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What is a kidney infection

A kidney infection (medically referred to as pyelonephritis) is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) commonly caused by Bacteria when they move from any part of your body into one or both of the kidneys. These infection is more serious than lower UTIs( Urinary Tract Infections), so if you notice you might experience the common symptoms as will be listed below- you should see a healthcare provider.

What causes kidney infections?

Bacterial infections are the most common cause (viruses can cause them, too, but it’s rare in healthy people) when these microorganisms move up through the urinary tract to the bladder. Some types of bacteria that cause kidney infections include:


 E. coli.


Proteus mirabilis.

What are the signs and symptoms of a kidney infection?

A person might start feel feverish suddenly

Pain in lower back or side

Pain while urinating

Bloody or cloudy pee (hematuria or pyuria) that might smell bad

Frequent need to urinate

These symptoms might vary depending on the age of a person.

How do you get a kidney infection?

The kidneys produce urine as a waste product- when the urine moves through tubes (ureters) to the bladder (an organ that holds the urine temporarily until released by the individual into the toilet). From there, it moves through another tube (urethra) to leave your body. This usually cleans out any bacteria or other germs with it.In some situations the bacteria can move upwards into the body and infect parts of the urinary tract, including ureters urethra, bladder (cystitis) It moves into one or both of the kidneys, causing a kidney infection. Bacteria that get into blood from another part of the body can also infect the kidneys.What are the risk factors for kidney infection?

Risk factors include:

Vesicoureteral reflux: a condition where pee goes the wrong way and backs up from your bladder.

Conditions that put you at increased risk for infections: include diabetes, HIV and being on immunosuppressive medications.

Blockage. Anything that keeps you from emptying the pee out of your urinary tract can allow bacteria to grow and back up into your kidneys. This includes kidney stones, enlarged prostate and uterine prolapse. Pressure on your bladder during pregnancy can also increase your risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Only Health care professionals can properly diagnose kidney infection, and they use your medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose kidney infection. Depending on your age, sex, and response to treatment, they will use certain tests to diagnose kidney infection.

Doctors may treat your kidney infection by prescribing antibiotics. Make sure to take all of your medicine, even if you start to feel better. You’ll have to take antibiotics for at least 14 days. If you’re very sick or if you aren’t getting better with antibiotics, you might need to be treated in the hospital or take antibiotics for longer.Can kidney infections be prevented?

Preventing these lower urinary tract infections is the first step in preventing kidney infections. Some ways to prevent infections in all parts of your urinary tract include:

Practice good hygiene. Having baths regularly and changing out of wet or sweaty underwear can help prevent bacteria from getting into your body. After using the toilet, wipe from front to back. This helps push bacteria away from openings in your body.

Drink plenty of fluids. Empty your bladder completely. Holding in urine can help bacteria grow.

Urinate before and after having sex. This helps remove any bacteria that’s in the urinary tract.

Find about more about how to take proper care of your kidney and other organs of your body by reaching out to our endocrinology clinic where we also offer a wide spectrum of treatment for endocrine and metabolic diseases.

Visit us today and book an appointment.

Book an appointment to see an Endocrinologist at our clinic in Lagos, Call +234 817 365 1737 or email frontdesk@thelecc.com


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Cleveland Clinic