Kidney infection, also known as renal infection or pyelonephritis, is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that is usually caused caused by E. coli bacteria. The bacteria may have spread from the bladder or the urethra to one of the kidneys, infecting it. The urethra is a tube which transports urine from the bladder outside the body. A kidney infection is a painful and unpleasant illness that usually happens when bacteria travel up from your bladder into one or both of your kidneys. The medical name for a kidney infection is pyelonephritis. It’s different from - and more serious than - cystitis, which is a common infection of the bladder that makes urinating painful. A kidney infection requires prompt medical attention. If not treated properly, a kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys or the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection. The urethra is much shorter in women than in men, which is one reason why women are more vulnerable to UTIs and pyelonephritis.
Kidney Infection Symptoms
- Pain and discomfort in your lower back and around your genitals
- High temperature
- Feeling very weak or tired
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick
- Being sick
- Strong, persistent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation or pain when urinating
- Pus or blood in your urine
Kidney infections can be extremely painful. This is an infection that can be very serious and can make you extremely sick if you don’t take care of it properly. Drinking plenty of fluids will help to flush bacteria from your urinary tract. Avoid coffee and alcohol until your infection has cleared. These products can aggravate your frequent or urgent need to urinate. When kidney infections recur frequently or an infection becomes chronic, your doctor will likely recommend that you seek medical care from a specialist who can identify underlying and potentially treatable causes. Usually, the signs and symptoms of a kidney infection begin to clear up within a few days of treatment. But you may need to continue antibiotics for a week or longer. Take the entire course of antibiotics recommended by your doctor to ensure that the infection is completely eliminated.