Kidney and urinary tract infections may be caused by bacteria invading the urine, which is normally a sterile body fluid.

A kidney infection can cause an unpleasant illness that is sometimes serious. Treatment includes medicines called antibiotics and painkillers. When the kidney was previously healthy then you are likely to create a full recovery. Complications occur in some cases, such as kidney damage or blood infection (septicaemia). Often the symptoms seriously quickly, within a few hours, and they can make you feel feverish, shivery, sick and with a pain in your back or side.

What may be the function of the kidneys?

The kidneys have a variety of important functions within the body. These functions include filtering and excreting the waste products in the blood as it circulates through capillaries inside the kidneys, regulating blood pressure, maintaining steady levels of electrolytes (for instance, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and chloride), and contributing to the production of red blood cells.

What causes a kidney infection?

The kidneys are a couple of bean-shaped organs on either side of the body, just underneath your ribcage. Their main role would be to filter out waste products from blood. These waste products, together with excess fluid, are then converted into urine and given out of the body.

A kidney infection usually happens when bacteria, often a kind called E. coli, accidentally gets into the urethra (the tube by which urine passes out of the body) in the anus and then travels up with the bladder into one of the kidneys. In most cases of kidney infection, only one kidney is affected.

Read more about the causes of a kidney infection.

What are the symptoms of a kidney infection?

Kidney infections often cause urinary problems, such as the need to urinate more often, a failure to urinate, blood in the urine (hematuria), and pus within the urine. Infections also can cause changes in urine color or odor. Symptoms usually develop quickly, over a couple of hours or so, and may include:

Pain inside a loin (side of the tummy (abdomen) or back area over the kidney).
Feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and/or diarrhoea.
High temperature (fever) which might cause shivers.
Blood in the urine.
There will also usually be symptoms of a bladder infection – for example, pain on passing urine, and going towards the toilet often.

Complications of Kidney Infection

Because the symptoms of kidney infections and other urinary tract infections (UTIs) offer a similar experience, kidney infections may be difficult to diagnose. Patients should contact their health care provider in the first sign of symptoms. Early detection and treatment of a UTI can decrease the chance that a kidney infection will develop.

It is important to keep the infection from spreading and from entering the bloodstream. Untreated kidney infections can cause blood poisoning, kidney scars, kidney disease, and permanent kidney damage. Kidney infections during pregnancy can lead to premature labor and low birth weight.

What are the treatment options for kidney infection?

Kidney infection may either be treated at home or perhaps in a hospital; this will depend on several factors, such as the severity of symptoms and the patient’s general state of health.

Kidney Infection

Kidney Infection

Treatment at home consists of taking prescribed oral antibiotics. The individual should start to feel better after a couple of days. It is essential that the individual finishes treatment and matches what their GP has instructed, so that the kidney infection get’s cured.

Consuming lots of fluids will help prevent fever and dehydration. Fluid intake recommendations can vary, depending on the type of infection. The doctor might also prescribe an analgesic when there is any pain.

If the individual is treated in hospital and is affected with dehydration fluids may be administered having a drip. Most cases of hospitalization don’t last more than three to 7 days. Subsequent urine and blood tests will inform the doctor how effective treatment has been.