Pyelonephritis or kidney infection is a type of UTI or urinary tract infection that usually begins in the bladder or urethra and travels up to the kidneys. Kidney infections require immediate medical attention because if it is not properly treated, the infection may damage the kidney permanently or it can spread to the bloodstream and cause an infection that is life-threatening. Hospitalization and consumption of antibiotics are included in the kidney infection treatment.
Sign and Symptoms
· Abdominal pain
· Strong and persistent urgency to urinate
· Frequent urination
· Pain and burning sensation when urinating
· Hematuria or blood or pus in the urine.
A kidney infection usually occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and into the urinary tract and multiply. An existing bacterial infection anywhere in the body may also spread through the bloodstream and into the kidneys though this route to cause kidney infection is rare, it still can happen in some circumstances. Kidney infection may also result after a kidney surgery but these cases are rare.
· Female Anatomy
Kidney infection in women are greater than in men because the urethra of females are shorter than males, thus, bacteria travels fast from outside of the body into the bladder in females resulting to infection. The closeness of the urethra to vagina to anus also creates an easy access for the bacteria for bladder entry. When the bacteria reach the bladder, it spreads in the kidneys.
· Urinary Tract Obstruction
Anything that disrupts the urine flow reduces the emptying ability of the bladder upon urinating. Obstructions may include structural abnormalities, kidney stones, and enlarged prostate gland in men, increases the risk of kidney infection.
· Immuncompromised Patients
Diabetes, cancer, HIV or any disease that weakens the immune system increases kidney infection risk.
· Damage to Bladder Nerves
Spinal cord or nerve damage blocks the sensation of bladder infection making you unaware of an ongoing or advancing kidney infection.
· The Urine flows in the wrong way
Vesicoureteral reflux is a condition where in the urine in small amounts flows back from your bladder up to the kidney and ureters. People who have this condition have recurrent kidney conditions during childhood and in adulthood as well.
The signs and symptoms are the determinant of kidney infection such as upper back pain and fever. If your doctor suspects a kidney infection, he/she will let your urine examined by laboratory staff to determine any bacteria, pus and blood in your urine.
The kidney infection first line treatment is antibiotics. The kind of drug and duration of taking it depends on the severity of the infection and the kind of bacteria found. After few days of treatment, the signs and symptoms begin to disappear but it is a must to continue the medication as long as the doctor orders it.
· Recurrent Kidney Infection Treatment
Recurring of kidney infections frequently makes your doctor to recommend you to another specialist to identify the underlying cause. The usual cause of recurrent kidney infection is structural deformity which is usually corrected through surgery.