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Kidney Infections: Talking about Pyelonephritis

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The whole human body filtering system is one big target for infections, as are a lot of other human organs.


But when talking about kidney infections, pyelonephritis is a must mention, since half of the entire female population experiences one or the other urinary tract infection (UTI) once in their lifetime.

Introducing Pyelonephritis

It is a UTI, you know this. It is more prevalent in women but is kind of a big deal for the male population as well.

Pyelonephritis is a disease of the upper urinary system. The skin around your urethra is a tunnel entryway for bacteria. These nasty creatures travel up to your ureter, where they cause diseases of the lower urinary system.

But then, there are some of these organisms who reach your ureter and then to your kidneys. Bam and you’ve got a kidney infection.

Why the Gender Bias

Well, a female urethra is shorter than a male one. Less distance to travel is a shorter journey, and all that.

The Dangers of this Kidney Infection in Men and Women

I’ve got one word for you- serious.

Pyelonephritis is a dangerous, potentially disastrous kidney infection. Antibiotics are known to deal with it at almost all occasions. But in case it ever gets into your blood, you can fall prey to many serious conditions that might even prove life-threatening.

Now, hospitalization is not always required in this case. If you are suffering from pyelonephritis, but you are able to move around, you aren’t bedridden and are not vomiting everything that you put into your mouth, then you don’t need to stay at the hospital. Oral antibiotics would do.

However, in case you have taken a turn for the more severe situation, hospitalization is critical, so that the drugs can be introduced intravenously to make sure that the antibiotics reach your kidneys.

Other Conditions Might Promote It

Chances are, if you have a condition that has reduced you urine flow, you’ll be at a higher risk of this particular kidney infection. Causes like stones in the kidneys, bladder, or ureters, a tumor or an outgrown mass, benign prostatic hypertrophy, also, any condition that royally screws up your immune system.

Symptoms of Kidney Infections in Men & Women

  • Since this is a UTI, painful or frequent urination is a given symptom.
  • Fever, easily exceeding 103 degrees.
  • Flank pain, nausea and vomiting.
  • Bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine.
  • Confusion, if you are a senior citizen.

How to Fight This Kidney Infection: Treatment

Antibiotics are a preferred choice of medicinal drugs for most of the kidney infections. Diagnosis however, can be done via tests like urinalysis, urine culture, blood cultures, CT scan, kidney ultrasound.

While home remedies are very popular with this ailment, they aren’t always supported by the doctors. Also, they are not enough to deal with something like pyelonephritis. If they backfire and the infection gets worse, there can be severe consequences.

Acute, Chronic And Severe Pyelonephritis

Acute pyelonephritis is easy. You take meds, it vanishes. Never reappears. Leaves no everlasting signs of damage.

Severe is when the infection turns into a pocket called abscess. This needs to be drained out via a medical procedure - nephrostomy.

Chronic pyelonephritis is rare. It is mostly because of a birth defect. It never really goes away, and when this kidney infection makes repeated appearances, that can lead to scarring in the kidney. Ultimately, it can cause kidney failures.

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