How a Kidney Infection Is Diagnosed?

Infections of the urinary system can affect the lower tract, particularly the bladder (cystitis), the prostate (prostatitis), or the upper tract and kidney (pyelonephritis). Typically, it is a bacterial illness. About 2 percent of pregnant women experience it. If caught early, it is easily curable.

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that causes 90% of kidney infections (E. coli). The germs go from the vaginal region to the urethra, which drains the body's pee, via the tubes (ureters) that join the bladder and kidneys.

Certain microorganisms, such staph infections, can get into the bloodstream and go into the kidneys.

What causes and signs indicate a kidney infection?

Several issues can impact the likelihood of a kidney infection. These issues may consist of the following −

Structural issues are preventing urine flow. A constrained urethra caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate. Recirculation of urine between the kidneys and bladder.

During pregnancy, while the uterus is growing and can pinch the ureters and limit urine flow, allowing the germs to get to the kidneys; if your immune system is compromised, you have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

The more severe the symptoms, the more likely it is that the infection may harm the kidney.

Kidney infection signs and symptoms include

Development of chills unexpectedly, a fever of more than 100° Fahrenheit, groin, lower back, or side pain, Nausea, Vomiting, muscular spasms in the abdomen, urinating in pain, more frequent urination, Despite feeling the need to urinate immediately, unsuccessful attempts general negative emotions, abnormally colored urine, cloudy urine, urine with blood in it, unpleasant-smelling urine Please get the required medical help if you have any of these symptoms with abrupt onset.

Diagnosis of the Infection

Suppose you suffer kidney infection symptoms, such as painful or frequent urination, murky or odorous urine, fever and chills, discomfort in your lower back or side, nausea, and vomiting. In that case, it's crucial to consult a doctor soon as possible. A kidney infection can result in serious problems both immediately and over the long term if it is not identified and treated immediately.

Your doctor will enquire about your symptoms to determine whether you may have a kidney infection. Your medical history will also likely be questioned to ascertain whether you have a higher chance of developing a kidney infection.

Additionally, your doctor will conduct a physical examination to check for any torso redness or pain associated with a kidney infection.

You will be asked to provide a urine sample to do lab testing to check for bacterial infection if your doctor suspects a kidney infection.

Additionally, you can have imaging tests done to check for kidney abnormalities like enlargement or other changes that might point to an infection.

Physical examination and your personal medical history

You'll be questioned about the recent symptoms you've been having during your doctor's appointment, including what they are, how they've changed, and how long you've been aware of them.

Additionally, questions on your history of conditions like −

  • UTI within the previous year

  • Recent Pregnancy

  • Are any urinary tract issues you're aware of

  • renal stones

  • prostate growth

  • Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), in which urine enters your kidneys from the bladder,

  • Diabetes, HIV, taking medication for an organ transplant, having an autoimmune illness,

Or any other condition that might weaken your immune system.

  • spinal cord damage

  • injury to the abdominal nerves

  • Having difficulties emptying your bladder, or urinary retention

  • using a catheter to assist with bladder emptying

  • Your temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate are measured during your physical examination. An infection may manifest as a fever, rapid heartbeat, or low blood pressure.

Your doctor may do a pelvic exam on you if you're a woman to check for any irritation or discomfort that might indicate a UTI.

Men can have a digital rectal exam performed by their doctor. To expose your buttocks during this treatment, you will be asked to bend over a table or lie on your side with your legs near your chest.

Tests in the Lab for Kidney Infection

There are a few well-known urine tests that are frequently used in labs to assist in detecting kidney infections −

  • Urinalysis You will pee into a container at your doctor's office or a lab for this test. Your urine sample will be examined under a microscope to check for white blood cells or bacteria, which can be signs of an illness.

  • Urine culture A sample of your urine may be put in a container where the bacteria may grow to help identify causal bacteria and their type and assist in directing your treatment.

Imaging tests for infections of the kidney

The following choices are available if your doctor decides imaging tests are required −

CT Scan − A computer combines several X-ray pictures taken during this examination at various angles to provide detailed images of the tissues in your body.

MRI Scan is a procedure that creates pictures of organs and tissues by using a magnetic field and radio waves.

Ultrasound − In this examination, tissue pictures are created using sound waves. But ultrasonography has limits since sound does not easily pass through other tissues, such as bone.

Intravenous pyelogram, in which a dye is injected into your arm, and X-ray pictures of your urinary system are then taken to check for any indications of enlargement or other kidney and bladder anomalies.

Is it possible to avoid kidney infections (pyelonephritis)?

Kidney infections can be avoided by preventing germs from entering the bladder and urine system. Lower tract infections in the bladder are frequently the precursors to kidney infections. You can avoid kidney infections by preventing certain illnesses.

There are several strategies to maintain your kidneys healthily and prevent infection. These hints may consist of the following −

  • Hydration − Although it is crucial to consume enough fluids each day—not just water—there is no universal advice that all patients should follow. The quantity may fluctuate if you have specific medical concerns or reside in a hot climate. Your healthcare practitioner may advise you on how much water you should drink daily.

  • Urinate thoroughly − When you need to urinate, empty your bladder. Holding your urine in might be dangerous and encourage bacterial development. Urinating often helps eliminate any germs from your body and keeps it from becoming infected.

  • Urinate after sex − Urinating helps flush out any bacteria that may have entered the body due to sex. To avoid illnesses, both sexes should carry out this action.

  • Maintain proper hygiene − Keeping your body clean might help keep it from becoming sick. Wipe your body after a bowel movement from front to back to remove germs from the urethra (an opening in the body). For women, this is especially crucial.


For kidney infections (pyelonephritis), the outcome is excellent with therapy. It would help if you took all of the antibiotics that have been recommended to you. Even if you can feel better soon after starting treatment, you still need to complete the whole course of action.