Signs and Symptoms of a Kidney Infection 2024

A kidney infection, commonly known as pyelonephritis, is a form of urinary tract infection caused by bacteria entering the body. The urinary tract is the mechanism that removes urine from the body.

The kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra all produce urine, which subsequently exits the body. Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are infections that may occur anywhere along the tract.

Symptoms of a Kidney Infection 2024

In general, infections such as UTIs occur more often in the lower urinary system, which includes the urethra and bladder. However, infections may travel up the ureters and into the kidneys, causing pyelonephritis to develop. A kidney infection occurs in around one in every thirty cases of UTIs.

Typically, kidney infection symptoms appear after the early signs of a lower urinary tract infection. If you acquire a UTI, you may have a need to use the restroom as well as a burning sensation when you urinate. If your UTI progresses and becomes a kidney infection, you will most likely have symptoms such as fever and back discomfort.

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Flank Pain

One of the most common signs of kidney infection is flank discomfort. This kind of pain is defined as soreness and sensitivity on your sides. The soreness may sometimes radiate to your groin.

It’s worth noting that flank discomfort may aid in differentiating between a lower urinary tract infection and a possible kidney infection. It is unlikely that flank discomfort would accompany a lower urinary tract infection that has not progressed to your kidneys.

It is typical to have discomfort on one side of the body if your infection does go to your kidneys. Your stomach may feel sore, and in addition to the discomfort, it could hurt to touch the spot where your flank pain is happening. Instead of being intense or stabbing, the pain is often progressive and mellow in nature.

Infection Symptoms

When you have a kidney infection, you often get general infection symptoms. The majority of patients with kidney infections have a high fever, sometimes reaching 103 degrees or more.

In addition, you may have nausea, weariness, chills, and an overall sense of being sick, a symptom called malaise. Remember that a lower UTI in your bladder or urethra is considerably less likely to cause chills and fever symptoms.

A kidney infection may also induce symptoms including low blood pressure, increased heart rate, and dizziness, but these are less frequent. It’s critical that you monitor your symptoms and get treatment as soon as possible.

This is due to the fact that an untreated kidney infection has the potential to move into the bloodstream. If this occurs, you may get sepsis, a potentially fatal condition that results in symptoms including very low blood pressure, damage to organs, and sometimes even death.

Urinary Changes

A kidney infection often causes changes in the way that they urinate. One or more of the following symptoms might apply to you:

  • Dysuria, or a burning or painful sensation when you pee
  • Peeing frequently
  • Having an urgency to pee even if you don’t have to go
  • Dark, smelly, bloody or cloudy urine

Remember that even if you have a lower UTI that hasn’t yet progressed to the kidneys, you might still have similar symptoms. However, it’s advisable to discuss your treatment choices with your healthcare professional if you develop urine changes along with flank discomfort and other symptoms connected to an infection.

Symptoms in Children

Kidney infection symptoms are often the same in children over five as they are in adults. However, diagnosing UTIs and kidney infections in younger children is sometimes more challenging. Children may not always know how to express the grief they are experiencing, which might lead to this.

Checking for extra symptoms that children with kidney infections may have, such as the following, may be useful if you think your child may have a kidney infection or lower urinary tract infection (UTI).

  • Poor appetite or trouble feeding
  • Lack of energy
  • Low-grade fever

But kidney infections are not the only conditions that might cause these symptoms. Speak with your child’s pediatrician or other primary care physician if you see any changes in their health to find out more about the causes of their symptoms.

Symptoms in Older Adults

Elderly people who have kidney infections are more likely to have psychosocial and cognitive problems in addition to the classic symptoms. This might include disorientation, difficulties thinking, memory problems, or mood swings. During an illness, psychological changes may happen fast, even in people with high cognitive abilities.

It’s crucial to remember that these modifications are just momentary. To alleviate symptoms and stop further issues from developing, elderly persons or those who are caring for them should still seek therapy.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Kidney infections may lead to problems that deteriorate your health if left untreated. It’s critical to see your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible if you have flank discomfort, observe changes in your urine patterns, or encounter symptoms connected to an infection.

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Additionally, if your symptoms are becoming worse or if you have been diagnosed with a lower UTI but they haven’t gone away, you should see a doctor. To treat the infection, your doctor may recommend a different antibiotic or give you with information about other available treatments.


A kidney infection is a kind of urinary tract infection (UTI), often referred to as pyelonephritis. A small percentage of patients who initially have lower UTIs that involve the bladder or urethra go on to develop kidney infections.

UTI-related symptoms, such as altered urine patterns, are experienced by individuals who get kidney infections. On the other hand, if you have discomfort or fever, the infection could have progressed to your kidneys.

Severe discomfort and agony may result from kidney infections. If left untreated, problems may arise. Seeing your healthcare practitioner is crucial if you see a change in your symptoms, as they may assist you in determining the most appropriate course of therapy.


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