What Should I Do If I Get a Kidney Infection?

A kidney infection is serious stuff. It’s possible to use some at-home remedies to ease pain and symptoms, but you should always go to a doctor first if you are afraid you have a kidney infection.

Our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team provides more helpful information on kidney infections below, so read on!

What Is a Kidney Infection?

A kidney infection, medically known as pyelonephritis, is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that generally begins in the urethra or bladder and travels to one or both of the kidneys.

A kidney infection requires prompt medical attention. If not treated properly, a kidney infection can permanently damage the kidneys, or the bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection. We’ve listed some common symptoms of kidney infections below.

Common Kidney Infection Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Back or side pain
  • Groin pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Urine that’s cloudy, smells bad or contains blood

When Should I Go to the Doctor?

While a UTI is uncomfortable, it doesn’t technically require immediate medical attention. However, if you experience any of the previously mentioned symptoms or symptoms of a UTI, it’s better to visit our AFC center ASAP to ensure that a kidney infection doesn’t occur.

When left untreated, a kidney infection can quickly cause long-term kidney damage or kidney scarring. We’ve listed some additional negative and life-threatening effects untreated kidney infections can have on the body below.

Potential Serious Complications of Kidney Infections

  • You may permanently damage your kidneys, leading to chronic kidney disease or rarely, kidney failure.
  • Bacteria from your kidneys could poison your bloodstream, causing life-threatening sepsis.
  • You may develop renal scarring or high blood pressure, but this is rare.

Don’t take any chances with kidney infections! If you have experienced symptoms lately and are afraid it might be a kidney infection, don’t wait to visit our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team to get the treatment you need. We’re here for you now and always.


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

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Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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