Kidney Infection Symptoms and Complications

November 12, 2012

Kidney Infection Symptoms and Complications

Never ignore kidney infection symptoms. If left untreated, a kidney infection could lead to permanent damage of the kidneys. This can lead to renal failure, which can be lethal. The three main kidney infection symptoms are body pain, constant fatigue and changes in urine or urination habits.

Body Pain

With kidney infections, pain is usually in the lower back and around the abdomen or around the navel. This is roughly where the bladder and kidneys are located. One side of the body may feel more painful than the other. Stinging, soreness or other pain may emanate from the genitals because of changes in the composition of the urine.

Kidney infection symptoms also include fever, although this does not always appear. People with a fever may experience severe headaches to the point of nausea and vomiting. People may also have pain in the legs from trying to urinate in a different position or constantly moving around in a vain attempt to get into a comfortable position.

Constant Fatigue

People with a bladder or kidney infection often feel exhausted. As the symptoms progress, the person will feel more and more tired. Fever can make a person feel even more exhausted. Body aches and pains can become so bad that a person is unable to sleep or is constantly woken up from sleep.

Even if a person with a kidney infection is lucky enough not to get a fever and can get a normal amount of sleep, he or she will still feel exhausted. This is because the kidneys are malfunctioning due to the infection. Instead of removing toxins from the body, the toxins remain.

Changes in Urine or Urination

The most characteristic of kidney infection symptoms are those that deal with changes in a person’s urine or how frequently the person urinates. People with kidney infections usually need to urinate far more often than usual but can only produce a very small amount. Even after urinating, the person may still feel a pressing need to urinate. The person experiences burning or stinging pains when urinating, as if the urine has suddenly turned into molten lava.

In one way, this sensation is right. A person with a kidney infection no longer produces normal urine. The urine is much more concentrated, often mixed with blood, pus and clouds of irritating bacteria. Urine may look cloudy or much darker than usual. Urine may also emit an incredibly unpleasant, strong odor. Bloody urine is about the worst of kidney infection symptoms and needs immediate medical treatment.


The good news about a kidney infection is that it can often be cured with a round of antibiotics. Even patients that experience severe symptoms like constant vomiting or bloody urine can often recover with antibiotics and fluids given intravenously. In extreme situations, surgery may be necessary to remove any pus-filled abscesses inside of the kidneys.

The bad news is that if a patient delays going to the doctor or urologist for treatment, the resulting delay can be fatal. Since the kidneys can no longer filter blood properly, the blood can become infected with the invading bacteria.


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