CAUSES – Kidney and urinary tract infections may be caused by bacteria invading the urine, which is normally a sterile body fluid. Pregnant women may also be at higher risk for developing urinary tract infections. By far, the most common organism causing urinary tract infection is Escherichia coli.
TREATMENT – A kidney infection is treated with an appropriate antibiotic; large quantities of water and abnormalities may need to be surgically treated. An untreated or recurrent kidney infection can lead to chronic pyelonephritis, scarring of the kidneys, and permanent kidney damage.
PREVENTION – Emptying the bladder as soon as you feel the urge can prevent a kidney infection. Emptying the bladder (urinating) after sexual intercourse or wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom may significantly reduce the chance of developing kidney infection in women. You should make it a practice to drink plenty of liquids. Cranberry juice is a good source of liquid to help fight off urinary tract infections.