Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, situated in the lower back area. They help keep your blood clean, removing waste from it. In addition to this, they balance electrolyte levels, regulate amount of fluid that circulates in your body and eliminate excessive water through the urine.
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When kidneys produce urine, it moves downwards into the ureters – thin tubes, which connect both kidneys with the bladder. Bladder is a hollow sac-like organ that accumulates urine and then extracts it from the body through the canal called urethra.
Urine is actually a sterile fluid, but it may be contaminated by bacteria, which can enter the urethra. Infection may travel to the urinary tract from the vagina, anus or skin.
After infection appeared in the urethra, it gains ability to move up to the bladder, ureters and kidneys, triggering inflammatory process.
Having weak immune response, kidney stones, enlarged prostate (in men) and using urinary catheter can significantly increase risks for urinary tract infection.
By the way, women are much more likely to get kidney and bladder infection, as they have shorter urethra that makes easier for bacteria to invade the urinary system.
The fact that urethra is located near the private part makes even more opportunities for infection to affect the bladder and the kidneys.
Once infection penetrates urinary tract and reaches the kidneys, these symptoms usually develop quickly:
#1. Dull pain in the one side of the back, in the groin or lower abdomen
#2. High body temperature and chills
#3. Unusually frequent urge to urinate
#4. Burning and painful sensations during urination
#5. Nausea and vomiting, which are the common signs of intoxication
#6. Cloudy, foul-smelling urine, sometimes with pus or blood
#8. General weakness and lack of energy
The only way to get rid of kidney infection is to get antibiotics. Even if you feel much better after a few days of treatment, it's extremely important to get the full course of these medications.
To relieve discomfort and reduce high fever, you can take over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Drink fluids (but not alcohol or coffee!) to stay well-hydrated and flush bacteria away from your urinary system.
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Specialists say that it's completely possible to reduce your risks of urinary tract infection, drinking more water, performing good toilet hygiene, and urinating as soon as you feel the need. It's better to stay off sprays, deodorants and other products of feminine hygiene, as they can be really irritating.
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