suffering from urinary tract abnormalities are at a higher risk.
Symptoms of Kidney Infection
Here are the common symptoms of kidney infection:
• fever, nausea, chills, and shivers;
• vomiting and abdominal pain,
• painful urination (dysuria) or frequent urination (urinary frequency),
• urge to urinate (urinary urgency),
• dull kidney pain), and
• generalized malaise.
If there is tenderness upon tapping the sides of the mid back, that can also be construed as a sign of kidney infection. Analyzing the urine can also determine the presence of infection in the kidneys.
Different Types of Kidney Infection
Kidney infection may be classified as chronic, complicated, and uncomplicated.
In chronic kidney infection, the condition is characterized as a recurrent one. It may result from kidney stone obstruction in the ureter or from abnormalities in the ureters’ structure.
In complicated kidney infection cases, the condition involves severe damage to the affected kidney; there may be abscess formation or the kidney has enlarged.
More evaluation and testing are required in chronic and complicated kidney infections.
Bacterial Causes of Kidney Infection
E. coli is the leading bacterial culprit for kidney infection, and urinary tract infections. Other bacteria include Proteus, Pseudomonas, Enterococcus, Klebsiella, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus.
Treatment and Home Remedies for Kidney Infection
Since kidney infection results from a bacterial attack, antibiotics are the primary cure against it. Thereafter, urine and blood samples may also be taken for analysis.
But for a more holistic and home-remedy approach against kidney infection, here are simple ways to deal with the condition:
1.Drink lots of fluids like cranberry juice.
2.Acupuncture is also beneficial in treating urinary tract or kidney infections.
3.Certain studies suggest a link between kidney infection and diet. Poor appetite can be a sign of kidney infection.
To reduce the likelihood of kidney infection, experts also suggest the following holistic methods:
Poor hygiene allow bacteria to thrive in areas like the genitals or rectum. Over time, bacteria may travel to the urinary system and trigger infection.
B) Practice safe sex:
Since sexual intercourse plays a huge risk factor for kidney infection, it is important to practice safe sex. Also, experts advise to urinate after having sex to drain bacteria that might have entered the urinary system.
C) Use estriol cream:
Putting estriol cream inside the vagina can help lower the incidents of urinary tract and kidney infection among postmenopausal women.
D) Drink cranberry juice:
Intake of cranberry products helps prevent urinary tract infections from happening. Make sure you make it a part of your diet to eat the fruit or drink its juice.