You may have heard of skin infections, throat infections, and ear infections, but there is another fairly common infection that affects your kidneys, called a kidney infection.
Kidney infection occurs when microorganisms, such as bacteria, invade your kidney and start multiplying. It is also called pyelonephritis.
If you have received a diagnosis of kidney infection, you may have many questions about it in your mind. Let’s discuss the most frequently asked questions about kidney infections and where you can go for the treatment of kidney infections in Brockton & Taunton, MA.
What Exactly is a Kidney Infection?
Kidney infection is an infection of one or both kidneys that happens when microorganisms, such as bacteria, move from one part of your body, let’s say the bladder, to one or both kidneys. This means that a kidney infection may begin in the urethra or the bladder and can travel to one or both of your kidneys.
A kidney infection is considered more serious than an infection of the bladder and urethra (lower urinary tract), as healthy kidneys are vital to a healthy body.
How Common Kidney Infection Is?
Just like urinary tract infection, kidney infection is also common in the United States. It is estimated that every one out of 2,000 Americans gets a kidney infection each year.
Is Kidney Infection the Same as Urinary Tract Infection?
Both kidney infection and urinary tract infection indeed share similar symptoms. However, kidney infection or pyelonephritis is not the same as urinary tract infection (an infection of the lower urinary tract such as the bladder or urethra.) but is a type of it.
Plus, kidney infection or pyelonephritis is more likely to cause fever, make you feel sick, or cause pain in the lower back or side.
What Are Some Risk Factors for Pyelonephritis?
Certain health conditions make it easier for your kidneys to get infected. These conditions include:
- Blockage in the urinary tract due to kidney stones, enlarged prostate, uterine prolapse, etc.
- Vesicoureteral reflux –a condition in which your urine goes the wrong way and backs up from your bladder
Medication that suppresses your immune system can also put you at risk for pyelonephritis.
What Are Some Warning Signs of Pyelonephritis?
If you have pyelonephritis, you may feel very sick and notice symptoms like fever, chills, pain in your lower back or side, pain while urinating, blood in the pee, cloudy pee that smells, and frequent or urgent need to pee.
How is Pyelonephritis Treated?
Just like any other infection, kidney infection is also treated with antibiotics. Your doctor may recommend one or a combination of antibiotic medicines for at least 14 days.
Ideally, you should start feeling better within two to three days of starting your medications. However, you still need to complete your prescription for antibiotics even if you feel fine.
Failure to find sufficient relief from antibiotics warrants a hospital stay and prolonged use of antibiotics.
Kidney Infection Treatment at Associates in Nephrology
If left untreated, kidney infection may result in a variety of complications, such as kidney scarring, blood poisoning, and pregnancy complication – if you are a female and are at reproductive age.
So, it’s a good idea to receive treatment for your kidney issue from kidney experts at Associates in Nephrology. Our doctors are committed to providing you with advanced and comprehensive treatment for a full range of kidney issues, including kidney infections, kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, etc.