Kidney infection or pyelonephritis is of bacterial origin and may affect either one or both kidneys. In 90% of all kidney infections the cause is bacteria known as Escherichia coli. The infection usually starts in the bladder, moves up and affects the kidneys.
Some conditions are known to decrease defense mechanisms of the body and thus are associated with kidney infections. Abnormalities of the urinary tract, pregnancy and diabetes may make people more prone to these infections. People suffering from kidney stones or cancer may also experience kidney infection due to the weakened immune system. Women may get infected after the entrance of bacteria to their urinary tract after sexual intercourse. Extended use of Foley catheters is also connected to increased risk of kidney infections.
There is a difference between the acute and chronic kidney infection. Acute kidney infection starts all of a sudden, the symptoms are usually very severe but it also ends up rapidly. In the case when someone suffers from chronic kidney infection, the condition is known to progress slowly and become worse over a certain period of time.
Kidney Infection Symptoms
People suffering from kidney infection may experience frequent urge to urinate or inability to urinate. Some of these patients have reported burning or the pain caused by urination, specific smell and cloudiness of the urine and sometimes blood or pus in the urine.
Pain in the back, in the groins or in the loin, accompanied by some pressure or pain in the abdominal area is also frequent in patients suffering from kidney infection. Nausea, the fever or some night time urge to urinate (nocturia) can also indicate kidney infection.
Babies or small children suffering from this condition may lose their appetite, experience some loose bowel movements or wet the bed (enuresis). In some cases, these children may become increasingly irritated.
Elderly patients suffering from kidney infection can experience different mental changes, including some confusion, as only symptoms of this condition.
Recognize Severe Symptoms of Kidney Infection
When the condition gets serious, there might be some shaking chills and vomiting. High fever (over 38.3 degrees Celsius), night sweating, extreme tiredness and confusion may also be present if kidney infection progressed.
Kidney infection must be treated, because consequences could be very severe. Blood poisoning, loss of a kidney or in some cases even death might be direct result of untreated kidney infection.
Burning sensation during urination, especially if it is combined with intense pain is the certain sign of kidney infection. Dull ache, located high above the waist or in the lower back, sensed as repetitious punches also indicated kidney infection. Watch for exhaustion and fatigue, also, because these symptoms are very common for this medical condition.