Acute or chronic infection of the kidneys, usually following bacterial infection of the urethra or bladder (see Cystitis), especially in women.
Inflammation results in sudden intense pain in the back, just above the waist, usually worse on one side; pain then extends down to groin, accompanied by high Fever, Nausea and Vomiting, rigours (intense shivering) Painful Urination, and frequent urge to pass urine; urine also turns pink or cloudy, and person feels generally cold and shivery. Kidney Stones, Bladder Tumour, an enlarged prostate (see Prostate Problems), or blockage of a ureter during pregnancy - all of which make transit of urine through urinary system slower - tend to increase risk of acute infection. If above symptoms are present, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours; antibiotics and bed rest will probably be prescribed, and x-ray investigation of the kidneys once attack has subsided.
Specific remedies to be taken every hour for up to 10 doses while waiting to see medical doctor
- Scanty urine, burning sensation as urine is passed, person exhausted and restless Arsenicum 30c
- Sudden onset, person fearful, feverish, and thirsty, painful urination and anxiety at start of urination, urine hot, red, and scanty, kidney area tender, symptoms come on after exposure to cold dry air Aconite 30c
- Frequent urge to pass urine, burning or tearing pains in kidney area, blood and mucus in urine, vomiting Uva ursi 30c
- Constant desire to pass urine, cutting, burning pains in kidney area Cantharis 30c
There are repeated infections, sometimes from childhood onwards, but no clear symptoms until kidney function is considerably, impaired; then early signs of Kidney Failure - tiredness, increased urination, itchy skin, nausea - set in; in most cases, condition is detected as the result of tests for other ailments.
Repeated infection is often due to weakness of valves between ureters and bladder allowing urine and any bacteria present in bladder to spurt back into ureters as bladder is emptied. Surgical repair of valves may be possible in children, but in adults usual treatment is to give low-dose antibiotics for long periods.
Homeopathic treatment is constitutional; however, while treatment is being sought, one of the remedies given for chronic kidney failure may be suitable.
Self-help: Increase fluid intake to at least 2.5 litres (5 pints) per day, and cut down protein and salt in diet. In acute attacks, eat only light, bland foods until infection abates.