It’s important for everyone to know that, if left untreated, a simple bladder infection can travel to the kidneys and cause a life-threatening situation. Last year over 100,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths were caused by urinary tract infections.

What Do The Kidneys Actually Do?

The National Kidney Foundation explains what our kidneys actually do, and it’s a real eye-opener. All of us should have a better appreciation for these small organs that are the size of our fist, but which have a very large role in keeping us healthy every hour of every day.

Here’s how the kidneys function:

  • Blood enters the kidneys through an artery from the heart, and is cleaned by passing through millions of tiny blood filters; then
  • Newly cleaned blood returns to the bloodstream by way of veins and waste material passes through the ureter and is stored in the bladder as urine

The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours.

Your kidneys perform many complex and vital functions that keep the rest of the body in balance. For example, kidneys:

  • Help remove waste and excess fluid
  • Filter the blood, keeping some compounds while removing others
  • Control the production of red blood cells
  • Make vitamins that control growth
  • Release hormones that help regulate blood pressure
  • Help regulate blood pressure, red blood cells, and the amount of certain nutrients in the body, such as calcium and potassium.

What Happens When the Kidneys Get Infected? Urinary Tract Infection

Here’s why a kidney infection can be so dangerous according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Blood poisoning (septicemia):a kidney infection can cause the bacteria to spread through your bloodstream.
  • Kidney scarring: this can lead to chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure and kidney failure.

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Symptoms of a Kidney Infection

Here are the symptoms that likely indicate that the bladder infection has moved to the kidneys:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Back, side (flank) or groin pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation or pain when urinating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pus or blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Urine that is cloudy and/or has a foul odor

If fever, chills and back pain are present, call the doctor immediately.

What Are the Risk Factors That Make Patients Vulnerable to Kidney Infection?

  • Required to wear a catheter, i.e. men with prostate problems, men/women needing a catheter after surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Have a urinary tract blockage like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate gland (men)
  • Having a weakened immune system due to medical conditions such as diabetes (also called Type 2, or adult onset diabetes) and high blood pressure.

Diagnosing A Kidney Infection

To determine if a kidney infection is present, urologists will conduct a series of tests, including: urinalysis, blood test, ultrasound, CT scan or a type of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram. Once confirmed, antibiotics will be prescribed. If the kidney infection is severe, the doctor might admit you to the hospital. Treatment might include antibiotics and fluids that you receive through a vein in your arm (intravenously).

To avoid a kidney infection, start by recognizing the symptoms of a bladder infection: persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, passing frequent, small amounts of urine, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, pelvic discomfort.

Treatment Tip: To prevent a simple bladder infection from becoming a kidney infection, you may want to add a natural supplement known as D-Mannose to your daily routine.

D-Mannose is now being recommended by doctors as an alternative to antibiotics, which are no longer as effective in healing UTI’s as they used to be. Goodbye UTI is a 100% pure D-Mannose supplement which has been proven to provide fast relief and to protect your bladder against future infections. Formulated under the strict supervision of a Doctor of Pharmacy in GA, UTI sufferers can trust the quality and safety of this product.