Kidney infection or pyelonephritis is an infection of the kidney organs, which can cause symptoms in the form of the appearance of blood or pus in the urine. Kidney infections often occur due to previous bladder infections.
Kidney infections are more at risk in women than men. In addition, a previous urinary tract disorder, also makes a person more susceptible to kidney infections. To treat kidney infections, there is generally no need for hospitalization, unless the patient is a child, dehydrated, or suffering from sepsis.
Kidney Infection Symptoms
Symptoms of kidney infection usually appear two days after the infection occurs. The following are the symptoms that appear in people with kidney infections:
- The presence of blood or pus in the urine
- Unusual smell of urine
- Low back pain
- No appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of kidney infection can also be accompanied by other symptoms of urinary tract infections, such as a sensation of pain or burning when urinating, the frequency of urination more often, or difficulty urinating.
The elderly and children with kidney infections sometimes do not show obvious symptoms. In the elderly, kidney infections can cause impaired consciousness, such as looking confused and talking chaotically. While in children, this condition can make children become fussy and wet.
Learn more about Burning Sensation When Peeing Causes
Kidney Infection Cause
Usually, it begins with a bladder infection that spreads to the kidneys. A bacterium called E. Coli causes infection of the kidneys. However, other bacteria can also cause kidney infections.
It is a rare thing, you can also have an infection that enters through the skin, which then enters the blood, then goes to the kidneys. You can also get an infection after kidney surgery, but it is very rare.
Who Gets Kidney Infections?
Anyone can get a kidney infection. But just as women get more bladder infections than men, they also get more kidney infections.
A woman’s urinary tract is shorter than a man’s urinary tract and closer to the vagi**na and anus, where bacteria live. It means; it is easier for bacteria to get into the female urethra, once the bacteria enter (it is a shorter trip to the bladder) from there, they can spread to the kidneys.
Pregnant women are even more likely to get a bladder infection because babies can suppress a woman’s ureter and slow down the flow of urine.
Any problems with your urinary tract that prevent urine from flowing out can increase your chances of getting a kidney infection, such as:
- Blockages in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones or pros**tate enlargement
- Conditions that make the bladder not completely empty
- Structural problems in the urinary tract, such as pinched urethra
- Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), a condition in which urine flows backwards from the bladder towards the kidneys
You are also more likely to get a kidney infection if you have:
- Nerve damage in your bladder
- Pros**tate infection, known as prostatitis
- Urinary catheters, tubes that flow into the urethra and urinary discharge
- Low immune system, such as type 2 diabetes.
Kidney Infection Diagnosis
If there are symptoms leading to a kidney infection, an examination of urine (urinalysis) is required in the laboratory. From the results of urine examination, the doctor will see if there are any bacteria, blood, nitrites, and leukocyte esterase that are signs of infection in the kidneys. Furthermore, to find out what type of germs cause kidney infection and what proper treatment is given, an examination of urine culture (breeding) is required.
If a kidney infection is suspected to be due to another disease in the urinary tract, then sometimes an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI is required to confirm it.