Difference Between UTI and Kidney Infection

Difference Between UTI and Kidney Infection

Having health problems is terrible, we all know the feeling of having something wrong with us and having to deal with it through a determined amount of time while just wishing it was over as soon as possible. One of these health problems that we have to deal with are infections. They are a problem of the present ad we can do nothing about them except try to prevent them and take care of them.

In this article, we’re going to look at the difference between a urinary tract infection (UTI) and a kidney infection. These aren’t two entirely different types of infections and as a matter of fact, a kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection, but let’s look at them both first.

The Urinary Tract Infection Explained

A urinary tract infection is a medical complication that affects any area of the urinary system, this also refers to the kidneys but isn’t limited to them, it also includes the urethra, the bladder and the ureters. Women are at a greater risk of developing these types of infections and while these infections are on the bladder level they are just annoying and cause some pain, but if they actually extend to the kidneys than there are some serious consequences in play if they aren’t taken care of properly.

The Kidney Infection Explained

A kidney infection, as said, is a type of urinary tract infection and it usually begins on the bladder, traveling up to the kidneys. A kidney infection is very serious and proper medical attention is required, since it can actually damage the kidneys permanently and in some cases it is possible that bacteria spread into the bloodstream. The treatment usually includes antibiotics and hospitalization.

What Are Their Symptoms?

Urinary Tract Infection
Most of the time urinary tract infections don’t really cause a lot of symptoms if they are mild, but if they are a little bit stronger than they are going to cause a strong persistent urge to urinate, which will then give a burning sensation. Other symptoms include passing only small amounts of urine as well as having pink or reddish urine, showing that there is blood in it. On top of all that, it is possible that women have pelvic pain and that men have rectal pain if they have a urinary tract infection.

Kidney Infection
A kidney infection, on the other hand, is a lot more serious. Symptoms may include fever, back pain, groin pain, abdominal pain, burning sensation when urinating, a persistent urge to go urinate as well as pus or blood in it. It is extremely important that you see a doctor if you are being treated for a urinary tract infection and your condition isn’t improving, or if you worry about the condition that you are in with your symptoms.

How Are These Infections Caused?

Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria that managed to enter through the urinary tract and settle themselves in the battler, multiplying while they are in there. Our urinary system is well designed with numerous defenses to keep these bacteria away, but sometimes even our own defensive system fails.

There are two major types of urinary tract infections that occur mainly in women. One of them is cystitis, which is caused by E. coli which is found on the gastrointestinal tract. Because of the female anatomy, every women is at risk of cystitis – there is a short distance from the anus to the urethra.

The other type of infection is the urethritis and it is an infection on the urethra. It is possible to occur when gastrointestinal bacteria (GI) go from the anus to the urethra and it can also occur due to the transition of sexual infections such as herpes and chlamydia.

Kidney Infection
A kidney infection can occur due to the causes of the urinary tract infections, but it can also come from any other part of your body. If there are bacteria in your bloodstream that manage to get to your kidneys, they are going to cause an infection.

Risk Factors

Common to both of these infections is being a woman. The female anatomy gets woman at a much greater risk simply because they have a very small distance from the anus to the urethra. On top of that, the urethra of a woman is shorter than the urethra of a man and as such, bacteria don’t have to travel a lot to get into the bladder. From the bladder, they can spread to the kidneys.

Another risk factor common to both of these infections is a weakened immune system. If the body does not have the strength to fight the invading bacteria, it is a lot likelier that if any of these get into our system they will be able to develop and multiply.

Obstructions on the urinary tract are also going to slow the flow of urine leaving the body and, as such, they are going to leave something in the bladder. Urine is something that we throw away and it has some bacteria in it. If they manage to do so, it increases the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney infections.

All other risk factors are unique to each infection individually, but these factors include being sexually active, lack of hygiene, some types of contraceptive measures and other lesser common factors.


If things go wrong, it is possible to have some complications. When it comes to urinary tract infections, the complications include recurrent infections and premature infants when it comes to women.

The complication for kidney infections, on the other hand, is that there is the possibility of permanent kidney damage, blood poisoning and even complications for pregnant women.