Kidney infections often result from a UTI, like a bladder infection, that has not been treated correctly. Their symptoms can be severe, especially in elderly patients. Fortunately, antibiotics can successfully treat these infections.
Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis) Information
The same bacteria that cause bladder infections often cause pyelonephritis, but your kidneys can also become infected by bacteria in the bloodstream that travel from an infection in another part of your body.
Essentially, pyelonephritis is a UTI, such as cystitis, gone bad. The bacteria that cause the UTI may have been left untreated or were inadequately treated with antibiotics. Those bacteria then make their way up through the ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) to the kidneys. If you have pyelonephritis, you will have all the symptoms of a bladder infection, but you may also have more intense back and/or abdominal pain, a fever that goes higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts for more than a couple of days, chills, vomiting, reddened and moist skin, and fatigue. Elderly people with kidney infections often are mentally confused. Pyelonephritis can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
Who's at Risk for Kidney Infections?
Elderly people and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to pyelonephritis, as are those who have recurrent UTIs or a history of urinary tract obstructions, such as kidney stones. Most people who get UTIs will not end up with pyelonephritis if they seek prompt treatment.
Defensive Measures Against Kidney Infections
Getting treatment for a UTI as soon as you notice a problem is the best way to avoid pyelonephritis.
While both bladder infections and kidney infections are caused by bacteria, yeast infections, another common UTI, are caused by a yeast imbalance in the body. Read the next page to learn the symptoms of yeast infections and the steps you can take to avoid them.
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