Things you need to know about Nephritis, pyelonephritis

Nephritis – pyelonephritis is a type of urinary tract infection. It usually starts with an infection of the urethra or bladder, then spreads to one or both kidneys.

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Nephritis - pyelonephritis needs to be treated promptly. This disease can permanently damage the kidneys or cause sepsis and is life-threatening if not treated appropriately.

Things you need to know about Nephritis, pyelonephritis

Nephritis – pyelonephritis


What are the symptoms of pyelonephritis?

People with pyelonephritis may experience symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain in the back or groin area
  • Stomachache
  • Frequent urination
  • Constant feeling of needing to urinate
  • Painful urination, painful urination (pain when urinating)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Purulent or blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Bad-smelling urine or cloudy urine

Things you need to know about Nephritis, pyelonephritis

Back pain is a symptom of nephritis - pyelonephritis

Nephritis - pyelonephritis caused by what?

Bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra (the urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the external genitalia). The bacteria then multiply and travel back up to the kidney. Bacterial invasion upstream is the most common cause of pyelonephritis.

In addition, bacteria from other infections in the body can also reach the kidneys through the bloodstream. For example, patients who have had an artificial joint replacement or have an artificial heart valve can develop pyelonephritis because those prosthetic organs are infected and transfused with blood.

A rare case of pyelonephritis - pyelonephritis after kidney surgery.

Who is susceptible to pyelonephritis - pyelonephritis?

The following factors increase the risk of this disease:

  • Female. The urethra in women is shorter than in men. This feature makes it easier for bacteria to move from outside the body into the bladder. In addition, the urethra in women is also close to the vagina and anus, creating an opportunity for bacteria to enter the bladder. Once in the bladder, bacteria can travel back up the kidney. In particular, the risk of this disease is higher in pregnant women.
  • Urinary tract obstruction. This blockage can be caused by anything that slows urine flow or reduces the bladder's ability to empty. Common causes of obstruction include kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland in men.
  • Immunosuppression. Diseases that weaken the immune system, such as diabetes or HIV, increase the risk of pyelonephritis. In addition, certain medications, such as immunosuppressants used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, also increase the risk.

Things you need to know about Nephritis, pyelonephritis

Women are more susceptible to nephritis - pyelonephritis than men

There are also factors such as:

  • Damage to the nerves around the bladder. Nerve or spinal cord damage causes bladder infection symptoms to go unnoticed. As a result, you won't know when a bladder infection turns into a kidney infection.
  • Long-term urinary catheterization. The urinary catheter is used to carry urine out of the bladder. Usually, the patient will have this tube placed during and after surgery or some type of test. Place a urinary catheter in case the patient is unable to move out of bed.
  • Several diseases affect urine flow. In vesicoureteral reflux, a small amount of urine flows back from the bladder to the ureters and then to the kidneys. This condition increases the risk of pyelonephritis.

Nephritis - how dangerous is pyelonephritis?

If left untreated, this disease can lead to serious complications such as:

  • Kidney scars. If pyelonephritis leaves enough scarring, it can lead to chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, and kidney failure.
  • Sepsis. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood and returning the filtered blood back to the body. When the kidneys become infected, bacteria can enter the bloodstream causing sepsis.
  • Complications during pregnancy. Pregnant women with pyelonephritis have an increased risk of having a low-birth-weight baby.

Therefore, if you have symptoms that are suspected to be caused by pyelonephritis, you should see your doctor soon. In addition, you should also see a doctor if during treatment for a UTI but your symptoms do not improve. Nephritis – Severe pyelonephritis can cause life-threatening complications. Therefore, if you experience symptoms such as hematuria or nausea, vomiting along with the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Doctor's advice in preventing pyelonephritis - pyelonephritis

People, especially women, can take steps to reduce their risk of pyelonephritis:

  • Drink enough water. Water helps to remove bacteria from the body when urinating. You should urinate when you feel the need to urinate, avoid delay.
  • Empty the bladder after intercourse. Urinating as soon as possible after intercourse will help flush bacteria from the urethra, helping to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Wipe carefully after going to the toilet. Wiping from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra.
  • Avoid using products intended for the female genital area. Using products like deodorant sprays or douches can cause irritation.

Things you need to know about Nephritis, pyelonephritis

Drinking enough water is a measure to prevent nephritis - pyelonephritis

What tests should be done to diagnose pyelonephritis?

To definitively diagnose a patient with pyelonephritis, the doctor will test a urine sample to look for bacteria, blood, or pus in the urine. Your doctor will also perform a blood culture to check for bacteria in your blood.

Other tests that may be ordered include an ultrasound, a CT scan, or a urinary bladder-urethrogram (VCUG). VCUG imaging involves injecting contrast material into the bladder, taking pictures when the bladder is distended and when urinating.

Things you need to know about Nephritis, pyelonephritis

X-ray image of bladder - urethra when urinating

How to treat nephritis - pyelonephritis?


Antibiotics are the first-line treatment for patients with pyelonephritis. Depending on the patient's health condition and the type of bacteria causing the disease, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic and duration of treatment.

Usually, the symptoms caused by the disease improve markedly after a few days of treatment, but the patient needs to continue taking antibiotics for a week or longer. Patients should adhere to the duration of antibiotic prescribed by the doctor even though the symptoms are gone.

Your doctor will repeat the urine culture test to make sure there is no longer a UTI. If the infection persists, the patient will need another course of antibiotics.

Hospitalization if nephritis – severe pyelonephritis

If the condition is severe, the doctor will send the patient to the hospital. Treatment then includes antibiotics and intravenous fluids. The length of hospital stay depends on the severity of the disease and the patient's health condition.

Treatment for nephritis - recurrent pyelonephritis

Diseases such as urinary tract abnormalities can cause patients to have nephritis - pyelonephritis many times. In that case, a nephrologist or urologist will evaluate and decide whether the patient needs surgery to correct the structural abnormality of the urinary tract.

Lifestyle and home remedies for sick people

To ease the discomfort caused by this disease, the patient can do the following:

  • Hot compress. Place a heating pad on your stomach, back, or side to relieve pain.
  • Use pain relievers. If you have a fever or discomfort, you can take a non-aspirin pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Do not get dehydrated. Drinking enough water will help clear bacteria from the urinary tract. In addition, the sick person should avoid coffee and alcohol until the illness is over. This is because these drinks can make the urge to urinate worse.

Pyelonephritis can cause systemic symptoms (eg, fever) with urinary symptoms (eg, hematuria, urinary urgency, urinary frequency). This disease is treated with specific antibiotics and usually requires hospitalization if the disease is advanced. Without prompt treatment, pyelonephritis can cause many dangerous, even life-threatening complications. Therefore, when you have the above symptoms, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. Hopefully the above article of SignsSymptomsList has given you the necessary information about pyelonephritis - pyelonephritis.

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