A kidney infection (or “pyelonephritis”) usually follows a bladder or urinary infection that has gone untreated. The bacteria travels up the ureters (the tubes connecting your kidneys to your bladder) and spreads to one or both kidneys.
Here are five common signs that can signal you have a kidney infection:
1. Lower Back Pain
Your kidneys are located on either side of your lower back, so people with kidney infections often experience dull pain in their lower back. The pain can also be very sharp depending on the degree of the infection and feel like it’s radiating out or down from your kidneys.
2. Blood in Urine
Small amounts of blood can be present in your urine if your kidneys are not functioning as they should. The kidneys filter blood and take toxins out of the body, but blood can start to make its way to your urine when the infection makes them unable to fully do their job.
3. Fever and Chills
If a kidney infection progresses, you’ll most likely develop a fever (accompanied by chills) as your body works to fight off the infection. This symptom is cause for alarm, so definitely see a doctor right away.
4. Extreme Fatigue
It’s very typical to feel like you can’t move at all when you have a kidney infection. The fatigue is so bad that all you may want to do is sleep. Sleep is essential for healing, so it’s your body’s way of telling you what it needs.
5. Upset Stomach/Loss of Appetite
One main function of the kidneys is to filter out toxins. When you have a kidney infection, these organs aren’t working well, so the toxins can build up and often make you feel nauseated. Nausea, loss of appetite, and even vomiting are common if your pain level is very high.
If you suspect you may have a kidney infection, go see your doctor right away. If left untreated for too long, kidney infections can have serious health risks, so they should not be ignored.
The team at All About Women is here to answer any questions you have about kidney infections, UTIs or any women’s health issues. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.