A Inflammation of the kidney pelvis (pyelonephritis) can occur in acute or chronic form. The disease is usually caused by an infection by bacteria. The result is inflammation of the renal pelvis near the ureters. Typical signs are pain and fever, as well as difficulty urinating. Kidney inflammation should always be examined and treated by a doctor.
What is pelvic inflammation?Pyelonephritis (inflammation of the kidney pelvis) can have a number of very serious complications. In some cases, simple pyelonephritis develops into purulent inflammation of the renal pelvis.
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The technical term for Pelvic inflammation reads Pyelonephritis, which comes from the Greek words "nephros" = kidney and "pyelos" = pelvis. This is a serious disease of the renal pelvis near the ureter. This is an acute or chronic inflammation, which in most cases is caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common e-diseases of the kidney and usually only one of the two human kidneys is affected.
In the differential diagnosis, inflammation of the renal pelvis differs from inflammation of the renal cortex in that, in the former case, the kidney connective tissue is typically affected and, in the chronic course, neighboring organs can also be affected. Because of the female urethra anatomy, which is much shorter compared to that of men, women are twice as likely to be affected by pelvic kidney disease than men.
However, if a person reaches a certain age, the frequency reverses, then there are more men than women who suffer from kidney inflammation. The reason for this is usually an enlarged prostate that hinders the flow of urine, which favors the multiplication of bacteria.
General cause of Pelvic inflammation As with a cystitis, it obstructs the normal flow of urine, which can cause a proliferation of bacteria. Here, for example, a urinary stone can be the cause. If the ureters are not regularly flushed with urine, pathogens can rise from the outside and multiply in the urine-collecting renal pelvis. Then there are usually infections that lead to kidney inflammation.
Such an inflammation of the renal pelvis is only very rarely caused by pathogens that are transported through the bloodstream. People with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk, as is the case with existing infections or during treatment with certain drugs. The causative pathogens are usually certain intestinal bacteria or staphylococci.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
The symptoms differ depending on whether you have acute or chronic kidney inflammation. In the acute form, severe pain typically occurs in the lateral back regions, which can radiate into the pelvis. In addition there is a general feeling of illness; those affected feel tired, limp and battered.
Often the temperature rises; A fever of up to 40 degrees is possible and can sometimes be accompanied by chills. Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite also occur. The pulse can increase. The disease is usually accompanied by the typical signs of a bladder infection, such as the constant need to urinate and pain when urinating. But complaints in the gastrointestinal area are also possible.
The symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually develop. If the onset of inflammation is rather slow, there are often only atypical symptoms such as headache and tiredness at the beginning. Chronic pelvic inflammation often goes undetected initially because it does not cause symptoms for a long time.
However, since the kidneys are continuously damaged, this becomes noticeable at some point in chronic headache and back pain, fatigue, weight loss, high blood pressure, stomach pain and in the blood count. Frequently recurring bladder infections or repeated attacks of fever can also be an indication of chronic pelvic inflammation. In rare cases, the disease runs completely without symptoms, which is known as the silent course.
Pyelonephritis (inflammation of the kidney pelvis) can have a number of very serious complications. In some cases, simple pyelonephritis develops into purulent inflammation of the renal pelvis. Pathogens can then enter the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning (urosepsis) from the urinary tract.
Some patients also see blood in the urine when the infection is severe, which is particularly often the case if the inflammation has caused a kidney abscess. A complicated course of the disease can also be expected in cases in which the patient became infected during a hospital stay.
Treatment is then often difficult because the infection often involves many different, and increasingly antibiotic-resistant, germs. Complications must also be expected if other risk factors are present, in particular in the case of urinary tract narrowing, diabetes mellitus or in pregnant women.
As a rule, inflammation of the kidney pelvis is harmless during pregnancy and is very often not recognized at all. In rare cases, however, the disease can cause miscarriage or premature birth. If the kidneys are permanently impaired by chronic inflammation of the renal pelvis, this can lead to high blood pressure and a disruption of the electrolyte balance. Acute kidney failure is generally not to be expected in the case of pelvic inflammation, but this complication occurs in very rare cases.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor should be consulted as soon as a general feeling of illness or malaise develops. If there is pain in the abdomen that is persistent or increasing, the symptoms should be clarified. If the pain in sexually mature women is not triggered by menstrual bleeding, then there is cause for concern. If you have an increased body temperature, high blood pressure or loss of appetite, a doctor is advised.
Irregular urination, a repeated urge to urinate immediately after using the toilet and chills are signs of an existing illness. If the person concerned suffers from restricted mobility or problems while moving, a check-up visit with a doctor is necessary. Headache, exhaustion, sleep disorders as well as tiredness and rapid exhaustion are further indications of a health impairment.There is a need for action so that medical therapy can initiate an improvement in the symptoms.
If back pain occurs, food is refused or weight loss occurs, a doctor should be consulted. The use of pain medication is only advisable after consulting a doctor. Loss of libido, limitations in coping with everyday tasks, and nausea and vomiting should be presented to a doctor. If the person concerned complains of irregularities in the digestive tract, this is also a sign of an illness that requires treatment.
Treatment & Therapy
Treatment of the Pelvic inflammation usually depends on the symptoms. These are very diverse, but mostly those affected feel seriously ill with loss of appetite and extreme tiredness, high fever, which may be accompanied by chills, and severe pain in the lateral and lower abdominal region and / or in the back.
Chronic pelvic inflammation can have more fatal consequences than one might initially assume, so it must be treated immediately so that it does not become chronic in the first place. In order to be able to establish the diagnosis, medicine uses laboratory and imaging procedures. With the help of special urine test strips, you can determine whether there are proteins, leukocytes and blood in the urine. With the help of a bacterial culture, the causative bacterial strain can be identified, which is very important for the choice of the right drug.
The pelvic inflammation is treated with an antibiotic appropriate for the pathogen and with painkillers. The antibiosis should quickly subside the symptoms and with it the severe pain. Nevertheless, the same applies here: the antibiotic pack must be completely taken off even if there are no symptoms in order to prevent the bacteria from reappearing.
Outlook & forecast
If you seek medical care quickly, the further prospect of kidney inflammation is favorable. Medicines are given that prevent existing pathogens from spreading and kill them. The symptoms can be expected to be relieved within a few days. Recovery can be achieved after a few weeks. Without treatment, symptoms can increase in intensity and scope and trigger complications.
If there is a chronic disease of the renal pelvis, the prognosis usually worsens. In particular, the healing path is extended. A change in lifestyle has a positive effect on the further course. Nevertheless, doctors and medical professionals have to analyze the exact pathogen and optimize treatment methods. Only then does the prospect of a cure improve. Overall, the weaker the body's immune system, the more protracted and difficult it is to recover.
The symptoms can lead to secondary diseases, which in turn have a negative effect on the further course. Therefore, risk patients in particular should immediately seek collaboration with a doctor. They include pregnant women or people with other underlying diseases. If the disease progresses unfavorably, a life-threatening situation can develop. In the case of acute kidney inflammation, medical care as soon as possible is advisable. Otherwise, complications and the spread of the symptoms can be expected.
A Pelvic inflammation or cystitis can be prevented by ensuring that the urinary tract is constantly flushed. It's easy to do by drinking regular fluids to get your kidneys to work.
If urine is constantly excreted in insufficient concentration, pathogens have little chance of rising from the outside and causing an infection, as they are constantly being flushed out again.
Damp clothes, such as wet swimming trunks and bathing suits, must also be avoided. Chronic pelvic inflammation can only be prevented by completely healing an existing pelvic inflammation.
In the case of inflammation of the kidney pelvis, the person concerned usually has very few and only very limited measures and options for direct follow-up care available, so that the person concerned should ideally see a doctor very early. It cannot heal independently either, so that the person affected should consult a doctor at the first symptoms and signs.
In the worst case, it can lead to blood poisoning and consequently death of the person concerned if no treatment is initiated. Typically, pelvic inflammation can be treated by taking a variety of medicines. It is always important to ensure that the dosage is correct and that the medication is taken regularly to alleviate the symptoms.
When taking antibiotics, it should also be noted that they should not be taken with alcohol. The affected person should also rest and take it easy if they have kidney inflammation. You should refrain from exertion or from stressful and physical activities. After a successful treatment, no further follow-up measures are usually necessary. The patient's life expectancy is then not reduced.
You can do that yourself
In addition to the medical treatment of inflammation of the renal pelvis, plenty of fluids should be consumed daily. A quantity of 3 liters is recommended. This is intended to increase the flushing of the urinary tract. Heat is also helpful. This is done with anti-inflammatory chamomile baths, a hot water bottle on painful areas and bed rest. As an alternative to the hot water bottle, a hot hay flower pack can be used. This relieves the constant need to urinate and a burning sensation when urinating.
Greater physical exertion should be avoided. To strengthen the immune system to fight disease, it is advisable to take additional vitamin C. This also increases the acidity of the kidneys, which inhibits the spread of bacteria. Teas and extracts from birch leaves, bear arbor and elderberry as well as goldenrod, lingonberry and saw palmetto have also proven effective to relieve inflammation of the renal pelvis. Combined bladder and kidney teas are also available in different versions. In addition, a supplementary treatment with suitable Schüßler salts can be appropriate.
Mineral water should not contain carbon dioxide. The bladder should be emptied as completely as possible. Coffee, alcohol and black tea should be avoided with the drinks, as these remove fluids from the body. After a woman has gone to the toilet, cleaning should prevent intestinal germs from getting into the urethra. When leaving the house, appropriate clothing should be used to protect against moisture and cold.