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Kidney infection symptoms can include:
- back or side pain
- feeling or being sick
- a high temperature with shivering
- muscle aches and pains
You may also need to pass urine (pee) more often, urgently, and feel pain when you pee. For more information, see our section on symptoms of kidney infection.
Most kidney infections are caused by bacteria travelling up the tube that carries urine out of your body (the urethra). You can also get an infection if bacteria enter your kidneys via your bloodstream from an infection elsewhere in your body. See our section on causes of kidney infection for more information.
To see if you may have a kidney infection, your GP will ask you for a urine (pee) sample to be sent off and tested for bacteria. Sometimes, you may need blood tests or a scan. For more information on this, see our section on diagnosis of kidney infection.
If you have signs of a kidney infection, it’s very important to see your doctor. An untreated infection could become serious and damage your kidneys. You are likely to need antibiotics. See our section on treatment of kidney infections for more information.
Most kidney infections are easily treated with antibiotics and don’t become severe. But any infection can become more serious if not treated. Some people are more prone to a severe infection, for example pregnant women and people with lowered immunity. See our section on complications of kidney infections for more information.
There are several possible causes of kidney infections. They are more common in women, especially during pregnancy. They’re also more common if you have diabetes. A blockage of the urinary tract can also increase risk, such as an enlarged prostate or kidney stones. For other factors that can increase risk, see our section on causes of kidney infections.
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