If you’ve ever had a kidney infection, then you’re well aware of the horrible symptoms that come with it: a burning sensation when you pee and a strong urge to go all the time. But there are many more dreadful symptoms than most aren’t aware of that can be caused by kidney infections.
While kidney infections are rare in healthy people, the majority begin as a UTI. But when you realize there is more to the burning or urgency, then it might be time to really consider making that doctor’s appointment, as remedies like cranberry juice might not do the trick. “As soon as you start having other symptoms, that’s when you worry it might be moving beyond the bladder,” said Staci Leisman, M.D., internist, and nephrologist at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Luckily, oral antibiotics will do the trick and have you feeling like new again. However, in rare cases, when left untreated, kidney infections can progress to fatal septic shock, dangerously high blood pressure, kidney failure or kidney scars, and chronic kidney disease.
So if you’re experiencing any of the 11 symptoms listed below, then it’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye on them and immediately visit your physician before developing a serious kidney infection.
11. Bloody Urine
The majority of kidney infections are caused by bacteria buildup that travels up the urinary tract to the bladder; the infection then heads towards the kidneys. Since women have a shorter urethra than men, they have a higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), which leaves the kidneys vulnerable to infection. When the body fights the infection, red blood cells can end up in the urine.
10. Constant Urge to Pee
As we’ve come to realize with aging, nature calls at inopportune moments. But when dealing with a kidney infection, you’ll probably find nature calling a lot more often than you’re used to. Frequent peeing is one of the earliest signs of a kidney infection, according to Charles Modlin, MD, MBA, a urologist with Cleveland Clinic. “The bladder senses that irritation and wants to get rid of the irritation, so it contracts,” he said. So when it tightens, you’ll feel the urge to pee even if your bladder is empty.