Early Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Infection
Overlooking the early warning signs of a kidney infection or other kidney problems could have detrimental, or fatal consequences. Detecting the early signs and symptoms of kidney infection is simple, yet crucial.
The importance of our kidneys cannot be overstated. These two organs which are the shape of kidney beans, (go figure) filter blood every minute. They remove waste from the body as well as extra fluid through urine and are on the job constantly making sure there is always a healthy balance between water, salt, and minerals in your body.
Things To Watch For
Unfortunately concerns about kidney health are often unnoticed during the first stages of an infection as there are no symptoms. Here are the first SOS signs. Please pay attention to them and be on guard for them.
- high blood pressure
- blood and/or protein in the urine
- frequent and painful urination
- puffiness around the eyes and swelling of hands and feet
- constant fatigue and/or sudden weight loss
- noticeable skin color changes and itching
Kidney infections usually begin with an untreated urinary tract infection. The symptoms usually appear over several hours or a day. You will know you have a kidney infection if you have a dull, aching pain in the back, side, or abdomen. Painful, burning urination, a fever, chills, and/or nausea and vomiting. If you develop some or all of these symptoms it is best to seek help, promptly.
More Severe Symptoms
- bloody urine, serious abdominal pain, pelvic or bladder pressure, high fever and chills, vomiting. Kidney infections that are untreated can cause very serious complications such as:
- kidney damage or scarring causing them to stop working to capacity, which in turn leads to chronic kidney disease. Kidney infection damage can cause the kidneys to actually stop working, causing kidney failure. When this happens they can no longer carry the waste from your blood.
- sepsis. If the kidney infection moves on to your bloodstream sepsis occurs and this is very serious. Signs of this life threatening condition include low blood pressure, high fever, increased heart rate, and laboratory irregularities. Aggressive treatment is a must so that the sepsis does not lead to multiple organ failures and death.
Your “Healthcare Professional” Will Probably Do the Following:
- urinalysis where people in the lab will test for bacteria, white blood cells, and actual blood.
- if bacteria is detected, the doctor might suggest a CT scan or ultrasound to evaluate your kidneys.
If the infection is not too serious, treatment can take place at home. If the infection has progressed too far and is severe you might have to consider hospital care.
If you are like me, you would much prefer to use home remedies and natural supplements. However, because kidney infections are so serious, you may want to take a prescription provided by your doctor (avoid prescribed antibiotics) and use home remedies to ease symptoms or pain. Supplements are also best for avoiding the infection in the first place, and to improve kidney function.
Some Suggestions to Avoid a Kidney Infection
or Address the Early Warning Signs of a Kidney Infection:
1. Drink lots of water. This helps to flush out the bad bacteria and can, in fact, clean out the urinary system. I know you have heard this before but here it is again. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
2. Cranberry juice is almost magical as a preventative remedy for UTI’s and kidney infections. But one caution, drink pure cranberry juice or take a supplement rather than the sugar filled juices on your grocery store shelves.
3. Avoid alcohol and coffee. Yes they are tasty and help with your mood (at least for me) but they
require a great deal of extra work for the kidneys.
4. Take probiotics. They keep your body’s healthy bacteria …well, healthy. Also, since antibiotics sometimes cause an unfortunate diarrhea side effect, probiotics can decrease that.
5. Use vitamin C. It is a powerful antioxidant which protects body tissues, thus promoting kidney health by preventing scarring and boosting enzymes within the kidneys.
6. Try drinking parsley juice, which is a diuretic that increases the frequency of urination, making natural antibiotics more effective. It has a very strong flavor so can be mixed with fruits in a smoothie.
7. Eat lots of apples. Their high acid content go hand in hand with the kidneys to maintain acidity in the urine, inhibiting further bacteria growth. Their
anti-inflammatory properties also help to heal an infection.
8. Epsom salt baths can ease the pain. As well they can help you to relax
9. In the same vein, apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to the affected area.
10. Moringa is a plant native to India and the leaves are used for their therapeutic properties. The extract can be used to protect against kidney toxicity caused by acetaminophen used for pain.
11. Omega-3 fatty acids, that powerhouse, has been shown to reduce the risk of end- stage kidney disease and may lower the risk of protein in the urine.
12. Ginkgo Biloba (amazing antioxidant)
13. Refrain from using scented bath products.
Please look after your kidneys while they are so very busy looking after you.
Dr. Morse’s Cellular Botanicals – Kidneys & Bladder II
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