5 Kidney Infection Signs And Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Burning pain, weird smelling pee and a constant need to go to the bathroom – yup, urinary tract infections are no picnic. But if left untreated, these unsavoury symptoms can end up being the least of your worries.

When bacteria enter the urinary tract and travel upward to the bladder, they can spread to one or both kidneys, causing an infection. This Is condition is known as pyelonephritis in the medical world and it can be incredibly serious. That said, it’s incredibly common (especially in women) and can strike at any age. 

Mostly, kidney infections are diagnosed via urine sample (doctors will check for signs of bacteria, blood or pus) or an ultrasound or X-ray, but there are some telling signs to keep an eye out for. Here, we’ve rounded out up 10 of the most common:

1. Your pee smells like a litter box and looks like tea

If your urine smells like ammonia – a chemical used in kitty litter and window cleaners – or appears discoloured, cloudy and pink or brown in colour, something’s not quite right down-there.

2. You have to go… 20 times a day

Feel like your bladder is full all the time (even when it’s empty)? Get all the ouches when you do finally pee? There’s irritation happening in the bladder.  

3. You’re sore in weird places

While abdominal pain, muscle soreness and back cramps are often a given during that time of the month, if it increases in intensity and becomes sharp and localized to your lower back, side or groin, it’s definitely cause for concern.

4. Not even your favourite ice cream tempts you

When experienced in conjunction with the above symptoms, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting can indicate your body is fighting a severe infection.

5. You can’t get a grasp on the weather

One minute you’re sweating like a sunbaker, the next you’re reaching for a turtleneck, sound familiar? A sudden and unexplained fever/chill warrants an immediate trip to the doctor.

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