Viruses and bacteria can access the kidneys through the bladder, which happens most often, or they can be transmitted by the bloodstream from other areas of the body. If the infection stays in the bladder, it is known as cystitis, but when it travels into the kidneys it is called pyelonephritis.
People who have bladder infections, and those who have anatomical and urinary tract problems, are at highest risk for developing pyelonephritis. Urine is supposed to flow in only one direction, from the kidneys to the bladder, but sometimes this passage can be blocked because of anatomical problems, an enlarged prostate or a kidney stone. Sometimes, urine can also reflux and go back up into one or both of your kidneys, a condition called vesicoureteral reflux. This can be caused by a defective valve mechanism, and is usually picked up in early childhood. Diabetics, pregnant women and people with compromised immunity are at the highest risk of developing pyelonephritis. An untreated bladder infection can progress to pyelonephritis quite quickly if it is severe.
Symptoms of the infection differ according to the person’s age. Some of the most common symptoms include vomiting, fever, chills, pain in the side, groin or back, painful urination, frequent urination or nausea. In children under the age of 2, a fever may be present without any other symptoms. Older people may also only experience symptoms that do not affect the urinary tract, such as hallucination, disorientation and disordered speech.
People who have structural abnormalities or obstructions in the urinary tract may be prone to recurrent bouts of pyelonephritis and may require regular medication. Those who have cystitis on a regular basis should also make sure they get treatment quickly to prevent the development of pyelonephritis. Affordable healthcare in Las Vegas can help you with medication and tests to ensure you recover quickly.