Symptoms of Kidney Infection

Kidney infection (medical term of kidney infection is pyelonephritis) is a special types of infection of urinary tract (UTI). Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) usually begins as UTI, i.e. it starts as infection of bladder or urethra and travels upwards to kidney and infects them. Kidney infection need to be treated promptly with appropriate antibiotics. Because, kidney infection, if left untreated or inadequately treated may lead to infection spreading to bloodstream and/or damage kidneys permanently and lead to serious life-threatening consequences.

What are the symptoms and signs of kidney infection?

Symptoms and signs of kidney infection include,

  • Fever and it may be accompanied by chills and rigors (kidney infection is one of the few infections that cause fever with chills and rigors such as malaria, infection of gall bladder etc.).
  • Pain in groin, flanks or back and abdominal pain
  • Urgency (a strong urge to urinate) and frequency of urination
  • Pain during micturition and/or burning sensation during urination
  • Hematuria of blood in urine or there may be pus in urine too
  • Urine is cloudy in appearance and it is of bad smell

If you have any of the above mentioned signs and symptoms of kidney infection, seek immediate medical attention and see your doctor. Your doctor may ask for various tests to help diagnose kidney infection and start immediate treatment, if your doctor suspects kidney infection.

What are the complications of kidney infection?

Kidney infection may have following complications,

  • Permanent damage to kidneys is a major complication of kidney infection. Permanent damage to kidney can lead to chronic kidney disease and ultimately to kidney failure, requiring transplantation. Hence, kidney infection need urgent and adequate management. Kidneys filter waste from blood and return purified blood, to blood circulation. If your kidneys are damaged, this function of filtering blood of waste and toxic things cannot be done, leading various health problems.
  • Septicemia is another life-threatening complication of kidney infection. Infection from kidneys may reach blood circulation and lead to septicemia, a life-threatening medical problem.
  • Kidney infection during pregnancy can have adverse effects on the growing fetus and may lead to low birth weight babies and other complications. Use of antibiotics during pregnancy for treatment of kidney infection can also have its adverse consequences to the fetus.

What causes kidney infection?

Kidney infection occurs when bacteria enter urinary tract from via urethra, bladder and ureter (the tube that carries urine from kidney to urinary bladder) to kidneys and start to multiply in kidneys. This is the usual way of kidney infection. However, kidney infection can also occur via spread of bacteria from blood circulation to kidneys. This is unusual way of infection of kidneys, but it can occur, especially if one has infected heart valve or artificial joint. Another rare way of kidney infection is after kidney surgery. This is extremely rare.

 

Image courtesy of [stockdevil] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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