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Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
Pyelonephritis is an infection in the kidneys. It is usually treated with antibiotics and painkillers. But, it could sometimes become a serious illness. Complications include severe kidney damage or a spread of the infection in the body (sepsis). Kidney infection symptoms and treatment are as follows.
Causes of a kidney infection
What are the symptoms of a kidney infection?
- Pain in a loin or flank
- High fever along with shivering
- Nausea or vomiting
- Passing blood in the urine
- Pain while urinating
- Frequent urination
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Do I need any tests?
What is the treatment for a kidney infection?
- If there is suspicion for a kidney infection, immediate treatment is needed. Treatment includes a course of antibiotics. But, only some bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics. As a result, there may be a change in medicine. This is based on the urine test. Usually, Ciprofloxacin, co-amoxiclav or trimethoprim are used. They are taken for 7-14 days.
- Paracetamol is for pain relief and for reducing fever. For severe pain, stronger painkillers may be needed. But, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are not good for kidney infections. They could hamper the working of the kidneys.
- Consume lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- You are unable to take in any fluids due to extreme vomiting
- The infection is severe
- Symptoms do not settle within 24 hours after starting antibiotics
- You are pregnant
- You have other medical complications. Such as an underlying kidney problem or diabetes
What are the possible complications?
- Sepsis due to the bacteria entering the bloodstream.
- Pregnant women could experience an early birth. Or have babies with lower birth weight.
- Kidney abscess.
- Permanent damage to kidney tissues.
Prevention of kidney infection
- Treat constipation.
- Seek medical advice for kidney stones.
- For infection during pregnancy, ensure urine testings.