Even though urine contains a number of fluids, salt and waste product it does not carry bacteria. When bacteria do make its way in there and multiplies, it causes Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Pyelonephritis is a type of UTI which is situated in the pelvis and kidney. Usually the basic treatment for pyelonephritis is antibiotics. Several other measures are also needed to be taken to prevent it from reoccurring. It can be terminated right after detecting the primary symptoms but if it is not taken care of, pyelonephritis may turn into some other complicated infection such as sepsis.

Pyelonephritis is divided into 2 categories: acute pyelonephritis and chronic pyelonephritis. Acute pyelonephritis is when inflammation occurs due to bacteria. This has an effect on the interstitial area as well as renal pelvis. Chronic pyelonephritis is when inflammation takes place in the kidney, which may result in renal failure.

It is widely considered that bacteria that enter from different parts of the body travels through the bloodstream, reaches the kidney, regroups there and causes the infection. In some cases it may be transcended through the urethra to the kidney. Since women’s urethra is short and is close to the anus which carries bacteria, they are more likely to be affected by Pyelonephritis.

The pyelonephritis becomes high risk for the following factors:

  • Abnormalities in the urinary system, especially among children.
  • From preexisting diseases such as diabetes.
  • Genetically passed on by family members
  • Multiple sexual partners.

Even though this disease concerns kidney and the urinary system, the preliminary symptoms of pyelonephritis does not concern any of that. High fever with chills and joint pains are the primary signs. Chronic pain in the abdomen may occur as well. This may be confused as a general flu among children. UTI becomes clear when irritation during urination as well as sudden urge to urinate occurs as secondary symptoms. For acute case of Pyelonephritis, the symptoms also include loss of appetite and severe fatigue.

For chronic case, there may be no visible symptom at all. The bacterium grows over years without being detected and suddenly causes kidney failure. That’s why whenever there are indications of hypertension or anemia in the body; one should get tested for pyelonephritis. Even though severe damages may have already taken place, it is always better to be late than never.

To determine whether one has pyelonephritis or not, physician assigns a number of tests including blood culture and urine culture. For a thorough inspection of the kidney, ultra sonogram may be required.

For most cases of pyelonephritis, antibiotics are prescribed for at least a month, even though just three days worth of antibiotics makes the urine sterile, and after the symptoms are gone patients are required to go through another urine culture in order to make sure the infection will not return. For severe cases hospitalization and even surgery may be required. For patients with the risk of re-infection, follow ups on regular basis is required to stay safe. Usually an improvement in the conditions occurs between 72 hours of consuming the antibiotics.

An episode of pyelonephritis can be easily cured and does not cause any irreversible damage. However, if the infection occurs several times it may cause chronic kidney disease, especially among children. Chronic UTI also decreases a woman’s fertility. Thus, even though it may seem like a minor infection, it should be treated with great caution because if the infection gets complicated it may leave permanent damage to the kidney and the urinary system. Routinely following up with the doctor if the infection ever occurs is the best way to avoid complications.

Last updated on Jul 18th, 2010 and filed under Genitourinary Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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