What is a diagnosis of pyelonephritis?

If your doctor has diagnosed you with pyelonephritis then one or both of your kidneys may be involved. It’s an infection that travels up the ureter into the kidney and involves the renal pelvis where the urine collects. Also in the tubules and interstitial tissue. Pus called purulent exudate fills the kidney pelvis and calyces which are in the centre of the kidneys and where the urine collects. If the infection is severe then there may be an obstruction to the renal artery or vein that can obstruct the urine flow to the ureter. 



Some of the causes found in pyelonephritis are

  1.  Infection spreading up from the bladder
  2.  Diabetes Mellitus
  3.  If your immune is comprised or low. 
  4. Obstructed flow of urine such as from an enlarged prostate, kidney stones 
  5. Pregnancy 
  6. Coexisting gout or uric acid nephrolithiasis
  7. Obstructing calculi which are kidney stones 

signs and symptoms

Some signs and symptoms of pyelonephritis are:-

1. Painful and frequent urination. This is referred to as dysuria.

2. Pain associated with renal disease may present as a dull aching in the lower back or flank area. This is due to inflammation.

3. Tenderness and loin pain

4. Blood in the urine, known as haematuria

5. Cloudy & foul-smelling urine

6. Possible fever, nausea, vomiting

(Training at College of Naturpathic Medicine)


A dipstick urinaluysis may be used to see nitrates which would show bacteria, erythrocytes which woul show UTI, kidney stones or at worst case tumour.

Urine microscopy to check for bacteria, urinary casts (of blood & epithelial cells), blood cells and maybe some protein in the urine

Blood Tests to show results for Elevated Inflammatory Markers (ESR) and C-Reactive protein (CRP) and White Blood Cells WBC

An Ultrasound (SI, 2019)may be used to check 


If the infection is recurring or chronic then this can lead to scarring called fibrous scar tissue forming over the calyx in the kidney.

Another complication could lead to hydronephrosis, which is a swelling of the kidney due to the build-up of urine.

Septicemia is a big complication and needs to be addressed so that it does not get to this stage. 

Chronic pyelonephritis can lead to kidney disease. The kidneys once damaged can not repair so its important to ensure that it does not get to this stage. Early treatment is key to long term healthy kidneys. 

At worst would be renal failure. 

Renal abcesses would also be another complication.

what your doctor will offer you

1. A thorough the history of your condition will be asked. Try to give as much information as possible like previous UTI or recurrent symptoms.

2. You may be offered some anti-bacterial drugs like :

  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Cotrim, Septra)
  • Cephalosporins (Keflex, Duricef)
  • Carbapenems (Doribax)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin)
  • Amoxicillin
  • Fosfomycin if you are pregnant

(Hubert and VanMeter, n.d.)

Get educated!

Learning more about how your Urinary Tract is affected by infection or any blockage in your urinary tract is important in order to help you to ensure that you get to the root cause and not just treat symptoms. Infections of the bladder and urinary tract and kidneys are very well supported and healing when looking at naturopathic options over the usual antibiotics that will and do encourage recurrence. Looking to support your urinary flora to encourage the good bacteria to find the right balance with the bad bacteria and infections that are common in this area. Here are some key areas to help yourself with are to:-

  1. Reboot, give your body a break and feed your body with fibre, nutrients and healthy foods
  2. Hydrate well and drink 2 litres plus a day of mostly water or herbal teas, vegetable juices made fresh with a juicer.
  3. Look for a protocol that will support your urinary systems such as cranberries, or cranberry extract where the tannin content appears to reduce the capability of E.coli to adhere to the mucosa (layer) in the bladder.

A big part of why the body is here in the first place could be a number of reasons found in the cause section above. Tick off where your infection has not come from so that you can get to the root cause. This way you can prevent in the future.

You may want to consider a reboot and look to give your body a break. Regular breaks so that you give your body the best chance to heal.

Take the next step to prevent illnesses & health issues,

Join Ultimate Health, Your Journey Starts Here!

At Ultimate Health we look for prevention and treating the cause. We always start by wiping the slate clean with a Reboot and then looking to help support your body to heal using natural proven principles. Naturopathic solutions and a protocol that supports your body and every system that it runs. We help you to manage the many multifunctional influences that can cause conditions like this in the first place. Detoxification is key, as well as reducing internal inflammation, getting conscious about your health and finding out what is actually healthy for you.  If you need a map we have the One Clear Path to support your entire journey to your Ultimate Health.

Here are the Pathways we use to support you:

  1. Detoxification
  2. Group Support
  3. One to One consultations
  4. Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet
  5. Meal Plans that are done for you
  6. Education on the Real Truth about What is Actually Healthy, not just what the media tells you is “Healthy“.


1. Hubert, R. and VanMeter, K. (2019). Gould’s pathophysiology for the health professions. 6th ed. Elsevir, p.500.

2. Pubs.rsna.org. (2019). Pyelonephritis: Radiologic-Pathologic Review | RadioGraphics. [online] Available at: https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/full/10.1148/rg.281075171 [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].

3. College of Naturopathic Medicine, Biomedicine 

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