The difference between bladder and kidney infections?

urinary system

  • A urinary tract infection is a broad term and can mean a bladder (lower urinary tract infection) or a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
  • A bladder infection is the most common type of urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • UTIs are more common in females because they have a shorter urethra and it is easier for bacteria to reach the bladder from the outside world.
  • Ecoli is the most common bacteria for a UTI because this is the most common bacteria of the GI tract.
  • When the bacteria causing a bladder infection ascends (travels up the ureter to the kidney) this is called pyelonephritis.
  • Pyelonephritis is much more serious than a bladder infection and is associated with fever, flank pain and can require hospitalization.
  • When a patient tells the urologist that he or she has a “kidney” infection and the symptoms are that of the bladder ( burning, pressure, frequency and urgency)…it’s okay…we know what they are talking about.

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