Symptoms And Causes of Kidney Infection

kidney infection
Kidney infection  is very common infection, also known as renal infection or pyelonephritis. Infection starts when bacteria often infect the urinary bladder or the urethra and spreads to one or both the kidneys. The most common victim of this infection are women at age between 35 to 60 and also pregnant mothers. In pregnancy kidney infection is quite common in many expected mothers. The estimated rate of affected people are 3 to 4 men in every 10,000 and 12 to 17 women in every 10,000. Here we explain the symptoms of a kidney infection and how it is diagnosed, prevented, and treated.

Fast facts about kidney

  • Kidney’s major roles is to remove toxins from the body.
  • Symptoms of kidney infections include diarrhea, nausea, and back pain.
  • Sometimes, infections can be sudden or chronic or patient may experience bladder infection and kidney infection at the same time.
  • Health care providers give some oral antibiotics to successfully treat kidney infections.


Kidney infection normally develops quite fast in a day or a few hours, normally have following symptoms:
  • feeling of nausea and vomiting
  •  diarrhea,
  • uncontrollable shivering
  • severe back pain
  • pain in the groin
  • pain in the side area
  • feeling burning when patients urinate

If the infection is chronic the patient may experience;

  • bloody urine
  • cloudy urine
  • pain or difficulty while urinating
  • burning or stinging sensation
  • foul-smelling urine
  • frequent urination
  • inability to urinate fully
  • pain in the lower abdomen

A kidney infection is caused by bacteria entering the urethra and reproducing in the bladder, triggering an infection. The infection then spreads to the kidneys. There are a number of ways in which the bacteria can achieve this:

  • Toilet hygiene: After going to the toilet and using toilet paper to clean the anus, there may be contact with the genitals, resulting in an infection getting through and working its way up to the kidneys. The infection could also enter via the anus. Bacteria occupy the colon and eventually cause a kidney infection.
  • Female physiology: Women are more vulnerable to bladder infections and ultimately kidney infections than men, because their urethra is shorter, making it easier for infections to reach parts of the urinary tract more quickly.
  • Urinary catheter: A urinary catheter is a tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain out urine. Having a urinary catheter raises the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). This includes kidney infection.
  • Kidney stones: Individuals with kidney stones have a higher risk of developing kidney infection. Kidney stones are the result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys.
  • Enlarged prostate: Those males who have with an enlarged prostate have a higher risk of developing kidney infections.
  • Sexually transmission: There may be high risk of infection through sexual intercourse as if it irritates the urethra there may be a risk of bacteria getting inside the urinary tract and eventually reaching the kidneys.
  • Weakened immune systems: Patients with weakened immune systems may more likely to catch infections as a bacterial or fungal infection attack any part of their skin, which eventually gets into the bloodstream and attacks the kidneys.

What is the urinary tract?

The urinary tract consists of:

  • The kidneys: The majority of humans have two kidneys, one on either side of the abdomen. Kidneys clear poisonous substances from the blood.
  • The ureters: Urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Each kidney has one ureter connecting it to the bladder.
  • The bladder: This is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine.
  • The urethra: A tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In males, the urethra travels down the middle of the penis to an opening at the end. In females, the urethra runs from the bladder to just above the vaginal opening. The urethra in females is shorter than in males.


Your health care provider take the physical examination by checking heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate as well as signs of dehydration to understand the general state of health. Also a physical exam will be carried out, with particular emphasis on the mid and lower back to see whether there is any sensitivity, pain, or tenderness.

If the patient is a young woman, the doctor may carry out a pelvic exam through ultrasound scan to verify whether or not she is suffering from any pelvic inflammatory disease. If the female is of childbearing age, a pregnancy test may be recommended. A urine test can determine the presence of a UTI but not its location. However, a urine test that detects an infection will help the doctor reach a diagnosis.

When to call a doctor

Kidney infection can develop very rapidly it may be sudden and chronic and lead to serious complications. Medical help is needed if patient have experience following symptoms :

  • persistent pain either on abdomen or any sides in back
  • a high temperature
  • a change in urination patterns
  • noticed blood in the urine


Often, a kidney infection is the result of a pre-existing infection in the urinary tract. The best way to prevent a kidney infection from developing is by not having bacteria in the urethra or bladder.

  • Hydration: Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and water specially in summer.
  • Urination: Don’t force your muscles to stop the urine always urinate whenever there is an urge. Don’t wait.
  • Sexual intercourse: Wash the genitals area before and after intercourse and always urinate after sexual intercourse.
  • Toilet hygiene: In order to lessen the risk of spreading bacteria to the genitals always wipe anus with wet tissue or by using water.
  • Fiber: Always avoid bakery item if you have constipation issues and eat plenty of fiber food or green veggies so that stools come out easily and do not irritate or cause skin lesions, because constipation increases the risk of developing a kidney infection.

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