According to statistics, more than half of women worldwide experience urinary tract infections at least once in their lifetime. It is a common type of disease in children with an incorrect wiping method and adult women as well. Males would also suffer from urinary tract infections, but in a lesser degree given the length of their urethra and other reasons. However, an infection to the kidneys goes beyond a simple ailment from the urinary tract. It can turn out to be a severe health problem with severe complications if not treated.
After reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of kidney infections and how can we mark down the difference between a simple urinary tract infection and something more serious based on the available signs and symptoms.
Highlighting the differences
Kidney infection is commonly known as pyelonephritis, and it is a subtype of urinary tract infection, one that is not limited to the bladder but spreads deeper into the ureters reaching one of the kidneys or both.
The majority of urinary tract infections remain in the bladder or the urethra and give out symptoms like urgency to urinate more frequently and a burning sensation when urinating. They are usually caused by bacteria from the colon working its way to the urinary tract, but sometimes keeping a urinary catheter for a long time and the irritation in a woman’s urethra during intercourse may give rise to an infection.
As you will see further, this lower urinary tract infection is very different from kidney infections. They may be caused by a progression of the bacteria into the kidneys, the presence of kidney stones, or a weakened immune system that allows bacteria to travel into the bloodstream until they colonize the kidneys.
Sometimes, there are urinary tract infections featuring a kidney infection and bladder infection at the same time. In this case, we would get all of the symptoms related to urinary tract infections at once. That’s why we are going to make a distinction between a kidney infection and one with a corresponding bladder infection, which is also to be found very frequently.
Signs and symptoms of kidney infections
Fever is the result of an inflammatory response, and it is a natural symptom that accompanies several types of infections, except in mild infections or immunocompromised patients. It is a common symptom in kidney infections, especially in severe cases. Fever is not always present in kidney infections, and whenever it appears it may be a signal that the disease is progressing. Fever in pyelonephritis may rise up to 40°C or 103°F, but it can be controlled with medications, and usually disappears after a few days of antibiotic treatment.