Pyelonephritis – what is it

This is one of the most common kidney diseases. Acute pyelonephritis is a sudden inflammation that is caused by bacteria.

It mainly affects the interstitial tissue and the renal pelvis or, more often, the tubules – the renal tubules.

Chronic pyelonephritis is a long-term inflammation of the kidneys, which can also cause chronic kidney failure.

This disease develops most often in people who are predisposed to the repeated acute form of the disease, such as frequent cases of urinary tract obstruction or vesicoureteral reflux.

What are the causes

Specialists believe that the bacterial infection that causes the inflammation of the kidneys can sometimes develop elsewhere in the body and travel through the bloodstream and involve the kidneys.


More often, however, the infection is the result of bacteria that enter the body in the opposite direction from the lower urinary tract into the bladder and gradually reach and affect the kidneys.< /p>

In this case, this condition is referred to as ascending infection. This may explain why women whose urethras are shorter and are in close proximity to the anus, which is a potential source of bacteria, are 4 times more likely to develop kidney inflammation.

The backflow of urine into the kidneys, more commonly known as urinary reflux, and this condition can be caused by a birth defect or an obstruction. In the first case, instead of a valve between the urethra and the bladder, there is a wide opening.

Obstructions that cause urinary reflux in women are usually in the form of a stricture or connective tissue that is formed by infection or inflammation of the urethra.

In younger men, such strictures are formed less often and are most often the result of sexually transmitted infections. In adult men, the prostate most often obstructs the movement of urine.

Urine reflux can be caused by catheter insertion or cytoscopes for diagnosis and treatment. The introduction of any foreign body into the area of ​​the blockage creates a risk of infection, which can be very difficult to treat.

Symptoms of the disease

Regardless of the underlying cause, the symptoms of acute bacterial pyelonephritis are often the same. The first indications are chills, which are accompanied by high fever and muscle and joint pains, including hip pain

Symptoms can also be confusing, especially in children, when a high fever can cause seizures or a change in mental status. In adults, the infection can become confusing or be masked by other pains and suffering.

There may also be irritating urinary symptoms such as burning when urinating, constant urges to urinate, or increased frequency of urination.

In acute infections, symptoms develop rapidly, high fever is the most characteristic symptom, followed by changes in the color of urine and flank pain. As the kidneys become inflamed, all the symptoms characteristic of an infection can develop.

Treatment of pyelonephritis

Inflammation of the kidneys is most often caused by a bacterial cause and antibiotic therapy is applied. And in order to determine the specific cause, a urine culture is done, which allows the urologist to prescribe the most – the appropriate antibiotic in the case.

But if the infectious organism cannot be identified, therapy consists of taking a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Symptoms may disappear a few days after the start of antibiotics.

Although urine is sterilized within 48 to 72 hours of starting therapy, the course of treatment is usually 21 days.

For more severe infections or developed other complications, hospitalization is necessary at least initially. Some patients may also require surgery to remove the obstruction or correct the congenital anomaly.

Several days after antibiotic therapy is stopped, a new urine culture is done to determine if inflammation is developing again.

How to protect yourself

Some cases of kidney inflammation can be avoided by timely recognition and treatment of mild bladder infections, which if left untreated can progress to more severe urinary tract infections. the ureters and then the kidneys

  • Maintain good urogenital tract hygiene: The first and most important way to prevent pyelonephritis is to maintain good urogenital tract hygiene. Regular washing of the genitals with soap and water after using the toilet is essential. You should dry yourself well to prevent moisture build-up that can create the right conditions for infections to develop.
  • Drink plenty of water: Staying well hydrated is essential for health. of the kidneys. Drinking enough water helps the kidneys flush toxins and bacteria from urine, preventing them from being retained in the body.
  • Urine regularly: Regular urination is important as it helps flush harmful bacteria and toxins from the urogenital tract. . Urine retention in the urinary tract can create conditions for infections to develop.
  • Watch for symptoms of urinary tract infections: Watch for symptoms of bladder infections, such as frequent urination, or painful urination and strong urination. If you notice such symptoms, seek medical advice and treatment in time. Mild bladder infections can be treated easily before they develop into more serious problems.
  • Practice sexual hygiene: If you are sexually active, use protection methods such as condoms to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Sexually transmitted infections can lead to pyelonephritis, so it is important to practice sexual hygiene.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity and avoiding smoking, supports the immune system and helps the body better deal with infections.
  • See a doctor regularly: Regular medical checkups with your doctor can help detect and treat potential problems with urogenital tract before they develop into serious diseases.

Following these tips can significantly reduce the risk of pyelonephritis and help you keep your kidneys healthy.

Remember, in case of symptoms or suspected infection, it is always best to consult a medical professional for professional evaluation and treatment.

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