Kidney infection: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Taking care of our kidneys from a kidney infection, learn to detect it in time.

Renal infections are a specific type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that usually begins in the urethra or bladder and travels to the kidneys.

Kidney infections require immediate medical attention. If left untreated, a kidney infection can damage the kidneys, or in the worst cases the bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections.

The treatment of kidney infection includes antibiotics and often requires hospitalization.

What are your symptoms?

Symptoms of a kidney infection may include:

  • Fever.
  • Posterior pain, lateral (side) or pain in the groin.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Frequent urination
  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate.
  • Feeling pain when urinating.
  • Pus or blood in the urine (hematuria).
  • Urine that smells bad or is cloudy.

When should you see a doctor?

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any symptoms that concern you, such as those described above. Also make an appointment if you are receiving treatment for a urinary tract infection, but your symptoms do not improve.

Severe kidney infection can lead to life-threatening complications. Seek immediate medical attention in case you experience typical kidney infection symptoms with blood in the urine, nausea and vomiting.

Why do kidney infections occur?

They usually occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply.

Bacteria from an infection can also spread through the bloodstream to the kidneys. It is rare that kidney infections occur in this way, but it can happen for example, if you have an artificial heart valve that becomes infected.

Rarely, kidney infection occurs after kidney surgery.

Are there risk factors?

Factors that increase the risk of kidney infection include:

Female anatomy . Women have a greater risk of infection in the kidneys than men. The urethra of women is shorter than that of men, and because of this the bacteria have less distance to travel from outside the body to the bladder.

Obstruction in the urinary tract . Anything that slows the flow of urine or reduces its ability to discharge the bladder when urinating, such as a stone in the kidney, can cause a kidney infection.

Weakened immune system . Conditions that damage your immune system, in diseases such as diabetes and HIV, increase the risk of infection in the kidneys.

Any treatment for kidney infection?

Antibiotics for kidney infections.

Antibiotics are the first treatment for kidney infections. The medications that will be used and for how long will depend on your health status and the type of bacteria found in your urine tests.

Hospitalization for severe renal infections.

For a serious kidney infection, the doctor can admit you to the hospital. Treatment may include antibiotics that are given intravenously.

The length of time you stay in the hospital depends on the severity of your condition.

The treatment for recurrent kidney infections.

Recurrent kidney infections can be the result of an underlying medical problem, such as a structural abnormality.

Your doctor may recommend that you go to a kidney specialist ( nephrologist ) or a urologist for an evaluation to determine if urological abnormalities can be the cause of your infections.

You may need surgery to repair a structural abnormality.