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Kidney infection - Causes, Treatment

How to Identify and Treat Kidney Infections Effectively?

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You suddenly experience an intense, persistent pain in your lower back. You dismiss it as muscle pain probably caused due to your hectic lifestyle. 

But soon you realise that there is something more serious happening. High fever, pain and frequent urination. 

We are prone to dismiss our pain or self-treat ourselves ignoring the symptoms of conditions like kidney infection. 

Kidney infections are a serious health concern that can impact anyone. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options is essential for timely and effective care.

What is a Kidney Infection?

A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that begins in the bladder or urethra and travels up into the kidneys. 

The kidneys are two vital organs located on either side of your spine, just below your rib cage. They play a crucial role in filtering waste from your blood and regulating various bodily functions, including fluid balance and blood pressure.

When bacteria enter the kidneys, they can cause an infection that leads to inflammation and pain. 

Kidney infections can affect one or both kidneys and, if not treated promptly, can result in serious health complications. The symptoms can be quite severe, making it essential to understand what a kidney infection is and how it can affect your overall health.

Let us discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for kidney infections, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this condition.

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What are the main causes of a kidney infection?

Kidney infections usually start as a urinary tract infection (UTI) that spreads to the kidneys. The most common culprit behind these infections is bacteria, particularly a type called Escherichia coli (E. coli). This normally lives in your intestines but can cause infection when it enters the urinary tract. 

Some of the primary causes of kidney infections are:

  1. Bacterial Infection: The most frequent cause of kidney infection is bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra and multiplying. This often begins as a bladder infection (cystitis) and can move up to the kidneys.
  2. Blockages in the Urinary Tract: Any blockage that prevents urine from flowing normally increases the risk of a kidney infection. This includes kidney stones, an enlarged prostate in men, or certain genetic abnormalities in the urinary tract.
  3. Weakened Immune System: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with diabetes or HIV, or those taking immunosuppressant medications, are more prone to kidney infections.
  4. Urinary Catheters: Long-term use of urinary catheters can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, leading to infection.
  5. Female Anatomy: Women are more likely to get kidney infections than men due to their shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder and kidneys.

Understanding these causes can help you take preventative measures and seek timely medical attention if you suspect an infection. 

What symptoms should you look out for in a kidney infection?

Identifying the symptoms of a kidney infection early can lead to prompt treatment and prevent complications. 

Some of the common symptoms to watch for are:

  1. High Fever: One of the most telling signs of a kidney infection is a high fever. It is often accompanied by chills and shaking.
  2. Back or Side Pain: Pain on one side of your back or under your ribs can indicate a kidney infection. This pain can be sharp and intense or a constant, dull ache.
  3. Frequent Urination: Feeling the need to urinate more often than usual. if only a small amount of urine is passed each time, it is a common symptom.
  4. Painful Urination: A burning sensation during urination can signal a kidney infection. Carefully notice if it is accompanied by other symptoms mentioned here.
  5. Cloudy or Bloody Urine: Urine that appears cloudy, has an unusual odour, or contains blood can be a sign of a kidney infection.
  6. Nausea and Vomiting: Some people with kidney infections experience nausea and vomiting. It further indicates the severity of the infection.
  7. Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or fatigued is another symptom, as the body is working hard to fight off the infection.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly. Early treatment can prevent the infection from worsening and causing serious health issues.

You can consult expert urologists at Rungta Hospital for immediate and effective treatment of Kidney Infection. They can help you understand the symptoms, derive the probable causes and even recommend the best possible treatment. 


How is a Kidney Infection Diagnosed?

Diagnosing a kidney infection involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. 

  1. Medical History and Symptoms: The expert doctors at Rungta Hospital will start by asking about your current symptoms and medical history. These may include any recent urinary tract infections, fever, or pain.
  2. Physical Examination: A physical exam will often focus on your abdomen and lower back to check for tenderness or pain, which can indicate a kidney infection.
  3. Urinalysis: A urine sample is typically taken to test for the presence of bacteria, blood, or pus. This test helps in confirming the presence of an infection and identifying the specific type of bacteria causing it.
  4. Urine Culture: If a urinalysis indicates an infection, a urine culture may be performed to pinpoint the exact bacteria and determine the most effective antibiotics for treatment.
  5. Blood Tests: It is important to identify if the bacteria has spread to the bloodstream. It can cause a serious condition known as septicemia.
  6. Imaging Tests: In some cases, imaging tests such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be needed to get a detailed view of the kidneys and urinary tract. These tests can identify blockages, abscesses, or other abnormalities that might cause the infection.

What are the Treatment Options for a Kidney Infection?

Treating a kidney infection typically involves antibiotics and supportive care. However, the exact approach can vary depending on the severity of the infection. 

Some common treatment options include:

  1. Antibiotics: The primary treatment for kidney infections is antibiotics. The doctor will prescribe a specific antibiotic based on the bacteria identified in your urine culture. It’s important to take the full course of antibiotics, even if you start feeling better, to ensure the infection is completely eradicated.
  1. Hospitalization: Severe kidney infections may require hospitalization, especially if you are unable to keep fluids down, have severe pain, or the infection has spread to your bloodstream. In the hospital, you might receive intravenous (IV) antibiotics and fluids to help treat the infection and prevent dehydration.
  1. Pain Management: The doctor may prescribe some pain relievers to manage the pain and reduce fever. These are for short-term use or if the patient experiences severe pain. 
  2. Home Care Tips: Rest is crucial for recovery. Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out bacteria from your urinary tract. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can irritate the bladder. Applying a heating pad to your abdomen or back can help alleviate pain.
  1. Follow-Up: After completing your antibiotics, the doctor may recommend a follow-up urine test to ensure the infection is completely gone. Regular check-ups can help prevent recurrence.

By following the doctor’s treatment plan and taking good care of yourself at home, you can recover from a kidney infection and reduce the risk of complications. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention promptly. You can consult at Rungta Hospital for the treatment of kidney infection. We have some of the best urologists in Jaipur, ready to help you recover swiftly.

Is it Possible to Cure a Kidney Infection Completely?

Kidney infections can be cured, especially when treated promptly and effectively. Let us look at some ways to eradicate kidney infections for life. 

  1. Timely Treatment: 

The key to curing a kidney infection is early diagnosis and treatment. 

Antibiotics are highly effective at clearing the bacteria causing the infection. It’s crucial to start antibiotics immediately as a kidney infection is confirmed. This will prevent the infection from worsening or spreading.

  1. Completing the Antibiotic Course:

Even if you start to feel better within a few days, you still need to complete the full course of antibiotics, prescribed by your doctor. 

Stopping the medication early can allow some bacteria to survive and potentially cause a recurrence of the infection.

  1. Addressing Underlying Conditions

If your kidney infection was caused by an underlying issue, such as kidney stones or an obstruction in the urinary tract, treating these conditions is important to prevent future infections.

  1. Preventative Measures

Adopting healthy habits can reduce the risk of future kidney infections. This includes 

  • drinking plenty of water
  • practising good hygiene
  • urinating frequently to flush out bacteria
  • avoiding irritating substances like caffeine and alcohol.


By adhering to these steps and following your doctor’s advice, you can successfully cure a kidney infection and reduce the risk of recurrence.


Kidney infections can pose a serious issue and need quick treatment. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatment options helps manage this condition effectively. If you suspect a kidney infection, seek medical care immediately to prevent complications.

For top-notch care, choose a reputable facility like Rungta Hospital in Jaipur. Renowned as the best urology hospital in Jaipur, Rungta Hospital offers expert care and advanced treatments.

 Early diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial for curing kidney infections. By following your doctor’s advice and choosing the right hospital, you can ensure a full recovery and maintain your health.