Kidney Infections. Symptoms and Complications You Should Be Aware Of, a guest post

Kidney Infections. Symptoms and Complications You Should Be Aware Of, a guest post

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs the size of fists that are essential to our survival. Positioned just below the rib cage, the kidneys are capable of filtering over 140 liters of blood. Their main purpose is to clean, filter the blood and eliminate any excess waste from the bloodstream. Therefore, it is obvious why we should take care of them and go to the doctor whenever any complications arise.

If you experience any symptoms or complications, you should definitely seek more info on home remedies for kidney infection. The remedies are simple to prepare and consist of fruit juices, herbal teas and cranberries, amongst other things. Otherwise, if you are unsure what exactly you should be looking for, this article could serve as a guide. Here are a few symptoms and complications that you should be aware of.

General Causes of Kidney Infections

Most kidney infections usually debut with a bladder infection that, if left untreated, can potentially spread to the kidney and trigger an infection. The bacteria that causes kidney infections in most cases is E. coli. Further on, there are several ways in which the bacteria can achieve this:

  • Kidney Stones occur after dissolved minerals slowly build up deposits on the inner lining of the kidneys. Patients suffering from kidney stones are prone to a higher risk of developing kidney infections.
  • Urinary catheters, which are special tubes inserted into the bladder to drain out urine, can trigger various urinary tract infections. As stated above, these infections have the potential to trigger kidney infections.
  • For men, another risk factor of getting kidney infections is having an enlarged prostate.
  • A weak immune system caused by unrelated health conditions can lead to the development of fungal infections on the skin, which can penetrate the bloodstream and eventually reach the kidneys.
  • Bad toilet hygiene habits can also trigger kidney infections if you do not properly your hands.

Diagnosis, Symptoms and Complications

The process of diagnosis consists of checking the temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, signs of dehydration, as well as the heart rate of the patient.

The doctor will also usually check the mid and lower back for any pain, tenderness and sensitivity to determine if the individual is at risk or has already developed a kidney infection. The doctor could also order a urine test. For young women, some doctors will perform a pelvic exam to check for any signs of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Symptoms can vary from one patient to another, but the one similarity that they all share is that kidney infections can develop very fast – either in a day or in mere hours. Here are a few general symptoms of kidney diseases that you should look out for:

  • Pains in the sides, groin and back.
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Unmanageable shivering
  • Vomiting

In conjunction with a bladder infection, patients suffering from kidney infections could experience the following symptoms:

  • The patient is not able to urinate fully
  • Pains in the lower abdomen area
  • Unusual urine smell, usually foul
  • Cloudy and/or bloody urine
  • Burning or stinging sensation while urinating

As for the complications, experts split them in two broad categories:

  • Uncomplicated kidney infection – this is the least grave. The patient is healthy overall and at no risk of developing any complications
  • Complicated kidney infections – as the name suggests, the individual is at risk of suffering complications, usually due to neglect or a pre-existing condition or illness.

More specifically, the complications that can occur due to various reasons consist of:

  • When there is an excessive amount of pus buildup, the kidney can develop abscesses that lead to weight loss, terrible pains in the abdomen and bloody urine. Some abscesses require surgical interventions to remove all the pus.
  • Sepsis (or blood poisoning). This complication is quite rare, but it is very dangerous because it can be potentially fatal. Blood poisoning will encourage bacteria to spread from the kidneys directly into the bloodstream, which could eventually infect other important organs that are necessary for survival. This is a medical emergency that requires surgery, after which the patient will be placed in an intensive care unit.
  • EPN (or emphysematous pyelonephritis). Like all complications presented in this entry, EPN is quite rare, but it could occur in some fringe scenarios. This is a serious infection that leads to the quick destruction of the kidney tissues. The bacteria buildup, the core cause of the infection itself, generates a toxic gas and after accumulating inside the kidney, the patience experiences vomiting, confusion, nausea, pains in the abdominal area and fever.


The kidneys are vital to our survival and that is why we should take proper care of them. The symptoms of kidney infections are vast, and include smelly bloody or cloudy urine, diarrhea, uncontrollable shivering, vomiting and many others. Finally, if you experience any of the symptoms and complications presented in this article, make sure make a doctor’s appointment.

This  guest post was contributed by Mike Jones.