Published on December 21st, 2016 | by Michaelw0
Kidney infection symptoms and how they could lead to kidney disease Part 2
Read part 1 here
Who is more at the risk of getting urinary tract infections?
There are certain elements that can heighten the chances of UTIs in some people
- Female anatomy:
As compared to men, women are stated to be at greater risk of UTIs. The reason is that the urethra in the case of women is much shorter as compared to men.
This means that the bacteria have shorter space to move from external source of the body to the bladder. In addition, in the case of women, as the vagina and anus are located close to the urethra, there are greater chances of the bacteria to get into the bladder. When it comes to bladder, the infection can expanse to kidneys easily. It is further added that carrying moms are at greater risk of UTIs and subsequent kidney infections.
- Barrier in the urinary tract:
Anything that reduces the flow of urine or brings down the ability of an individual to completely empty the bladder when urinating, regardless of whether it is abnormalities pertaining to the natural structure or it is a kidney stone can lead to kidney infection. In the case of men, those with enlarged prostate gland are at higher risk of kidney infection.
- Poor immune system health:
Medical condition that can affect the proper functioning of immune system like HIV and diabetes can also increase the risk of kidney infection. The same effect can be brought about by certain medications that are given to prevent rejection of transplanted organs.
- Injury to nerves nearby the bladder:
Spinal cord or nerve damage can block the sensations of an infection in the bladder. This in turn will contribute towards advancement of kidney infection without the knowledge of the patient.
- Long-term use of urinary catheter:
In the case of some individuals with difficulty in urinating, urinary catheters are used for draining the urine from the bladder. This type of catheter can be placed after a surgical procedure or after diagnostic tests in some individuals. In addition, in the case of patients confined to bed, this type of catheter might be used, which in turn can increase the chances of urinary infection in these individuals.
- Any condition that causes the urine to move in the wrong path:
In certain conditions, little quantities of urine flow from the bladder revers into the ureters and kidneys. For instance, in the case of patients with conditions like vesicoureteral reflux, there is increased risk of infections.
How are kidney infections diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnosing kidney infections, different methods are available and doctors generally recommend a diagnostic method on the basis of the age of the patient and gender and here is the list of different diagnostic methods followed:
- Urine analysis:
This is the simple method wherein the urine sample of the patient is tested for the presence of bacteria and the presence of white blood cells in the urine indicate an infection is present.
- Urine culture:
Urine culture is also a test, wherein urine sample of the patient is collected and it is placed in a tube or container with the substance that can encourage the growth of bacteria is provided, if already present in the sample the bacteria will grow. The sample is kept under observation for 1-3 days and on the basis of the results, appropriate treatment will be decided by the doctor.
In the case of ultrasound, a safe device called transducer is used and under this method, painless sound waves are sent to the organ to get the image of the structure. The images are interpreted by radiologist. This procedure is performed as an outpatient without the requirement of any anesthesia. In case, images show obstructions in the urinary tract, there are chances of presence of infection. This method is generally used in the case of patients, who do not respond to treatment for 3 days.
- CT scan:
Under this method a combination of X-Rays and computer technology are used for creating 3D images. In this procedure, the technician might inject a special dye called as contrast medium. In this method, the patient will be made to lie on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped device, there the X-Rays are taken. In this method also any obstruction in the urinary tract can mean an infection.
The other methods used for diagnostics are Voiding Cystourethogram, Digital Rectal Examination and Dimercaptosuccinic Acid Scinetigraphy. As mentioned earlier, the doctor will decide on the right diagnostic method suitable for a patient after considering different factors.
The thing to remember here is that not just Pyelonephritis, but also any other type of infections in the urinary tract should be rightly diagnosed and treated with appropriate antibiotics or appropriate medications. Otherwise, they can take a toll on the healthy functioning of kidneys and can even lead to kidney failure. So, whenever some unusual symptoms are experienced, it is better to seek medical help