Symptoms of a Kidney Infection

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Understanding Kidney Infections

A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. It occurs when bacteria enter the kidneys and cause an infection. If left untreated, a kidney infection can lead to complications and potential damage to the kidneys. Recognizing the symptoms of a kidney infection is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment.

Common Symptoms of a Kidney Infection

While the symptoms of a kidney infection can vary from person to person, there are some common signs to watch out for:

1. Pain in the Back or Side

One of the most common symptoms of a kidney infection is pain in the back or side, typically on one side of the body. This pain can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by tenderness or discomfort.

2. Fever and Chills

A kidney infection often leads to a high fever, typically above 100.4°F (38°C). Along with the fever, you may experience chills, sweating, and a general feeling of being unwell.

3. Frequent Urination

Increased frequency of urination is another symptom of a kidney infection. You may feel the need to urinate more often than usual, and the urge may be sudden and intense.

4. Painful or Burning Sensation During Urination

A kidney infection can cause discomfort or a burning sensation when you urinate. This symptom is similar to a urinary tract infection (UTI) but may be more severe in the case of a kidney infection.

5. Blood in Urine

In some cases, a kidney infection may cause blood to appear in the urine. This can give your urine a pink, red, or brownish color. If you notice any blood in your urine, it’s important to seek medical attention.

6. Fatigue and Weakness

A kidney infection can make you feel tired and weak. This can be due to the body’s immune response to the infection or the strain it puts on the kidneys.

7. Nausea and Vomiting

Some individuals with a kidney infection may experience nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can be a result of the infection itself or the body’s response to the infection.

8. Cloudy or Foul-Smelling Urine

In addition to blood, a kidney infection may cause changes in the appearance and smell of your urine. It may appear cloudy or have a strong, unpleasant odor.

9. Pain or Pressure in the Lower Abdomen

Along with back or side pain, a kidney infection can also cause pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. This discomfort may be constant or come and go.

10. Swelling or Tenderness in the Kidney Area

In some cases, a kidney infection can cause swelling or tenderness in the area around the kidneys. This may be accompanied by a feeling of fullness or pressure.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. A kidney infection requires proper diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics to prevent complications and promote healing.

Remember, early detection and treatment are key to managing a kidney infection effectively. Don’t hesitate to seek medical help if you suspect you may have a kidney infection.


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