The Symptoms and Treatment of Kidney Infections

The Symptoms and Treatment of Kidney Infections

Last update: 13 August, 2015

A kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a painful and unpleasant illness caused by bacteria travelling from your bladder into one or both of your kidneys. It’s more serious than cystitis, which is a common infection of the bladder that makes urinating painful. If treated promptly, a kidney infection doesn’t cause serious harm, but will make you feel very unwell. If a kidney infection isn’t treated, it can get worse and cause permanent kidney damage. Here we tell you more about this common infection.

How do you know if you have a kidney infection


Causes of kidney infections:

  • Bacteria
  • An infection in the bladder itself
  • Kidney stones
  • Normally more frequent in women
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic abnormalities in the kidney
  • Kidney cysts
  • Some kind of anaemia
  • Lowered defences and a weakened immune system.

What symptoms could you have?

The symptoms of a kidney infection usually develop quite quickly over a few hours or days and include:

  • pain and discomfort in your side, lower back or around your genitals
  • high temperature (it may reach 39.5C or 103.1F)
  • shivering or chills
  • feeling very weak or tired
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • diarrhoea

Home remedies for urinary tract infections

If you suspect that you have an infection anywhere in your urinary tract it is vital that you speak to your doctor straight away. They will be able to carry out some tests to confirm that you have an infection and prescribe the appropriate treatment. You may be given antibiotics, which are very useful in combatting this infection. In addition, it would be good to follow these tips at home. They are great for improving the overall functioning of the kidneys and maintaining the health of the entire urinary system.

1. One teaspoon a day of baking soda

This is very simple and effective. Just drink a glass of water after your main meal along with a teaspoon of baking soda. It will help your kidneys to be able to filter better, facilitating their task and cleansing them. It makes your urine less acidic and less irritating to the urinary tract. Do not take more than a teaspoon of baking soda a day.

2. Drink plenty of water


An adult human needs to drink two litres of water a day. It will keep you hydrated and enable your body to eliminate toxins and improve the overall functioning of the kidneys. The more water you drink, the better you will eliminate the bacteria that is infecting your urinary tract. You really can ‘flush it out’.

3. Cranberry juice

It has been shown that cranberry juice is useful in preventing urinary tract infections. It prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, which will make it easier to eliminate it in the urine. Try to drink at least two glasses a day.

4. Coconut water


Coconut water and oil are great for eliminating bacteria that tends to thrive in the kidneys. It is also a powerful anti-bacterial that can kill bacteria such as E. coli. Try to drink at least two glasses of coconut water a day – when you wake up and when you go to bed. Coconut oil is also perfect if you drink two tablespoons of it a day.

5. The benefits of eating asparagus

Did you know that asparagus is an excellent purifier of the urinary tract? It can help to cure infections in both the kidneys and the rest of the urinary tract. Don’t worry if when you eat it your urine starts to smell strange – this is normal. Its curative substances will do their job on your kidneys. It tastes great as well!

6. Apple cider vinegar

When you have a urinary tract infection, it is best to drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar added. It is also an excellent remedy for preventing slow digestion. Drink a glass once a day after lunch.

7. The wonders of a simple celery smoothie

This is a very simple and natural remedy for a kidney infection. Put two celery stalks, two thick pineapple slices, and a cup of chamomile tea in the blender. Add a litre of water and drink it throughout the day. You will notice how good you feel.


If your symptoms don’t improve quickly, return to your doctor.