What Do I Need to Know About Kidney Infections?

Kidney infections are relatively rare, but they can wreak havoc on your body when left untreated. Because of that, it’s important to know what symptoms are signals of kidney infections and what you should do if you experience those symptoms.

Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team provides further info on kidney infections below, so keep reading!

What Causes Kidney Infections?

Kidney infections usually start with a bladder infection that spreads to your kidney. Bacteria called E. coli are most often the cause. 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

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Back or side pain
  • Groin pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Urine that’s cloudy, smells bad or contains blood

Are There Things That Can Increase My Risk?

Anyone can get a kidney infection, but, yes, there are things that can increase your risk of getting one of these infections.

One of the most common risk factors is a UTI. About one of 30 UTIs lead to a future kidney infection. We’ve listed a few more common risk factors below.

Common Kidney Infection Risk Factors

  • Being female. Women are more at risk than men for kidney infections because the urethra is shorter than it is in men. This makes it easier for bacteria to reach the urinary tract.
  • Pregnancy. The urinary tract shifts in pregnancy and may make it easier for bacteria to get to the kidneys.
  • Weakened immune system. This includes people with diabetes, HIV or AIDS, and those taking drugs that suppress the immune system.
  • Problems emptying your bladder completely, which is called urinary retention.

If you believe you have a kidney infection, visit our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland center ASAP to get the proper care and treatment you need! We’re here for you now and always.

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