Pyelonephritis is a medical condition characterized by an inflammation of the kidney tissue, specifically the renal pelvis and the parenchyma. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli), spreading from the lower urinary tract to the kidneys.
Understanding Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infections)
Symptoms of pyelonephritis may include high fever, back or flank pain, frequent urination, painful urination, cloudy or bloody urine, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can lead to complications like kidney abscess or sepsis.
Diagnosis of pyelonephritis often involves urine analysis, blood tests, and imaging studies such as ultrasound or CT scan. Prompt and appropriate treatment is essential to prevent further complications and kidney damage.
Treatment for pyelonephritis typically involves antibiotics to eliminate the infection. In severe cases or when complications arise, hospitalization may be required for intravenous antibiotics and supportive care. It is also essential to address any underlying conditions that may contribute to recurrent infections.
Shaping Clinical Practices:
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Preventing pyelonephritis involves practicing good hygiene, maintaining proper hydration, emptying the bladder regularly, urinating after sexual intercourse, and avoiding potentially harmful behaviors like holding urine for prolonged periods.
Overall, with timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the prognosis for pyelonephritis is good. However, recurrent or chronic infections may increase the risk of kidney damage and other complications.
Causes of Pyelonephritis
- Bacterial infection: Pyelonephritis is primarily caused by a bacterial infection, commonly originating from the bladder and ascending through the ureters to the kidneys.
- E. coli bacteria: The most common bacteria responsible for causing pyelonephritis is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is found in the gastrointestinal tract and can migrate to the urinary tract.
- Obstruction of urine flow: Blockage or obstruction in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate, can lead to an increased risk of developing pyelonephritis as urine stagnates and provides a breeding ground for bacterial growth.
- Urinary tract abnormalities: Structural abnormalities in the urinary tract, such as congenital defects or vesicoureteral reflux, may contribute to recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) that can progress to pyelonephritis.
- Weakened immune system: Individuals with a weakened immune system, such as those with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, are more susceptible to severe infections, including pyelonephritis.
- Flank pain
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Blood in urine
- Cloudy urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting