If you have ever experienced a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) you know they can be quite uncomfortable. The discomfort in and of itself is usually enough to encourage people to seek treatment. What happens, though, if you ignore your UTI symptoms and it goes left untreated? 

Unfortunately, an untreated UTI has the risk of causing a serious Kidney Infection.

What is a Kidney Infection?

When you urinate, usually your urine flushes things like bacteria and viruses out of the urinary tract and prevents infections. Sometimes, however, bacteria can enter the urinary tract and cause an infection.

A kidney infection occurs when a UTI develops in your bladder or lower urinary tract and spreads to your upper urinary tract to one or both of your kidneys,

Who is at Risk of a Kidney Infection?

Whether a man or woman, sometimes you are just more susceptible to developing a kidney infection than others. There are some things within your control that can increase your chances, but there are other things, such as certain health conditions, that you may have zero control over.

You may be at greater risk due to the following:

  • Behaviors: If you are sexually active, using spermicide and diaphragms or holding urine
  • Being Female: In women, there is a smaller distance between the anus and urethra making it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract and cause infection
  • Genetics: You may have an inherent risk of developing bladder and kidney infections
  • Biology: If you are postmenopausal or have urinary incontinence, glycosuria, or an enlarged prostate
  • Abnormal Anatomy: If you have a structural or functional abnormality, such as a spinal cord injury, a backward flow of urine called vesicoureteral reflux, or a misshapen urinary tract or bladder

Symptoms of a Kidney Infection

Since a kidney infection is a type of severe UTI, the two conditions can share some overlapping symptoms, including:

  • A painful or burning sensation when you urinate
  • An urgency to urinate often
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine or urine with blood in it

You may not always have lower tract symptoms, but the following symptoms are very common with kidney infections:

  • Flank (kidney) pain on the side of your body
  • Occasional pain in your upper or lower abdomen
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

Seeking Treatment from a Urology Doctor

If you are experiencing UTI symptoms the best thing you can do is seek treatment from a Urology Doctor in Springfield, Ohio. Letting UTI symptoms persist without treatment will not only be miserable for you but could lead to a more severe kidney infection. The bottom line is when expereing the symptoms listed above the sooner you seek medical care, the better!