A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is a serious medical condition affecting the urinary tract and kidneys. It is important to understand the symptoms and risk factors associated with the disease.
Bacteria is the most common cause of kidney infections. Generally, it gains access to the urinary tract through the urethra and then travels to the bladder and the kidneys.
Common symptoms of a kidney infection are a pain in the side or lower back, fever, chills, urinary urgency, and frequency, vomiting, and nausea.
Kidney infections are most common amongst young adults, the elderly, and those who have diabetes and recently had surgery on their urinary tract.
Treatments vary depending on the severity and cause of the infection but can include antibiotics, pain relievers, fluids, and sometimes hospitalization.
People with diabetes, pregnant women, and those using a urinary catheter are more prone to kidney infections.
To prevent kidney infection, it is important to drink lots of water and urinate regularly, practice good hygiene, and avoid using scented soaps and feminine hygiene products.
If left untreated, a kidney infection can cause severe pain, permanent kidney damage, and a life-threatening infection in the bloodstream.
A kidney infection can also cause heartburn and indigestion.
Kidney infection can be diagnosed through urine tests and physical examinations.
In some cases, dialysis, a procedure where a special machine purifies the blood, is necessary to treat a kidney infection.