What's Kidney Infection?

A type of infection in the urinary tract is called kidney infections (also known as pyelonephritis). These infections occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract from another area of the body, most often through the urethra. The bacteria may travel to the bladder, and then eventually the kidneys. If left untreated, kidney infections can become life-threatening and potentially fatal. A kidney infection can happen to anyone, but women are at greater risk due to the shorter urethras.

Many times, antibiotics can be used to treat kidney infections. If left untreated kidney infections can cause serious complications like kidney failure, permanent kidney damage and high blood pressure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are about 7 million kidney infections each year in America.

Common Kidney Infections

A bacterial infection traveling up the urinary track is the most frequent cause of kidney problems. It can occur when bacteria from another part of your body (such as the skin and rectum) enters the urethra, travels up the urinary tract, and reaches the bladder and kidneys. Kidney infections can also be caused by Kidney Stones , an enlarged prostate and blockages in your urinary tract. Kidney infections are more common in pregnant women, diabetics, and people who use a catheter.

There are several common Treatment s for kidney infections

Antibiotics are often used to treat kidney infections. The severity of an infection will determine whether antibiotics are needed to be administered intravenously or orally. The antibiotics may be used to kill bacteria or reduce symptoms. Sometimes, intravenous antibiotics may require hospitalization. It will generally take several days or more to see improvement in symptoms after receiving antibiotics.

Doctors may recommend fluids in addition to antibiotics. This is to flush out bacteria. The ability to prevent or treat UTIs (including kidney infections) has been demonstrated by cranberry juice. To help with the inflammation and pain associated with kidney infection, it may be recommended that you take anti-inflammatory and pain relievers.

Expert Opinions on Kidney Infections

To avoid serious complications, experts agree that it is crucial to diagnose and treat kidney infection early. Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Steven R. Greenberg states that kidney infections can quickly become severe so it is important to see a doctor right away if you suspect you have one.

Dr. Greenberg recommends fluid intake, abstinence from caffeine, alcohol and the use of painkillers to manage symptoms associated with a kidney infection. Warm compresses are also recommended to ease discomfort in the lower stomach. He also recommends that you avoid sexual contact until your infection is completely gone.

Tips and Natural Remedies for Prevention

There are natural ways to treat kidney infection. Water and other liquids are good for flushing out bacteria and reducing the chance of infection. Both blueberry and Cranberry juices have been proven to be antibacterial, which can fight infection. To reduce infection risk, it is important to maintain good hygiene habits, particularly after using the toilet.

You can also try natural treatments like probiotics and yogurt. To fight infection, herbal remedies like echinacea and goldenseal can be helpful. It is important that you have regular screenings and checkups to rule out any other health issues which could increase your chances of getting infected.


A type of infection in the urinary system known as kidney infections can result from bacteria moving up the tract. Because of their shorter urethras, women are more at risk. If left untreated, kidney infections could prove to be life-threatening and potentially fatal. The treatment involves taking antibiotics and painkillers, as well as drinking lots of fluids. Experts are unanimous in their belief that it is crucial to get treatment early and prevent any complications. There are natural ways to reduce infection risk and complement medical treatment.

Kidney infections can be serious so they should be addressed immediately. Most people will make a complete recovery with proper treatment and diagnosis. You can reduce your risk of getting infected by taking preventative measures like good hygiene, drinking lots of fluids and practicing good hygiene.