Definitely. In fact, kidney infections can cause serious, if not life-threatening, health complications when left untreated or not treated correctly! Although this sounds scary, kidney infections are largely avoidable.
Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team explains why below, so read on!
What Causes a Kidney Infection?
Kidney infections usually start with a previous bladder infection that has been left untreated, which then spreads to the kidneys. Bacteria called E. coli are most often the cause, but other bacteria or viruses can also cause kidney infections.
It’s rare, but an infection can also get in through your skin, make its way into your blood and travel to your kidney. You can get an infection after kidney surgery, too, but that’s even more unlikely. If you start experiencing any of the symptoms that we’ve listed below, you likely have a kidney infection.
Common Kidney Infection Symptoms
- Back or side pain
- Groin pain
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
- Urine that’s cloudy, smells bad or contains blood
How Serious Is a Kidney Infection?
They can be quite serious. When they are left untreated or aren’t treated quickly enough, kidney infections can cause sepsis (blood poisoning), kidney scarring, kidney failure and/or a kidney abscess.
Don’t worry, though, because kidney infections are extremely treatable. If you believe you have a kidney infection and you visit your doctor, antibiotics will likely be prescribed, which usually work to eliminate the infection and get you feeling back to normal in about two weeks.
A Few Ways to Prevent Kidney Infections
- Drink plenty of liquids. Water is one of the best things you can drink to help yourself stay hydrated and also flush out unwanted bacteria. Drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need to urinate, rather than holding it in.
- Treat constipation. Constipation can increase your chances of developing a UTI.
Kidney infections are no joke, so it’s important to know how to prevent them. If you have any other questions or need general medical care, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team today!