What Causes Kidney Infections? Its Symptoms And Home Remedies

Pyelonephritis, more commonly known as a kidney infection is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. Therefore, it is important to understand its causes and symptoms, so that you can seek timely treatment.

Kidney infections generally start off as a urinary tract infection (UTI) that begin in the bladder or urethra and then travel to the kidneys. While anyone can experience this problem, it is more common in women, perhaps because the female urethra is much shorter than the male’s.

It is absolutely essential to get a kidney infection treated by a doctor.

Left unchecked, it can lead to serious complications such as:

  • Permanent kidney damage
  • Septicemia or blood poisoning
  • Low birth weight in pregnant women

Therefore, it is important that you make an appointment with a doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms of this condition.

Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Infection

A bacterial infection in the kidney causes most of us to feel sick. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience as a result of a kidney infection include,

  • Fever
  • Pain in the sides, flanks, back and groin
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Increase in urination
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Strong urge to urinate several times a day
  • Hematuria, characterized by the presence of blood or pus in the urine

Many of us mistake a kidney infection for a urinary tract infection, since their symptoms are quite similar. However, if your symptoms do not improve within a few days or worsen with time, you are probably suffering from a kidney infection instead.

Severe cases of kidney infections can lead to life-threatening complications, if not checked in time. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, accompanied by bloody urine, nausea or vomiting.

Causes Of Kidney Infections

A kidney infection occurs when harmful bacteria begin to multiply in your urinary tract. These bacteria usually enter the tract through the urethra, which is the tube that carries the urine out of your body.

Though uncommon, at times, a bacterial infection in another part of your body could also spread to your kidneys, through the bloodstream. Some of the factors that increase your risks of developing a kidney infection include:

  • Being female
  • Obstructions in the urinary tract
  • Weakened immune system caused by medical problems like diabetes or HIV
  • Use of certain drugs and medication that affect your immunity adversely
  • Damage to the nerves surrounding the bladder
  • Using a urinary catheter for a long period of time
  • Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to flow the wrong way

Some of the causes of kidney infections are quite serious and need to be treated by a doctor without any delay.

Home Remedies For Kidney Infection

The first line of treatment for most kidney infections usually requires antibiotics. Depending upon the severity of the condition and the symptoms you are experiencing, you may need to take these medicines for a week or so. Severe cases of kidney infections often require hospitalization.

You could also speed up the recovery process and control the uncomfortable symptoms with the help of a few simple self-care measures and home remedies. Simple home remedies often recommended in the treatment of kidney infections include:

  • Cranberry juice (fresh, unsweetened)
  • Garlic
  • Echinachea
  • Hot compresses
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Aloe Vera juice

While these remedies are quite safe if consumed in the right amounts, it is best to check with your doctor before taking any of them.

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