What is Kidney Infection?
What is Kidney Infection? Kidney Infection due to migration of bacteria from the bladder to the kidneys, which can cause discomfort or pain. Kidney infections are usually a complication of a urinary tract infection. Bacteria will enter the human body through the skin around the urethra, then move from the urethra to the bladder, before finally infecting the kidneys.
Women are more at risk for kidney infections because the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra. This condition makes the bacteria easier to get into the bladder. In addition, children are also susceptible to kidney infections, especially if there are abnormalities in the urinary tract since birth or suffer vesicoureteral reflux where urine flows back from the bladder to the kidney.
Infections that occur in the kidneys require immediate medical treatment. If late treated, then the infection can get worse to cause permanent kidney damage. In addition, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and be fatal. Treatment of kidney infection can take up to two weeks to recover from symptoms suffered.
Symptoms of Kidney Infection
Kidney infections will cause symptoms to appear quickly enough, ie until just a few hours after the bacteria reaches the kidneys. The following are common symptoms that usually appear in patients with kidney infection.
- The presence of blood or pus in the urine.
- Unusual urine smell.
- Pain and discomfort around the side abdomen or back.
- Fever or chills.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Feeling tired.
- Loss of appetite.
Symptoms of renal infection are sometimes accompanied by symptoms of urethritis (urethral infection) or cystysis (bladder infection), such as pain or burning sensation when urinating, frequent urination, darker urine, smelly urine Not tasty, or feel unable to remove urine completely.
In children, common kidney infection is accompanied by signs such as:
- Difficult eating and / or vomiting.
- Body that is weak or lack of energy.
- Abdominal pain.
- Growth is not normal.
- The presence of blood in urine or hematuria.
- Unusual urine smell.
- Jaundice or jaundice.
Causes of Kidney Infection
Kidney infections occur when bacteria from the lower urinary tract spread to the kidney organs. The most common bacteria causing this infection is the bacteria that usually exist in human feces, ie E. coli.
Transfer of bacteria from around the anus to the urethra can occur during sexual intercourse, or when clearing the area after bowel movements. Then E.coli bacteria that enter the urethra can spread up to the kidney.
In addition to E. coli bacteria, kidney infections can also occur due to other bacteria or fungi on the skin that spread through the bloodstream and into the kidneys. But this condition is quite rare, and usually only occurs in people with weakened immune systems.
Risk factors for kidney infection
Here are some other factors that can increase your risk of kidney infection:
- Female sex. In women, the anal distance with the urethral tract is so close that it makes it easier for the bacteria to spread to the urethra. In addition, the urethral tract in the female body is also shorter than the male.
- Inborn condition. A person who is born with a disorder of the urinary tract has a high risk for kidney infection.
- Urinary tract obstruction, such as kidney stones and swelling of the prostate gland.
- Constipation. Children who have constipation have a risk of kidney infection.
- A weakened immune system, such as a result of type 2 diabetes or HIV / AIDS, or it may occur as a side effect of chemotherapy.
- Prostatitis, an infection that occurs in the prostate gland and can spread to the kidney organs.
- Women who are sexually active. Sexual intercourse can make the urethra irritate and facilitate bacteria enter the bladder.
- People who often have anal sex. Bacteria more easily enter the urinary tract until finally into the bladder.
- Pregnant women. The flow of urine can be slower because of physical changes during pregnancy, so the bacteria easily spread to the kidney organs.
- Long-term catheter use. A catheter is a small tube that is placed to remove urine from the bladder.
- Nerve damage around the bladder. Damage to the nerves or spinal cord can make a person unaware that the infection has spread to the kidneys.
Diagnosis of Kidney Infection
To establish a diagnosis of kidney infection, the physician should inquire about the history of the illness and symptoms experienced, as well as perform a physical examination, including checking the body temperature and blood pressure.
Advanced tests related to the urinary system may be performed where appropriate. The main test that is usually done is the examination of urine samples to detect the presence of urinary tract infections and determine the bacteria that cause the infection.
In addition to blood tests, other tests that can be done is a scan on the urinary tract, via CT scan, ultrasound, and isotope scan. The purpose of the scan is to detect any health problems other than kidney infection that can also cause similar symptoms.
Further examination can be done especially if:
- Symptoms worsen.
- Symptoms do not improve despite treatment with antibiotics.
- Patients at risk for complications from kidney infection
- Other symptoms appear unrelated to kidney infection.
- Kidney infections recur, especially in children.
Treatment of Kidney Infection
The types of drugs that doctors usually prescribe to treat the symptoms of kidney infection are:
Oral antibiotics. Antibiotics are generally recommended is ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin. While specifically for pregnant women, antibiotics are generally given is cephalexin with a term of use for 14 days. Symptoms of kidney infection usually begin to improve after several days of treatment. However, to ensure full infection, this treatment should continue until the drug is used up.
Pain Relief Drugs. To relieve the pain and fever that arise from kidney infection, doctors will usually recommend paracetamol. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug pain medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen, are not recommended for use in these conditions because they can exacerbate renal impairment.
To help speed up recovery, do the following at home:
- Eat plenty of fluids to remove bacteria from the kidneys, as well as to avoid dehydration.
- Use a warm pillow on the abdomen, back, or side body.
- In women, do not urinate in a squatting position, but in a sitting position on the toilet, so bladder emptying is better.
- Enough rest.
Hospitalization can be recommended if:
- Kidney infections occur in children.
- Kidney infections are very severe and require antibiotics through an IV.
- Kidney infections reappear (recurrence).
- Kidney infections occur in men, because these conditions rarely occur in men.The doctor will refer the male patient to the hospital to find out the cause of this condition.
In addition, hospitalization may be required if:
- The patient’s condition did not improve within a day after taking antibiotics.
- Patients can not swallow fluids or drugs.
- The patient has severe dehydration.
- The patient is pregnant and has a fever.
- The patient’s immune system weakens.
- Patient age above 65 years.
- There are foreign objects in the urinary tract, such as a catheter or kidney stones.
- Patients have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or polycystic kidney disease.
During hospitalization, patients will be given fluids through an IV to avoid dehydration. Meanwhile, to monitor the medical condition and patient’s response to antibiotics, regular blood and urine checks are required.
Most conditions of patients with hospitalized kidney infection will improve within 3 to 7 days. However, patients will generally be given tablets or antibiotic capsules as follow-up treatment at home.
Complications Due to Kidney Infection
Here are some possible complications arising from kidney infection:
- Renal abscess, which occurs when the fluid of pus appears inside the kidney tissue. This condition can have serious repercussions because the bacteria in the abscess or pus may spread to other parts of the body, such as the bloodstream or lungs. Kidney abscess tends to occur in people with diabetes. Symptoms that appear similar to kidney infection, such as fever, chills, abdominal pain, pain during urination, and loss of appetite. Handling of abscesses that are still relatively mild can be done by giving antibiotics through the infusion. While the handling of severe abscess is usually done through surgery.
- Sepsis. This is a condition in which the infection has spread to the bloodstream. Complications of kidney infection can be fatal because bacteria in the bloodstream can spread to vital organs. Symptoms may include low blood pressure, confusion, fever, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chills. Sepsis requires immediate medical treatment at the hospital with antibiotic treatment to stop the infection.
- Kidney failure. In this condition, the kidneys can not function normally. Handling of renal failure can be done by dialysis or kidney transplantation.
- Emphysematous pyelonephritis. This is a severe kidney infection and results in rapidly damaged kidney tissue. Infectious bacteria begin releasing toxic gases and accumulate in the kidneys. Almost all of these cases occur in diabetics, although until now the cause is still uncertain. Handling is by surgical removal of part or the entire kidney is infected.
- Complications in pregnancy. Pregnant women who have kidney infections can lead to quite dangerous complications. If left untreated, the infection increases the risk of preterm delivery and gives birth to babies weighing less.