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A kidney infection is a serious medical condition that can cause lasting damage if it’s not treated promptly and properly. Understanding kidney infection symptoms can help you identify the problem early, so you can get the treatment you need to prevent further issues.

Common Symptoms of Kidney Infection

The most common kidney infection symptoms is pain in the lower back or side, near where your kidneys are located. This pain may come on suddenly and be severe. Other common symptoms of a kidney infection include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and frequent urination accompanied by an urgent need to go. You may also experience burning or discomfort during urination and cloudy or bloody urine.

Less Common Symptoms of Kidney Infection

In addition to these more common kidney infection symptoms, there are some other signs that might indicate a kidney infection. These include fatigue, joint pain, night sweats, and confusion or difficulty concentrating. If you experience any of these additional symptoms along with any of the more commonly reported signs of a kidney infection, you should seek medical attention right away to avoid further complications.

Causes of Kidney Infection

Kidney infections are usually caused by bacteria or viruses that have travelled to the kidneys from another part of your urinary tract. Alternatively, an infection in a different area of your body can also cause kidney infections if there is restricted flow of urine throughout the urinary system due to conditions like enlarged prostate, abnormally shaped tracts and stones. Fortunately these kinds of infections cannot be caught or spread through contact with other individuals; they must originate within one’s own body instead.

Kidney infections can affect anyone, but those with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible. Women have a naturally shorter urethra and thus an increased risk; pregnant women even more so. Similarly, people living with diabetes or weakened immune systems due to disease/medication may be at higher risk as bacteria is able to spread further in the urinary tract in such cases. Lastly, nerve or spinal cord damage preventing feelings of pain increases vulnerability among this group too.

Kidney Infection Treatment

Kidney infection symptoms are usually treated with antibiotics taken orally or intravenously depending on the severity of the infection.

Milder cases may take up to two weeks to fully heal while more serious cases may require hospitalisation and longer treatment periods such as a month or more. During this time it is important to drink plenty of fluids and follow all instructions from your doctor in order to make sure that your body is able to completely rid itself of the bacterial infection. In some cases surgery may be needed if there are any blockages or damage in the urinary tract causing recurrent infections.  It’s very important that a person diagnosed with a kidney infection finishes their course of medication, even if they start feeling better before completing it. Why? Prematurely stopping antibiotics can lead to recurrence of symptoms or even antibiotic resistance down the line.  

It’s important to pay close attention to your body if you think you may have kidney infection symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for ensuring your health and reducing your risk for long-term damage from this condition. If you experience any combination of pain in the lower back/side area, fever, chills, nausea/vomiting, frequent urination with urgency discomfort during urination, cloudy/bloody urine — or any other unusual symptom that persists – it’s important to contact your doctor right away for evaluation and treatment. Taking swift action will help protect your kidneys against potential harm from an untreated kidney infection.

When Should I Speak with a Doctor?

If you are experiencing kidney infection symptoms mentioned in this article, please speak with your general practitioner immediately. They will check your medical records and learn more about the cause of your symptoms. 

This article is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Speak to a doctor if you have any questions about a medical condition without any delay.