A kidney infection -which is known as pyelonephritis in the medical field – is a serious condition that requires immediate medical assistance because if it is left untreated it can cause damage to the kidneys that is irreversible and the infection may enter the bloodstream causing a potentially life threatening condition.
What Are Kidney Infections?
A kidney infection is a “UTI” or “urinary tract infection” that initially starts within the bladder or urethra and spreads or moves upwards into the kidneys. Antibiotics are the primary form of treatment for a kidney infection; however, in many cases a kidney infection will also require hospitalization.
Causes and Symptoms of a Kidney Infection or Pyelonephritis
The most common cause of a kidney infection is bacteria that has passed through the urethra into the urinary tract and multiplies spreading to the kidneys. While it is possible for a kidney infection to occur when an infection has entered the bloodstream from another area within the body and spreads to the kidneys, this is a rare occurrence but is sometimes seen in individuals who have had surgeries to replace a heart valve or joint and this “foreign” matter in the body becomes infected.
The list below includes the signs and symptoms that are associated with a kidney problem. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should contact your primary care physician or health care provider for an evaluation as soon as possible:
Constant and strong urges to urinate.
Pain and burning when urinating.
Pain that occurs in the abdomen, side – flank -, back, or groin area.
Hematuria (blood) or pus in the urine