The kidneys can be found in the upper abdominal area, below the diaphragm and the rib cage. They sit opposite each other, on either side of the spine.
If your doctor suspects you have a kidney infection, they may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic based on the type of bacteria causing the infection, and the antibiotic of choice will depend on various different factors, including how serious the infection is and previous antibiotic use.
Kidney infections can be serious, so you shouldn’t rely on home remedies alone. However, there are home remedies you can try to help ease your symptoms. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, avoid alcohol, and eat fresh fruit like apples and berries.
When you have a kidney infection you can feel feverish and shivery, and you might experience pain at your sides or in the lower back area. You may also experience a burning sensation when urinating.
An over-the-counter painkiller such as paracetamol can be taken to ease any pain or fever. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics if they suspect you have a kidney infection, and you should take these as directed by your doctor.
Yes, you can develop a kidney infection while pregnant. Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing a kidney infection as the physical changes which take place during pregnancy slow the rate at which urine flows out of the body, making it easier for bacteria to reach the kidneys. If you’re diagnosed with a kidney infection during pregnancy you may need to be treated in hospital.
How long a kidney infection lasts depends on the severity of the infection and how quickly you seek treatment for it. Once a course of antibiotics has started, you should feel better after a few days. In more severe cases, you may be admitted to hospital.
Repeated kidney infections can cause damage to the kidneys. If you have recurring kidney infections which don’t get better with antibiotics, you might be referred for further tests to see what is causing the infection.
The most common cause of a kidney infection is E-coli bacteria from your anus getting into your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body) and infecting one or both of your kidneys. This can happen during sex or if you wipe yourself from back to front after going to the toilet.
In rare cases, complications can arise from a kidney infection which can prove fatal. Sepsis, or blood poisoning, occurs when bacteria from the kidneys moves into the bloodstream. Once the bacteria is in your bloodstream, it can spread to other organs.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.