What is Kidney Infection?
Kidney infection is one of the health problems affecting the urinary system that does not always show obvious signs and symptoms. Also known in the medical field as pyelonephritis, or simply, urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney infection is found to commonly affect around 40 percent of women and 10 percent of men under 50 years old. Children can also contract this common urinary tract disease.
The kidneys play very important roles in keeping the body healthy, by maintaining the blood clean and free of toxic wastes and excess water; balancing the chemical levels in the body; releasing hormones as well as facilitating in the maintenance of appropriate blood pressure; generating red blood cells, and; producing vitamin D for healthy and strong bones. It may not necessarily be a serious health condition if treated promptly. But then, kidney infection can be a very painful condition that can throw the sufferer into writhing bouts, especially when bacteria travel up from the bladder into any or both of his kidneys. Sometimes, it is difficult to diagnose this ailment because in many cases, the signs and symptoms show similarities with those manifested in back pain; aside from sending different signals to different people.
However, a person may watch out for these common symptoms, such as: nausea, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, chills, dysuria, shivering, pain in the back or at the side, cloudy urine, itching, frequent urge to pass urine, and sometimes a tinge of blood goes out with the urine. Once he exhibits any of these symptoms, the person must see his doctor for prompt medical attention, so much so to prevent the infection from spreading further into the bloodstream, or worse, from causing damage to his kidneys. Usually, the doctor gives or prescribes antibiotic treatment for such a case.
Likewise, the UTI sufferer needs to drink plenty of water to expedite the flushing out of bacteria from his system. It is even recommended to add some baking soda into his drinking water because this chemical salt can increase the acid-base (pH) balance of the acidic urine. Since drinking plenty of water induces urination, the kidney-infected patient must not delay in releasing it. As much as possible, he should urinate when he feels the urge to.
As the old adage says, “prevention is better than cure”, it is very important to observe proper hygiene and health habits in order to prevent contracting kidney infection. One of the most basic ways to do it is to keep the genital areas clean by gently washing them with mild soap and water to remove the bacteria. Women should better avoid douching because it can only trigger the bacteria into the urinary tract. Moreover, it is advisable to make the patient wear loose but comfortable underwear, and apply a heating pad over his abdominal area. Should he experience constipation, the patient must treat it promptly because it is one of the significantly contributing factors to urinary tract infection. It is recommended, therefore, to add more fiber into his diet, using mild laxative and taking ample amount of fluids regularly.
In addition, sexually active individuals must be keen in staying away from spermicide-coated and unlubricated condom as this device only stimulates the production of bacteria and poses a high risk of irritation in the urethra, exposing it to infection.
To sum it all up, the keyword to avoiding kidney infection is hygiene.