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How To Check For Kidney Infection?


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Are you feeling a little under the weather? Do you have a fever, chills, a burning feeling or pain when urinating and a general sense of not feeling well? It’s possible that you have a kidney infection. Although they are not common, it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms and get treatment if needed.¬†

In this article, we’ll discuss how to check for a kidney infection and what to do if you think you might have one.¬†

What is a kidney infection? 

Kidney infection, also known as Pyelonephritis, is a kind of urinary tract infection that involves the lower urinary tract, including the prostate and the bladder, or the upper urinary tract including the kidney. 

Kidney Infections are caused by bacteria, like E. Coli and Staphylococcus. The bacteria could come from the genitals all the way up to the kidney or from the bloodstream straight to the kidneys. 

What are the signs and symptoms of kidney infection? 

If you notice these symptoms, then there are chances that you might have developed a kidney infection and would require medical attention. Some of the symptoms of a kidney infection include: 

kidney health

  • Vomiting¬†
  • Nausea¬†
  • Sudden Chills¬†
  • Pain in the back, groin, or side.¬†
  • High Fever of over 100¬ļF¬†
  • Cloudy and foul-smelling urine¬†
  • Painful urination from burning sensation present while urinating¬†
  • Muscle spasms in the abdomen¬†
  • Frequent urination¬†
  • Inability to urinate even when feeling an urgency to¬†
  • Reddened or flushed skin¬†
  • Feeling ill and weak generally¬†
  • Urine color that is abnormal or has blood/pus in it.

We advise that you see a medical expert if these symptoms are things you have personally experienced. 

What are the causes of kidney infection? 

As has been explained before, bacteria is usually flushed out when urine flows out of the body. However, sometimes this may not be the case, and instead of getting flushed out, the bacteria get into the urinary tract and find their way into the kidney. 

Why does this happen, and what could be the cause? 

  • Pregnancy may trigger the onset of a kidney infection. Since the uterus is larger than it usually would be, it can squeeze the ureters, thus reducing the outflow of urine. With the outflow of urine reduced, it is easy for the bacteria to find their way into the kidneys.¬†
  • Diabetes mellitus that is left unattended may also lead the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.¬†¬†
  • Abnormalities in the body or organ structure may block urine flow. These abnormalities could be kidney stones, surgery, stents, or stricture.¬†
  • Compression of the urethra as a result of a prostate gland that has been enlarged. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia.¬†
  • Reflux of the urine flows back into the kidneys from the bladder.
  • A low-performing immune system.¬†


How do you test for kidney infection? 

To test for infection, a kidney check test is carried out using samples of your urine. 

Two common types of urine tests that can be used in the kidney check test are:

  • ¬†Urinalysis¬†

More clearly urine analysis is used to measure pus, bacteria, or blood in your urine. To carry out this test, you will need to submit a container containing your urine to the lab or your doctor’s office. The sample collected will be viewed using a microscope, and if bacteria or WBCs (white blood cells) are seen, it could be an indication that your kidney might be infected.

  • Urine culture¬†

This is a more elaborate kidney check test carried out to check the kind of bacteria that is behind your kidney infection. This is done so that a treatment plan can be created for you. 

You will also have to leave your urine sample with your doctor or at the lab. This sample will sit for about a day or two, max three days Рthe aim is to give the bacteria time to grow so it can be easily cultured and recognized. 

There are a couple of other ways to get a kidney check test, some of them include:

  • ¬†Ultrasound¬†

An ultrasound scan uses sound waves to form imaging of tissues in order to recognize blockages in the urinary tract. This is usually used if treatment does not seem to be working after a couple of days. 

  • Voiding Cystourethrogram¬†

This is a kind of imaging test that involves an X-ray to view your bladder and urethra and look out for problems. The bladder is monitored when full and when urinating.

  • Blood Test

Sometimes, for a kidney check test, a blood test may also prove helpful, especially if you are very ill. The blood is cultured to identify the bacteria and offer treatment or viewed under the microscope.

Can I carry out a kidney check test at home? 

There are at-home tests in the market which measure kidney health. It does this by spotting protein in the urine, which could be an indication of a kidney infection or general kidney function deterioration as a result of another cause. Generally they are dip sticks tests where you dip the test strip in your urine and observe the color change by comparing your results with the color chart on the box to understand your results. The strip will turn a color once it detects protein in your urine showing a presence of portein in your urine. 

It is generally advised that you seek medical attention even after your at-home kidney test, so as to get expert guidance. 

Avoiding kidney infection 

Many things can lead to kidney infection, such as not drinking enough fluids, consuming too much alcohol, or having a weakened immune system. However, everyone can take some simple steps to help prevent this serious condition. These are;

  • Hydration, drink lots of fluids¬†
  • Rest well and often¬†
  • Do not squat over the toilet, sit instead to completely empty your bladder¬†
  • Avoid pain relievers like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen¬†
  • Avoid using douches or sprays on your genitals¬†
  • Use a lubricated condom to avoid irritating the urethra¬†
  • Don‚Äôt hold in urine when you need to pee¬†
  • Pee after sex¬†
  • When wiping, go from front to back and not the other way round.¬†
  • Practice good hygiene¬†
  • Consume healthy food, low in sodium and fat.¬†
  • Incorporate more fruits and fresh foods into your diet.

Listen to your body’s voice today

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