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Last Updated: Jun 30, 2022

Untreated Urinary Tract Infections And Kidney Damage: Know The Connection

Dr. GarimaGeneral Physician • 3 Years Exp.MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy) (Ophthalmology)
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Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) can occur anywhere in the urinary system – the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureter. Most of these infections affect the lower part of the urinary system – the urethra and the bladder.

An infection confined to the bladder can be frustrating and painful. You may experience pain during urination, and pus or blood in the urine. However, the condition becomes worse if the infection spreads to the upper part of the urinary system, particularly to the kidneys, triggering nausea, vomiting, and severe pain in the back.

If UTI is left untreated, it can potentially lead to kidney damage – a condition known as Pyelonephritis.

How does untreated UTI affect the kidneys?

Untreated Urinary Tract Infections can cause the kidneys to swell up and damage them permanently. The infections initially begin in the lower tract of your urinary system. Then the bacteria slowly enter your body through the urethra and begin multiplying and spreading up to the bladder. The bacteria eventually travel to your kidneys through the ureters.

Some people are at higher risk for kidney damage due to urinary tract infections. This includes –

  • Pregnant women

  • Elderly people

  • People with kidney problems

  • Someone with a weak immune system

Signs to Watch Out for

An untreated infection in the bladder that has spread to the kidneys is associated with symptoms, such as the following –

  • Chills and fever

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Pain in either side of your lower back

You should visit a doctor right away if you notice the above UTI symptoms. The condition requires immediate medical intervention in order to prevent damage to your kidneys.

Symptoms of painful UTIs can be managed by combining medications and lifestyle remedies. Consult a specialist to diagnose the condition early and seek appropriate treatment to avoid complications.


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