6 doctors weighed in:
How can you tell the difference between a kidney and bladder infection?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Anthony Cusano
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
4 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Anthony Cusano
Dr. Anthony Cusano
Thank
Dr. James Krick
Urology
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. James Krick
Dr. James Krick
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
26 years in practice
49M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors