Kidney infection or pyelonephritis is a type of urinary tract infection that usually begins in the urethra and bladder which eventually travels up through the ureters and into one or both of the kidneys. An infection of the kidneys requires immediate medical attention as it can cause permanent organ damage, sepsis (infection spreading into your bloodstream), and lead to life-threatening complications. It is usually due to a bacterial infection such as by Escherichia coli. Some of the risk factors of kidney infection includes diabetes, history of urinary tract infections, and existing structural issues of the urinary tract.
The diagnosis of a kidney infection is usually achieved through the patient’s symptoms and urinalysis. If there is no improvement after treatment, medical imaging may be necessary. Pyelonephritis can be treated using antibiotics such as ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. Advanced cases may require hospital admission while those with establishes structural issues of the urinary tract may require surgery. Pyelonephritis is a common condition that affects about 1 to 2 out of 1,000 women and about 0.5 per 1000 men. It most commonly affects young adult females.
Kidney Infection Symptom #1: Fever, Chills, and Rigor
Fever occurs when your body is trying to fight against an infection by increasing the set point of body temperature as it enhances the functions of your immune system. In a kidney infection, a fever may not always be present. However, if a fever is present, it can exceed 103⁰F or 39.4⁰C.
Chills can be described as a feeling of coldness that occur during a fever as the set point of body temperature has increased. To reach the higher temperature, shivering occurs as the repeated muscle contractions helps increase body temperature to the new set point.