Kidney infection treatment
Kidney infection treatment can either be done at home or in a hospital; this will depend on several factors, including the severity of symptoms and the patient’s general state of health.
Kidney infections treatment at home consists of taking prescribed oral antibiotics. The patient usually starts to feel better after a few days.
It is essential that an individual completely finishes the full course of kidney infection treatment and complies with all doctor’s instructions.
Consuming plenty of fluids will help prevent fever and dehydration. Fluid intake recommendations may vary, depending on the type of infection.
The doctor may also prescribe an analgesic if there is any pain.
If the individual is treated in hospital and suffers from dehydration, fluids may be administered within IV. Most cases of hospitalization for kidney infections treatment do not last more than 3-7 days.
Subsequent urine and blood tests will tell a doctor how effective kidney infections treatment has been.
The following factors are more likely to lead treatment for kidney infection to be administered in-hospital environment:
- Serious difficulties urinating
- Cancer and chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Sickle cell anemia
- A history of kidney infection
- A blockage in the kidneys
- Being pregnant
- Severe pain
- Severe vomiting
- Being aged 60 years or older
What is a kidney infection?
Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that generally begins in your urethra or bladder and travels to one or both of your kidneys.
A kidney infection requires prompt medical attention. If not treated properly, a kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys or the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection.
Fast facts on kidney infections
Here are some key points about kidney infections. More detail and supporting information are in the main article.
- One of the kidney’s major roles is to remove toxins from the body.
- Symptoms of kidney infections include diarrhea, nausea, and back pain.
- Sometimes, a bladder infection may occur at the same time as a kidney infection.
- In most cases, oral antibiotics can successfully treat kidney infections.
- What causes kidney infections?
- Kidney infection causes are always related to bacteria.
- Bacteria that enter your urinary tract through the tube that carries urine from your body (urethra) can multiply and travel to your kidneys. This is the most common cause of kidney infections.
- Bacteria from an infection elsewhere in your body also can spread through your bloodstream to your kidneys becoming the cause of kidney infection. Although it’s unusual to develop a kidney infection, it can happen — for instance, if you have an artificial joint or heart valve that becomes infected.
- Below are other possible causes of kidney infections
- Toilet hygiene:
- After going to the toilet and using toilet paper to clean the anus, there may be contact with the genitals, resulting in an infection getting through and working its way up to the kidneys. The infection could also enter via the anus. Bacteria occupy the colon and eventually cause a kidney infection. Thus, insufficient toilet hygiene is one of the most common kidney infection causes
- Female physiology:
- Women are more vulnerable to bladder infections and ultimately kidney infections than men, because their urethra is shorter, making it easier for infections to reach parts of the urinary tract more quickly.
- Enlarged prostate:
- Males with an enlarged prostate have a higher risk of developing kidney infections especially if their condition requires the use of catheterization.
- Urinary catheter:
- A urinary catheter is a tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain out urine. Having a urinary catheter raises the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). This includes kidney infections. This is one of the most common kidney infections causes in men with benign prostate hyperplasia.
- Kidney stones:
- Individuals with kidney stones have a higher risk of developing kidney infections. Kidney stones are the result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys.
- Sexually active females:
- If sexual intercourse irritates the urethra there may be a higher risk of bacteria getting inside the urinary tract and eventually reaching the kidneys.
- Weakened immune systems:
- Some patients with weakened immune systems may have a bacterial or fungal infection on their skin, which eventually gets into the bloodstream and attacks the kidneys.
Kidney infection symptoms
When someone has a kidney infection, it normally develops quite fast – in a day or a few hours. Major kidney infection symptoms are:
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Back pain
- Pain in the groin
- Pain in the side
- Often symptoms are worse when the patient urinates
Other kidney infection symptoms include:
- Bloody urine (hematuria)
- Cloudy urine
- Pain or difficulty while urinating, often described as a burning or stinging sensation
- Foul-smelling urine
- Frequent urination
- Inability to urinate fully
- Pain in the lower abdomen
Possible kidney infection complications
Uncomplicated kidney infections usually happen in generally healthy individuals and serious complications are highly unlikely.
Complicated kidney infection develops in patients with known pre-existing illnesses or conditions.
If a kidney infection is not treated promptly, there is a risk of serious complications, including:
- Emphysematous pyelonephritis (EPN): This is a very rare, potentially fatal complication. EPN is a severe infection in which kidney tissues are destroyed rapidly. The bacteria that cause the infection release a toxic gas that accumulates inside the kidney, causing fever, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and confusion.
- Kidney abscesses: pus accumulates in kidney tissues in abscesses. Symptoms include blood in urine, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to drain out the pus.
- Blood poisoning, or sepsis: Also a rare but possibly life-threatening complication, sepsis leads to bacteria spreading from the kidneys into the bloodstream, resulting in infections in any part of the body, including major organs. It is a medical emergency and patients are usually placed in an intensive care unit (ICU).
How to prevent kidney infections
Reduce the risk of kidney infection by taking steps to prevent urinary tract contamination. Women, in particular, may reduce their risk of urinary tract infections if they:
- Drink fluids, especially water. Fluids can help remove bacteria from your body when you urinate.
- Urinate as soon as you need to. Avoid delaying urination when you feel the urge to urinate.
- Empty the bladder after intercourse. Urinating as soon as possible after intercourse helps clear bacteria from the urethra, reducing your risk of infection.
- Wipe carefully. Wiping from front to back after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra.
- Avoid using feminine products in the genital area. Using products such as deodorant sprays in your genital area or douches can be irritating.
Natural remedies for kidney infections – popular for kidney infections treatment
Natural remedies for kidney infections are another form of kidney infection treatment that is proven to be effective.
Below are the most popular natural remedies for kidney infections
Home remedies for kidney infections – the most common kidney infection treatment
Home remedies for kidney infections are one of the natural remedies for kidney infections that can be achieved at home. Dealing with kidney infections aka pyelonephritis can be grueling and not fun at all. If the infection is severe, it will disrupt your life and cause excessive discomfort from day to day. Knowing how to relieve kidney infection symptoms at home can help you feel comfortable and safe while you tackle the underlying problem. Below are home remedies for kidney infections
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the home remedies for kidney infections. The malic acid in apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that can inhibit the spreading of infections. A study also sheds light on apple cider vinegar’s benefits towards preventing kidney oxidative injury. To benefit from apple cider vinegar used as the kidney infection remedy, put a tablespoon of the vinegar and two teaspoons of honey into warm water and consume this mixture twice a day for a few weeks. The added honey contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
- A different juice that can be consumed as part of your home remedies for kidney infection is parsley juice. It can flush out toxins and microorganisms in the kidneys. A study found that parsley juice leads to increased urine output compared to water allowing for more bacteria to be flushed from the body. Parsley also contains multiple nutrients including vitamins A, B, and C. Take dried or freshly cut parsley, boil it in water for a steeping time of approximately five minutes, strain, and cool before drinking. This drink can be mixed with lemon juice, and honey for added flavors and benefits. Since parsley may interact with some medications, consult your doctor prior to trying this method.
Raw garlic cloves
- This is another effective food item to start consuming today as a home remedy for kidney infections. Garlic has diuretic properties that force the kidneys to pass more salt and toxins in the urine; garlic also works for pathogens resistant to antibiotic medications.
Herbs for kidney infections – safe home-based kidney infection treatment
Herbs for kidney infections are another category of natural remedies for kidney infections that are effective with little or no side effects. If you have kidney pain due to a urinary tract infection, try the following herbal remedies.
Listed below are some of the herbs for kidney infection treatment
- Also known as uva ursi. In a double-blind placebo study of 57 women with recurrent UTIs, bearberry is one of the herbs for kidney infections that was shown to effectively suppress further infection. Bearberry acts as an antibacterial, urinary antiseptic, astringent, and healer to the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. It is also a diuretic.
- Different from the root which has a focus on balancing digestive and liver health, this herb for kidney infection is a potent diuretic used to flush the bladder and relieve symptoms.
- Has soothing mucilaginous or demulcent properties. This soothes the irritated mucous membranes. It also has a diuretic effect. Rich in silica and other minerals, which help strengthen the tissues.
- Acts in a similar fashion to corn silk.
- Is a potent antibacterial and mucous membrane healer indicated for inflammation of the urinary tract wall.
All of these herbs, with the exception of Goldenseal, may be taken in an herbal tea form. Add 1 teaspoon of each in a liter of boiling water, steep for 7 minutes, and consume daily. You may also take these herbs in an herbal tincture form that contains concentrated constituents of herbs and offer maximum therapeutic benefits. They are only available with a prescription from your naturopath or herbalist.
A qualified health practitioner will ensure your medication; supplements or disease state does not interact with your herbs. When an herbalist prescribes herbal remedies they consider one’s constitution, age, allergies, sensitiveness, robustness, weight, temperature, the current status of health, and personality. From this understanding, they can choose the most successful remedies for you. If the herbs for kidney infections don’t work, make an appointment with your urologist to discuss a treatment plan that will guarantee that the infection doesn’t spread.
Homeopathic treatment for kidney infections
Homeopathic treatment for kidney infections is based on the use of natural remedies for kidney infections helps to reduce the reoccurrence of kidney infections and it shows great promise, with no side effects.
Homeopathy, alternatively, is a very effective treatment for kidney problems. It eradicates the root problem and helps prevent further kidney inflammation. Homeopathic medicines have been successful in treating kidney diseases for which the standard prescription provides no cure and is not effective. Homeopathic medicines recommended for kidney pain are Berberis Vulgaris, Lycopodium, Cantharis, and Terebinthina. Berberis Vulgaris is one of the best homeopathic medicines for kidney stone pain. It is useful in left-sided renal colic. Lycopodium is a natural homeopathic medicine for right kidney pain. Cantharis is recommended for the highly painful, burning urination that accompanies kidney pain while Terebinthina is useful for kidney pain accompanied by blood in the urine.
Below are the most commonly prescribed homeopathic remedies for kidney infections
- It is one of the most common homeopathic medicines for burning urination. It cures restlessness and also controls sexual desires. Doctors recommend these drops during decreased urinary output (few drops passing at a time), despite a strong urge to urinate.
- It is an instant homeopathic treatment for chronic kidney infections in an irritable urinary bladder. It is characterized by burning sensations, cramps, and extreme itchiness during urination. It commonly causes a person to become irritated and impatient.
- There are instances when your kidney infections symptoms are unclear and not so common. Sarsaparilla is a lifesaver and the best homeopathic medicine for kidney infections in such situations. Dribbling urine occurs while the person is sitting and passes rapidly while standing. Your doctor might recommend it if there is a presence of sediments in your urine.
- Staphysagria is the homeopathic medicine for kidney infections associated with sexual intercourse. Other homeopathic medicines for kidney infection, like Arsenicum album, Pulsatilla, Equisetum, Sepia, Mercurius, Aconite, and Chimaphila, are known to provide relief for kidney infection too.
Kidney infections treatment in Philadelphia
Kidney infection can cause severe disruptions to everyday life. To help mitigate the pain and other symptoms, try some of the at-home remedies. If you’re still experiencing symptoms of pyelonephritis, or have pain in your urinary tract, call a urologist. To learn more about urological supplies, urology problems, and complications, or educational resources, visit our educational support page. If you have any questions or are looking for personalized, confidential services, our team of knowledgeable medical providers under the supervision of Dr. Tsan will examine and properly treat you.
To schedule an appointment for holistic comprehensive evaluation with Dr. Tsan contact our clinic or use our online scheduling application by scanning the QR code below.