What is it?

A pyelonephritis is an inflammation of the kidney and upper urinary tract. It is most commonly caused by bacteria.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of pyelonephritis often come on within a few hours. You can feel feverish, shivery, sick and have a pain in your back or side. Symptoms usually appear within two days of infection. Common symptoms include:

  • A fever greater than 102°F (38.9°C).
  • Pain in the abdomen, back, side, or groin.
  • Painful or burning urination.
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Pus or blood in the urine.
  • Urgent or frequent urination.
  • Fishy-smelling urine.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Shaking or chills.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • General aching or ill feeling.
  • Fatigue.
  • Moist skin.
  • Mental confusion.

You may also have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) such as cystitis. These include:

  • Needing to pee suddenly, or more often than usual.
  • Pain or a burning sensation when peeing.
  • Smelly or cloudy pee.
  • Blood in your pee.

Symptoms may be different in children and older adults than they are in other people. For example, mental confusion is common in older adults and is often their only symptom. People with chronic pyelonephritis may experience only mild symptoms or may even lack noticeable symptoms altogether. Fever, frequent urination and pain in the back, side or groin are symptoms.

What to expect?

Seek medical help if you are treated for pyelonephritis and have one of the following symptoms:

  • Ongoing fever after 48 hours of treatment or return of fever.
  • Your symptoms are getting worse.

In addition to treatment by your doctor you can try the following things:

  • Painkillers such as Tylenol might help in relieving pain and fever.
  • Take rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Think you might have Pyelonephritis?

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Think you might have Pyelonephritis?