Kidney infection is actually a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) wherein bacteria not only wreak havoc to the urinary bladder and urethra, but also to one of the kidneys. When this condition strikes, prompt medical attention is warranted due to some serious complications such as kidney damage and sepsis (blood poisoning).
Also known in the medical world as renal infection or pyelonephritis, kidney infection is caused by bacteria residing in the bowels: Escherichia coli or E. coli. It’s possible for the bacteria to get to your urinary tract when the opening of the genitals comes into contact with a contaminated tissue paper. It may also occur during sexual activity.
Children and women most especially are more at risk of having UTI because the female urethra is very short, thus allowing E. coli to move from the vaginal opening to the urinary bladder easily and quickly. This also makes women more susceptible to having a kidney infection. These are some other factors that can put you at risk of ending up with the condition:
- A weakened or compromised immune system due to certain illnesses like diabetes.
- Having prostatitis (infection of the prostate gland) as the bacteria may spread from the prostate to the kidneys.
- Being a female who’s sexually active.
- Being a male who engages in anal sex.
- Being pregnant as the flow of urine may be slowed down, allowing bacteria to easily spread.
- Having a condition which hampers the normal flow of urine, like kidney stones or constipation.
- A congenital abnormality in the urinary tract.
There are different kidney infection symptoms and they develop really quickly, usually in just a few days or even hours. These symptoms include:
- Fever with a high temperature of 38 ºC or above.
- Uncontrollable chills.
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Loss of appetite and fatigue.
- Back and groin pain.
- Frequent urination and burning sensation when urinating.
- Blood in the urine or cloudy urine.
Again, kidney infection needs prompt medical attention in order to ward off kidney damage as well as sepsis — something that tends to happen as the kidneys are organs that remove toxins and waste products in the blood.
Home Remedies for Preventing Kidney Infection
At the first sign of a UTI, it’s important for you to spring into action right away to keep the bacteria and infection from spreading to one of your kidneys. Below are some proven effective home remedies for UTI and kidney infection prevention:
- Apple cider vinegar and honey. Combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of honey. Take this anti-kidney infection mix everyday until the symptoms subside. Both ingredients used are known for their powerful antibacterial properties.
- Herbal teas. Practically any herbal tea you like — chamomile, goldenrod, parsley, etc. — may be sipped at least twice daily in order to help the body in fighting off the bacterial infection going on down there.
- Aloe vera juice. Other than being an excellent remedy for various skin problems, aloe vera is also good for dealing with bacterial infection in the urinary tract. Many swear by the efficacy of drinking a couple of glasses of aloe vera juice in healing UTI and kidney infection.
- Cranberry juice. It is said that a glass of cranberry juice a day can help in dealing with kidney infection. When shopping for a bottle of cranberry juice, see to it that you opt for the unsweetened variant as bacteria love sugar, thus making them multiply and spread further.
- Baking soda dissolved in water. Baking soda is very good at creating an alkaline urinary tract environment, thus making it easier to suppress any existing infection. On a daily basis, drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it.
- Consuming 2 to 3 cloves of garlic a day helps in dealing with an infection because this herb is known for its superb antimicrobial properties. It also has a diuretic effect. By causing the body to produce more urine, bacteria may be flushed out effectively.
- Vitamin C. Supplementing with vitamin C daily helps strengthen the immune system, making it easier for the body to fight off the ongoing infection in the urinary system. It’s also a good idea to consume lots of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits when you have UTI.