A kidney infection is a painful and potentially serious condition calling for immediate attention. If you've ever had one, you no doubt wanted immediate attention.
Kidney infection is also called pyelonephritis. It's a urinary tract infection (UTI) involving the kidneys and ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder).
You probably experienced fever or chills, and intense pain in your abdomen, or in your side or back. You may have been nauseated, possibly to the point of vomiting.
Painful urination was intensified by the fact that you had to go so often. A feeling of fullness made you feel the need even when you didn't need to. And if you found blood in your urine, that was enough to scare you into seeing your doctor.
Females are more prone to pyelonephritis because they have a shorter urethra (the tube from the bladder leading out of the body) than males. This gives bacteria a faster route to the bladder.
Once the bladder is infected, it's a short hop to the kidneys.
Here are some things you can do to avoid contracting pyelonephritis:
Drink enough fluids, especially water, so that your urine is light in color rather than a dark yellow. The usual recommendation is 8 - 10 glasses a day.
Cranberry juice prevents e. coli from sticking to the bladder walls and keeps it moving out of the body.
If you need to urinate, don't put it off. Obey the urge.
Emptying your bladder soon after having sex rinses any bacteria away from the vicinity of your urethra.
After going to the bathroom, girls and women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria like e. coli out of the urethra. Washing the area every day with water helps.
Don't use bubble baths and perfumed soaps. These can irritate the urethra.
Feminine hygiene products, despite the optimistic description, are not conducive to hygiene in your most feminine parts. Douches and deodorant sprays can cause inflammation and infection to your urethra.
Wear underpants with a cotton crotch instead of nylon or other synthetics. Cotton allows the moisture that bacteria likes to breed in, to evaporate.
Pyelonephritis responds to antibiotics.