Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Infections & Disease

Kindey infections can sometimes cause hematuria, or bloody urine.
Kindey infections can sometimes cause hematuria, or bloody urine. (Image: urine image by Stef Run from

A kidney infection, known medically as pyelonephritis, is a specific variety of UTI, or urinary tract infection, wherein bacteria enter the urethra and multiply: eventually reaching your kidneys. Alternatively, bacteria from infections elsewhere in the body can spread to the kidneys via the bloodstream. Kidney infections and resulting diseases can be potentially fatal, so it is important to seek medical attention if you shown any of the signs or symptoms.

Abnormal Blood Tests

According to Net Wellness, routine blood tests, particularly the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine tests, are good indicators of proper kidney function. Both substances (blood urea nitrogen and creatinine) are waste products that the kidneys excrete, so if their levels in the blood are particularly high, it is an indication that the kidneys are not functioning properly.

High Blood Pressure

While high blood pressure is a very common symptom and can indicate a number of different conditions, according to Net Wellness, it is often one of the first signs of kidney disease (especially if blood pressure medications are ineffective at controlling it).


Edema is a condition wherein excess fluids become trapped in tissues and / or cavities of the body. According to Net Wellness, during kidney infections, edema can occur in the lower legs, feet, hands and face, and will produce bloating in those areas. It is often an indication that there are proteins leaking from the kidneys.

Body Pain

Kidney infections and diseases can cause a number of bodily pains, including those in the groin, flanks (sides), and back as well as the abdomen, according to Mayo Clinic.

Urinary Urgency

According to Net Wellness, kidney infections are sometimes accompanied by urinary urgency, which is a strong and continuous sensation that you have to urinate (however, you may not always pass fluids when you try).

Urinary Frequency

Unlike urinary urgency, urinary frequency is the phenomenon of having to urinate incredibly frequently, and actually passing fluids every time. According to Net Wellness, it can sometimes occur as the result of a kidney infection.

Burning During Urination

Another indication that you may have a kidney infection is if you feel a burning sensation or other type of pain during urination, according to Mayo Clinic.


According to Net Wellness, many kidney diseases can disrupt the body’s glomerular filters, which help separate blood from urine. This disruption can cause hematuria, wherein red blood cells and proteins mix in with your urine, making it appear bloody and cloudy.


Like most diseases that trigger responses from the immune system, those associated with the kidneys can cause fevers, and produce symptoms such as chills and high temperatures.

Advanced Symptoms

If left untreated, kidney infections can produce a number of late-stage symptoms, which indicate the onset of advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). According to Net Wellness, these symptoms include a metallic taste in the mouth, sleepiness, itching, a loss of appetite, vomiting and twitching.

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