The Kidney Bladder Infection Connection
Your kidneys and bladder are both important parts of your urinary system. The kidneys and
bladder are connected through two slender tubes known as ureters (see the picture below). One comes out of
each kidney and connects to the bladder. This connection of kidney, bladder and ureters makes up part of what is
known as your urinary tract.
Those who search for the keywords "kidney bladder" on the Internet usually do so because
they have symptoms of a kidney problem or bladder disorder, but may not be sure if the kidney or the bladder are the
The most common disorder in the urinary tract is a urinary tract infection, also known as a
A UTI usually occurs in the bladder when germs enter through the genitals and begin to multiply.
This condition is also known as a bladder infection. A bladder infection is generally annoying because it
causes stinging or burning pain, especially during urination. But it usually goes away on its own in a few
days, or when treated with antibiotics.
But sometimes the germs can migrate up through the ureters and invade the kidneys. This can
result in a kidney infection, which is a much more serious situation. If a kidney infection becomes
chronic, it can eventually lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal. When your kidneys fail, you must depend on kidney dialysis
or a kidney transplant to survive.
The medical names for a kidney infection are pyelonephritis and glomerulonephritis.
Pyelonephritis happens when the kidneys become irritated due to a bacterial infection.
Pyelonephritis is the type of infection that starts in the bladder and travels upward.
Glomerulonephritis involves an inflammation of the renal glomeruli of the kidneys. Glomeruli are
blood vessels in the nephron, the part of the kidney where blood is filtered. Glomerulonephritis can be acute or it
can be chronic. Acute glomerulonephritis typically starts as a result of a strep infection elsewhere in the body,
especially the respiratory tract. Sometimes it may be preceded by a skin infection such as impetigo.
Kidney infection symptoms include back pain, fever or chills, nausea, cloudy, foul smelling
urine, and unexplained weakness or fatigue.
Approximately four out of five bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli, or E. coli
bacteria. These are generally found in stool and sometimes remain on the skin in the rectal area after a bowel
movement. From there, they can be transferred to the genital area, where they enter the urinary tract and
eventually get into the bladder, causing an infection.
Due to differences in anatomy, women are more likely to get a bladder infection than men.
Research indicates about half of all women will have at least one bladder infection in their lifetime.
Bladder infection symptoms are generally easy to identify because they happen fast and cause a
burning sensation during urination, an urge to urinate often even though not much urine passes, and a mild fever.
Urine may also look darker than usual.
Bladder problems often clear up quickly when treated with antibiotics. Symptoms may
begin to fade within hours, although some mild discomfort may persist for a few days.
The best treatment for a kidney infection depends on the type of infection you have.
Glomerulonephritis requires rest and antibiotics. Treatment usually takes up to two weeks.
In the case of pyelonephritis, the most important steps involve killing the bacteria at the root
of the infection.
Learn more about the dangers of kidney disease by clicking
on the book cover below or
The Kidney Disease Solution