Kidney Infection - Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of kidney infection?

Some of the common symptoms of kidney infection include:

  • fever,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • abdominal pain,
  • shivering,
  • shaking -- chills,
  • painful urination (dysuria),
  • frequent urination (urinary frequency),
  • urge to urinate (urinary urgency),
  • flank and low and mid back pain (dull kidney pain), and
  • generalized malaise.

Signs of kidney infection on exam may include:

  • fever,
  • tenderness on the flanks (costo-vertebral angle tenderness, referring to tenderness upon tapping gently on the mid back on the sides), and
  • clinical evidence of infection in the urinalysis (analysis of urine).

In elderly patients and those with weak immune systems, kidney infection may be more severe with confusion, lethargy, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and dehydration.

Return to Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Sandy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I have had regular (urinary tract infections (UTIs) since I was a child and the symptoms usually improve with trimethoprim. I have felt really unwell for the past month or so. Each urinalysis has been clear bar a bit of blood, the first MSU (midstream specimen of urine) test showed something (not sure what, I will find out in the morning), I did a repeat and it was clear. I am on my second course of antibiotics and the symptoms aren"t improving. I have frequency, some pain and some flank pain but definitely bearable, not excruciating by any means. I had a renal ultrasound today which showed my kidneys are much enlarged. I am a little nauseas and have pretty awful headaches and am finding it pretty hard to concentrate at work. Definitely heading back to the doctors in the morning, would go up the hospital but I know they would just send me home.

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Comment from: kevin, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

I've been in an out of the doctor's for 1 year with kidney pains. I thought it was a hernia or ulcer but all three ultrasounds showed nothing, no blood in urine (yet), and dark cloudy color. I've asked for cameras to be shoved in me and a CAT scan and MRI, but doctors seem to want to do opposite of what you want. This is severe, flank pains, groin pains, thigh pains, chills, fever, uncontrollable sweats, I mean unreal. I need help and don't know what to do. I'm in pain every day, depressed, no energy or motivation, stressed, distracted at work, and I just graduated as an environmental technologist.

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