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What Are The Symptoms And Treatments For A Kidney Infection?

By January 14, 2009 - 11:43am
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What are the symptoms and treatments for a kidney infection? Someone I know went into the hospital and received what doctors called a one-time chemo-like treatment to help eradicate the infection. Thanks.

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There is a nice article that appeared on Sep 18, 2008 in the New York Times Health section about Kidney Infections. I have pasted a portion of the article that lists the most standard Exams and Tests used to diagnose Kidney Infections but did not find anything that resembles a chemo-like test.

The complete story is on this link: http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/kidney-infection-pyelonephritis/overview.html

Exams and Tests
A physical exam may show tenderness when the health care provider presses (palpates) the area of the kidney.

Blood culture may show an infection.
Urinalysis commonly reveals white or red blood cells in the urine.
Other urine tests may show bacteria in the urine.
An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) or CT scan of the abdomen may show swollen kidneys. These tests can also help rule out underlying disorders.

Additional tests and procedures that may be done include:

Kidney biopsy
Kidney scan
Kidney ultrasound
Voiding cystourethrogram

Most infections are treated with antibiotics unless there is a clinical trial somewhere. However, kidney infections are a common side effect when patients are undergoing chemotherapy.

January 14, 2009 - 11:51pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Penny
Thanks for the question!
Symptoms of kidney infections are many, but fairly standard. Frequent urination is common, as is the urgent need to go, even if you can't. Cloudy, bloody, or strong smelling urine is a common complaint, as is back pain or fever. Pretty unpleasant, eh?

If the infection remains untreated, harsher indicators like severe flu-like symptoms (high fever, vomiting, nausea, chills) are common. Another symptom in older adults is mental confusion/disorientation.

Treatment is usually a course of antibiotics, often Amoxicillin or Cipro. I'm not aware of a one-time chemo like treatment though, so I'll look into it more.

How old is your friend with the infection? Symptoms and treatments can vary, depending on the age of the person with the infection.

January 14, 2009 - 3:04pm

Hi Penny. I can only speak to my own experiences with this. I had a kidney infection once. My pain was located mid-way down my back on one of my sides (I don't remember which side). I think I took antibiotics to treat it.

My daughter also had a kidney infection when she was a baby. She had an antibiotic IV in her arm, where they were pumping different types of antibiotics -- with the theory that one of them would work to treat the infection.

January 14, 2009 - 1:36pm
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