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Kidney Infection Symptoms

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Signs of Kidney Infection

We can call a kidney infection a type of urinary tract infection or UTI. As you are aware, most kidney infections are due to viruses and bacteria. The two first infect your lower urinary tract, which is your bladder. From here, the infection moves up towards one or both of your kidneys. Your kidneys are also essential parts of your urinary tract. In medical terminology, this condition is known as Pyelonephritis. It can be life-threatening. Seek medical help if you notice any signs of kidney infection. Here in this article, we will discuss kidney infection symptoms in men and women.

Pyelonephritis can be serious and life threatening. Persons who already have an underlying condition of kidney stones have higher chances of developing kidney infection. Furthermore, the presence of bacteria and virus can give rise to serious conditions such as sepsis. So, it is wise to seek immediate medical help when the symptoms of kidney infection become apparent. Sometimes, the defence system of your body fails and bacteria or virus can cause a UTI in the bladder. If you have any symptoms of bladder infection, visit your doctor.

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Kidney Infection Symptoms in Men

Kidney infection or UTI affects a few younger men. Men who are above 50 are sometimes prone to kidney infection in a different way. The prostate gland (a gland at the bottom of the bladder and close to the urethra) can enlarge and subsequently obstruct the flow of urine from the bladder.  The condition is known as benign hyperplasia (BPH). BPH can prevent the bladder from emptying fully. Now, it can lead to the growth of bacteria and cause an infection.

Cystitis is yet another common condition in men who practise unnatural sex and those who do not undergo circumcision. Some other factors that may increase the chances of UTI include obstructions, which are caused by partial blockage of the urethra- it is known as a stricture. The other cause is the non-natural such as rubber catheter tubes to relieve an obstruction in the urethra. All of these factors may lead to a kidney infection. Some of the symptoms of a kidney infection include:

  1. An intense need to urinate.

  2. Unexpected frequent urination. 

  3. Discomfort, pain, or burning sensation during urination.

  4. Getting up from sleep to pass urine.

  5. Tenderness in the bladder region.

  6. Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

  7. Nausea and vomiting

  8. Pain in the upper back or in the side

  9. Fever with or without chills.

Kidney Infection Symptoms in Women

Women, compared to men, are more affected by kidney infections. So are pregnant mothers, infants under two years of age, and people who are above 60 years. According to estimates, 3 to 4 men in every 10,000 and 15 to 17 women in every 10,000 suffer from a kidney infection.

Women are More Likely to Develop Kidney Infection if -

  • They had a UTI in the bladder during the past one year,

  • They are pregnant which results in hormonal change 

  • Have problems in the urinary tract-narrowed urethra, kidney stone, or enlarge prostate.  

  • Have urine reflux, or back up to one or both kidneys.

  • Have diabetes or a compromised immune system.

  • Have a spinal cord injury or nerve damage near the bladder.

  • Have trouble in emptying the bladder fully.

  • Are sexually active, leading to irritation in the urethra.  

Symptoms of a kidney infection in women include fever, chills, back or groin pain, abdominal pain, frequent urination, persistent urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, nausea and vomiting, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, pus or blood in urine.


Whether men or women, a severe kidney infection can become life-threatening if left unattended for long, especially if there are certain underlying conditions. One has to seek immediate medical attention. If there are signs of bloody urine or nausea and vomiting, then in such cases medical help is the first requirement.

As you are aware, the kidneys are an essential part of the urinary tract system in our body. For the smooth function of the human systems, all the systems within our body have to work efficiently. The Kidneys work as a filter within our body. All waste products and excess fluid are thrown out by the kidneys in the form of urine. Hormones produced by kidneys control calcium metabolism and prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Last updated date: 25th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Kidney Infection Symptoms

Q1. What is the Treatment for Kidney Infection?

Antibiotics - it is the first course of treatment. The antibiotic prescribed by the doctor depends upon the type of bacteria causing the infection. If the class cannot be identified, a broad-spectrum antibiotic is in use.

Hospital - in some cases, drugs are ineffective. In severe kidney infection, the doctor may suggest hospital admission. The length of the stay depends on the severity of the condition and the response to the treatment.

Surgery - infection may be due to underlying conditions. Surgery may be an option to correct structural problems in the kidneys. Surgery may work to remove an abscess unresponsive to antibiotics.

Q2. Can Kidney Infection Lead to Complications?

Our kidneys work as filters in our body. The major function of the organ is to flush out all toxins from a human body. Kidneys also remove out excess waste products and excess fluid from the body. Any waste product accumulating in the body can lead to the formation of bacteria. Urine production is a complicated step of excretion and reabsorption. When bacteria get into the kidneys, it can lead to infections. If infections are not treated soon enough, it can cause permanent kidney damage or disease can spread to other parts of the body and lead to more severe infection.

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