A kidney infection is a serious urological health problem that should always be evaluated by a physician.
The team of board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta diagnose the cause of your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment when necessary. They are also able to identify other urological issues such as blood in the urine (hematuria), protein in the urine, and kidney stones.
If you think you have a kidney infection, don’t delay — call Urology of Greater Atlanta today or book an appointment online.
What Are Some of the Causes of Kidney Infections?
Most kidney infections are caused by the E. coli bacteria.
The bacteria travel up the urethra (the tube that carries urine) into the bladder, causing a bladder infection. From there it can spread up to your kidney. There are also other bacteria or viruses that can cause kidney infections.
In some very rare cases, you can get a kidney infection through your skin. An infection absorbed into your blood may travel to your kidney.
There is an even smaller chance of getting an infection after having kidney surgery. What are the symptoms that might indicate a kidney infection?
Symptoms of Kidney Infection
- Blood or pus in your urine
- Fever and chills
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in your lower back, side, or groin
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Weakness or fatigue
You may also have some of the symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), such as:
- Burning sensation or pain when you urinate
- A constant urge to urinate, even soon after you empty your bladder
- Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
- Pain in your lower belly
- Urinating much more often than usual
If you have these symptoms, it’s best to go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. You will also be prescribed the appropriate treatment.
Leaving a kidney infection untreated could lead to more serious conditions such as chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, blood poisoning, and high blood pressure.
They should therefore be treated promptly.
What Is the Best Kidney Infection Treatment?
Antibiotics are the most effective way to treat a kidney infection. You will need to take them for a week or two.
Even though your symptoms may improve within a few days, you must continue taking the full course of medicine that was prescribed.
If you have a severe infection, you’ll be required to stay in the hospital and take antibiotics intravenously (IV).
You might also be fitted with a urinary catheter to drain urine from the bladder. At that time, additional diagnostic tests will be performed.
Kidney Infection Home Remedies
Antibiotics are the most effective way to treat an infection. Additionally, there are some things you can do to help you feel better and speed up recovery.
The following will also help if you avoid urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out the bacteria.
- Water and cranberry or apple juice are good options. Alcohol and coffee are not.
- Get extra rest.
- When using the bathroom, sit on the toilet rather than hovering over it. It can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Apply heat to your belly, back, or side.
How Long Does It Take for a Kidney Infection to Go Away?
Once you start taking antibiotics your symptoms should stop within a few days. The infection should be completely cleared after 14 days.
How to Prevent Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
You can’t completely prevent future kidney infections. You will be at a higher risk if you have kidney stones, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
The female urinary system is also more prone to developing kidney infections because the woman’s urethra is shorter.
You can, however, do the following things to reduce the chance of developing a kidney infection:
- Don’t use deodorant sprays or douches on your genitals.
- Avoid spermicide, which can trigger bacteria growth.
- Use lubricated condoms.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to go.
- Urinate after having sex.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
If you have any signs of blood in your urine or other urinary abnormalities, call the team at Urology of Greater Atlanta. They have offices throughout Greater Atlanta including Jackson, GA. Your doctor might suggest a cystoscopy, in which a tiny camera is inserted into the urethra to pinpoint exactly where the blood is entering the stream.
You can count on state-of-the-art diagnostics and innovative treatments available. Call the office or make an appointment online today for expert care.