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A 27-year-old member asked:

How can you tell the difference between a kidney and bladder infection?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony Cusano
Nephrology and Dialysis 41 years experience
Bladder/kidney infx: Sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference, but often the difference is in the degree of symptoms. A simple bladder infection has mostly local discomfort with urinating, an urge to void with little urine, and possibly blood in the urine. A kidney infection is more systemic, with fever, chills and sweats, and pain more in the mid back or flanks. A cat scan can sometimes show which it is.
Dr. James Krick
Urology 37 years experience
Kidney infection: Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) generally causes fever, chills and very significant flank pain. One generally feels "sick". Bladder infection (cystitis) rarely causes systemic symptoms. Discomfort in the pelvic area and irritative voiding symptoms are typical.

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Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

I think i might have a kidney or bladder infection? How to tell the difference?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Krick
Urology 37 years experience
Kidney infection: Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) generally causes fever, chills and very significant flank pain. One generally feels "sick". Bladder infection (cystitis) rarely causes systemic symptoms. Discomfort in the pelvic area and irritative voiding symptoms are typical.
A 33-year-old member asked:

How can I tell when a bladder infection becomes a kidney infection?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Veeraish Chauhan
Nephrology and Dialysis 15 years experience
Symptoms: Fever could worsen; you could develop flank or back pain or tenderness among others.
A 22-year-old female asked:

How can you tell a bladder infection from a period?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 57 years experience
Completely different: A bladder infection often presents with burning on urination, increased frequency and urgency, pain or discomfort above your pubis and rarely, fever and other systemic symptoms. Blood in the urine does occur with some forms of bladder infection, but this is typically different from vaginal bleeding.
A 38-year-old member asked:

What do I do for a bad kidney and bladder infection?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Klein
Family Medicine 22 years experience
See your doctor!: If you have a severe bladder infection, the most appropriate treatment is to take antibiotics. Your doctor can help choice both the most appropriate antibiotic and for how long to take it. A kidney infection can be severe and even require time in the hospital so it is important not to delay treatment. Your doctor can also test the urine to confirm which bacteria is infecting and how to treat it.

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Last updated May 4, 2016

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