About kidney infections

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Most kidney infections are a result of bacteria that spreads from the lower urinary tract. This bacteria may be introduced through catheters or other medical devices. On occasion, infections in other parts of the body may migrate through the blood or lymph (limf) system to the kidneys. Another cause is anything that obstructs the natural flow of urine from the bladder, such as kidney stones, tumors, or prostate problems. Symptoms of kidney infection include a frequent need to urinate, accompanied by a burning sensation, with cloudy or bloody urine; a sudden fever; and pain in the lower back. You may also experience abdominal pain, tiredness, nausea, or vomiting. Most kidney infections can be treated with antibiotics. In severe cases, you may need to be hospitalized, and receive I-V antibiotics. When the infection is caused by a physical disorder in the prostate, bladder, or by an obstruction, surgery may also be required. If you're given oral medication, be sure to take the entire dose, even if symptoms go away. You'll also be encouraged to drink two quarts of liquids daily. Untreated kidney infections can lead to scarring and permanent kidney damage, so if you notice any suspicious signs, consult a doctor right away.

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