Steps to Treat Kidney Infections Correctly!

Kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis , is a medical condition that occurs when bacteria spreads from the urinary tract to one or both kidneys. One of the most common bacteria is Escherichia Coli (E.coli) . Kidney infections can occur suddenly (acute) or develop slowly (chronic). Most kidney infections are caused by bacterial infections. Apart from bacteria, kidney infections can also be caused by viruses or fungi, but both are rare.

The bacteria that cause kidney infections most often come from the digestive tract and enter the urinary tract and multiply in the bladder, then spread to the kidneys. Usually, the bacteria that enters will be excreted in the urine so that infection does not occur. However, under certain conditions, these bacteria will multiply in the urinary tract until they eventually spread to the kidneys. This condition is sometimes characterized by the appearance of pus or blood in the urine.

Kidney infections can attack anyone. However, women have a higher risk of kidney infection. Compared with the male urethra, the female urethra is shorter and located closer to the genitals and anus, which are breeding grounds for bacteria. This suggests that bacteria can more easily enter a woman's urethra, and once inside (the journey to the bladder is shorter), the bacteria can move to the kidneys. Pregnant women are more susceptible to kidney infections because the growing baby can put pressure on a woman's ureters and reduce urine flow. So what steps can be taken to treat kidney infections?

Steps to Treat Kidney Infection

  1. Administration of Antibiotics
    The doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection that causes pyelonephritis. The main method for treating kidney infections is by administering antibiotics. For severe infections, doctors can give intravenous antibiotics. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions and complete all prescribed antibiotics, even if symptoms have improved

  2. Rest
    Getting enough rest is essential to help the body fight infection and recover. Rest is important because it gives the body the opportunity to focus on fighting infections and restoring strength. When resting, the immune system can work more effectively to fight bacteria that cause kidney infections.

  3. Consume Adequate Fluids
    Drinking lots of fluids, especially water, helps speed up the healing process by increasing the frequency of urination. This helps remove bacteria from the urinary tract thereby reducing the burden of infection on the kidneys. Fluids also help maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

  4. Use of Pain Relievers
    Pain and fever are common symptoms that often accompany kidney infections. Pain medication helps reduce the discomfort felt by the patient, allowing them to be more comfortable during the healing process. However, it is very important to follow the dosage recommended by your doctor and pay attention to any possible side effects that may arise.

  5. Avoid Alcoholic Drinks and Caffeine
    Alcoholic drinks and caffeine can irritate the urinary tract and worsen symptoms of kidney infections. Alcohol and caffeine have a diuretic effect which can increase the frequency of urination and make irritation of the urinary tract worse. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid these drinks during the period of kidney infection and recovery process.

  6. Compressing the painful part of the stomach or waist
    Compressing the painful area with a warm towel or heating pad is an effective method to reduce the discomfort caused by a kidney infection. Warming up helps increase blood circulation to the affected area and may provide some relief. It also helps reduce inflammation and speeds up the healing process.

[Also Read] Avoid These 7 Habits to Prevent Kidney Damage

By understanding kidney infections and the steps we can take to treat them, we can protect our kidney health and prevent serious complications. Prioritizing prevention, proper treatment, and healthy lifestyle changes are important steps in ensuring optimal kidney health. Thus, with the knowledge gained, let's keep our kidneys healthy so that they remain in top condition and free from infection.

Article written by dr. Arie Asnafi, Sp.U (Urological Surgery Specialist - EMC Tangerang Hospital).