ZocdocAnswersDo I have a kidney infection or something else?

Question

Do I have a kidney infection or something else?

Had a kidney infection but I was given antibiotics that made it went away. Two weeks later, symptoms came back but they weren't as bad. Is it just another kidney infection or something else? Maybe something worse?

Answer

A kidney infection is also called pyelonephritis. It is an infection that usually starts in the bladder and moves up towards the kidneys. Pyelonephritis is a much more dangerous infection that a simple urinary tract infection because it is more likely to form an abscess or move into the blood when the infection is in the kidney itself. If you received antibiotics and got better, that usually means that your symptoms were caused by the infection and that it was properly treated. However, if you had the same symptoms return (even if they were not as bad), this could mean that the infection returned. It could be from a new bacteria, or it could be the same one that you had before that was not fully treated with your previous antibiotic. Either way you should have the infection looked at. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will listen to your description of your symptoms and determine if they warrant further studies. Most likely, your doctor will want to get a new urinalysis and perhaps some imaging of your back where your kidneys reside. An ultrasound of this area can let the doctor know if an abscess has formed. You may have to go back on antibiotics for a longer period of time. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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