Most people don’t realize how important kidneys are until they stop functioning properly. Those two little bean-shaped organs, located in the rear (dorsal) upper abdominal area, are an essential part of the urinary system that filters about 45 gallons of fluids per day. They’re responsible for the regulation of pH, extracellular fluid volume, osmolarity, the production of hormones, and the excretion of wastes and toxins. As you can see, their role in the system is vital; once they stop working, your body will fill up with extra fluids and waste products.1
At our walk in clinic in Wellington, we see patients every month who suffer from kidney infections. We not only help them get better, but also advise them about what to change or implement in their life in order to prevent this problem in the future. Today, we’re sharing our tips with you.
How to recognize the first symptoms of a kidney infection
To act fast and seek medical help as soon as possible, it’s crucial to recognize the first symptoms of a kidney infection. Some of the common symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Back pain
- Blood in urine
- Pain while urinating
At our walk in clinic in Wellington, we treat patients who display various symptoms of kidney infections. Remember that every case is different, but never hesitate to contact your physician when you suspect you may have any kind of kidney disease.
How to prevent kidney infections
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to save yourself the pain of an infection, and they aren’t pricey at all. Below you will find four tips to keep your kidneys in good shape.
Hydration is the key to maintaining healthy kidneys. Not enough water in your system will lead to the production of urine which contains many more waste products. This will negatively affect kidney functioning and most likely cause kidney stones, i.e. hard masses of acid salts and minerals that cluster together when the urine isn’t properly diluted. Large stones cause severe pain while passing through the urinary system and may result in infection. At our walk in clinic in Wellington, we always recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. This amount may vary depending on your gender, age and lifestyle.2
Eat less red meat
Eating red meat in moderation (i.e. 1-2 times a week) will have certain health benefits. Although eating it provides your body with vitamin B12, which is good for your red blood cells and the nerve system; zinc, which is responsible for the immune system functioning properly; and protein, which contains amino acids and helps in building and repairing muscles, consuming a lot of it may harm your kidneys. Red meat, like any other animal protein, contains high levels of purine, which is metabolized as uric acid. Eating excessive amounts of red meat increases the levels of uric acid in the blood and can easily lead to the development of kidney stones. The good news for steak lovers is that one or two servings per week of red meat in your diet will not harm your kidneys. Quite the opposite, it will supply your body with nutrients that it needs.
Probiotics are your friends
Another thing that needs to be incorporated into your diet are probiotics, the so-called “good bacteria.” Sometimes, the kidneys may get overloaded and be incapable of sufficiently filtering the blood, causing a buildup of toxins which ultimately travel to the colon. Certain probiotic microorganisms located in the intestine can utilize these toxins as nutrients for growth. At our walk in clinic in Wellington, we encourage our patients to consume probiotics in different forms every day, whether it’s yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, or even dark chocolate (in moderation!).
When to see a doctor
If you notice the first symptoms of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor immediately. Most kidney infections are confirmed by using a urine sample to test for bacteria or blood in the urine. Certain cases may also require the collection of a blood sample or an ultrasound, an X-ray or CT scan. Once the diagnosis is made, you will receive appropriate treatment. Mild kidney infections are typically treated with antibiotics; more severe cases may require hospitalization. Don’t hesitate to swing by our walk in clinic in Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, or West Palm Beach. All three locations will provide you with personalized medical treatment, and help you recover in no time! We’re open seven days per week, after business hours. No appointment necessary — just walk in and you will promptly receive the help that you deserve.