Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Author: Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kidney Infection Symptoms

Some of the general symptoms of urinary infection can accompany kidney infection like

  • pain on urination (dysuria),
  • needing to urinate frequently (urinary frequency), and
  • feeling a strong urge to urinate (urinary urgency).

Other symptoms that may accompany kidney infection are

  • shaking,
  • chills,
  • abdominal pain,
  • nausea and vomiting.

Quick GuideWhat's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?

What's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?

Kidney infection facts

  • Kidney infection is one of a number of infections that can involve the urinary tract.
  • Infection of the kidney is very common, especially in young females.
  • Causes of kidney infection are bacteria that have gained entry to the urinary tract, usually via the anus or vagina.
  • Risk factors for kidney infection are pregnancy, sexual intercourse, a history of urinary tract infection, spermicide use, kidney stones, use of urinary catheters, diabetes, and surgery or instrumentation of the urinary tract.
  • Kidney infections are not contagious.
  • Symptoms of kidney infection are
  • Treatment of kidney infection involves oral or intravenous antibiotics.
  • Kidney infections can sometimes be prevented by changing urinary catheters frequently, good hygiene practices, and taking preventive antibiotics in certain people at high risk.
  • If treated early and adequately, kidney infection generally has a good outcome.
Reviewed on 7/27/2015
References
REFERENCES:

Gupta, Kalpana, et al. "Urinary Tract Infection." Annals of Internal Medicine 156.5 (2012): ITC3-1.

NIH. Pyelonephritis: kidney infection. Updated Jun, 11 2012.

IMAGES:

1. MedicineNet

2. iStock

3. iStock

4. iStock

5. iStock

6. iStock

7. iStock

8. Getty Images

9. Getty Images

10. iStock

11. iStock

12. istock

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Kidney Infection - Symptoms

    Please describe your kidney infection symptoms.

    Post View 69 Comments
  • Kidney Infection - Treatments

    What treatment was effective for your kidney infection?

    Post View 13 Comments
  • Kidney Infection - Causes

    What was the cause of your kidney infection?

    Post View 7 Comments
  • Kidney Infection - In Children

    What risk factors for kidney infection did your child have?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors