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When A UTI Becomes Serious

Updated on January 12, 2018

Kidney Infection

If you have the symptoms of a bladder infection, it would be a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible. If left untreated, a bladder infection can spread to the kidneys and become serious. There are other reasons that the infection could spread to the kidneys, such as having a resistance to certain antibiotics or having a kidney stone. Once the infection has spread to the kidneys, there is a chance that it could spread further to other organs or into the bloodstream causing sepsis.

I have been hospitalized a few times, sometimes for almost a week due to serious and severe kidney infections. The first time I was admitted to the hospital, the doctors and nurses said that it was good that I came to the emergency room that day. They told me that the infection was so bad that it could have been fatal.

Therefore, I would like to share with you the symptoms that I have experienced. This way you can look out for them and get help right away before it gets too serious. Not all of these symptoms mean that you definitely have a kidney infection. This is not professional medical advice. I am not a trained professional. This is just my experience since I have had several kidney infections due to a kidney stone and resistance to certain antibiotics. Hopefully this article can help others to spot the symptoms and get the help they need.

Kidney Infection Symptoms

Painful Urination

A urinary tract infection can cause a painful, burning feeling when you are urinating. The pain from a kidney infection may be more intense than a bladder infection. However, some people may not even feel pain when urinating. Everyone is different, but painful urination can be a big red flag.

If you are feeling pain when urinating, there is a chance that you either have a bladder or kidney infection. Other causes for painful urination might be interstitial cystitis or an STD. It would be a good idea to get yourself checked out by a doctor if you start experiencing painful urination.

Pressure In Bladder Area

If your stomach or bladder area feels heavy, bloated or you feel there is pressure near your bladder, it could be a sign of an infection.


Usually when the infection hits the kidneys, a backache may be present. The back pain is in the kidney area, not low near your buttocks, but not high either. It is located right where the kidneys are. The back pain that I experienced with my kidney infections was so intense that I could barely walk. When I got to the hospital, the staff had me sit in a wheel chair. It was the worst back pain I had ever experienced, worse than sciatica.


With most of my kidney infections, I experienced a low grade fever. However, one time my fever kept getting higher and higher as the day went on. So I went right to the emergency room because I was having kidney infection symptoms. That is where they diagnosed me with a kidney infection, which is also known as pyelonephritis.


With each kidney infection, I have experienced extreme fatigue to the point of falling asleep during the day. I find it difficult to fall asleep or nap during the day normally. When I have a kidney infection, the fatigue is so strong. It takes so much out of me. I feel very drained and tired all throughout the day.

Flu-Like Symptoms

Besides all of the normal symptoms of a kidney infection, I also felt very sick with each infection. Sometimes I felt like I had the flu when I had a kidney infection. I have experienced severe headaches, body aches and chills.

Nausea and Vomiting

I feel sick to my stomach when I have a kidney infection. The nausea can be really bad if the infection is severe. I have also vomited from a very serious infection. If you are experiencing extreme nausea and any vomiting along with other kidney infection symptoms, I advise you to seek immediate medical attention.

Loss of Appetite

Whenever I have a kidney infection, I find it difficult to eat. When I was in the hospital with a serious kidney infection, I was not able to eat for a couple of days. My appetite was very weak. It wasn't until the IV antibiotics started working and clearing out the infection, that my appetite started slowly returning.


If you are experiencing a combination of any of the above symptoms, I would suggest visiting a doctor, urgent care center or an emergency room at the hospital. I was reluctant to go to the emergency room at first because I thought that the ER was for major or serious issues.

I have now learned that kidney infections are and can become very serious. In fact, I have been referred to the emergency room a few times from doctors at urgent care centers. If you let these symptoms go for too long, there is a chance it could cost you your life or your quality of life.

If the kidney infection is serious enough, there is a chance you may need IV fluids and medications that are administered in the hospital. You may be admitted to the hospital for a few days until the infection clears up. Kidney infections should be taken seriously and treated promptly as they may have the potential to cause organ failure, sepsis or death.


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