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Do You Have a Kidney Infection?

Updated on September 19, 2008

Do You Have a Kidney Infection?

Left untreated, a urinary tract infection can progress to the upper tract – the kidneys. Although this is much less common than infections of the bladder and urethra (the lower tract), kidney infections are more dangerous. Normally, your kidneys filter impurities form your blood and help maintain chemical balances in your body. However, a kidney infection that’s not recognized or treated may cause permanent damage. Recurrent kidney infections can lead to chronic kidney disease. Another threat posed by kidney infection is that bacteria may enter the bloodstream, causing a life threatening infection called septicemia. Typical symptoms of a kidney infection include side, back or abdominal pain, high fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. A kidney infection requires immediate medical care. Usually, a longer course of an antibiotic is given. If the infection is severe, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics may be needed.

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