©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis) in Men and Women

Doctor's Notes on Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis) in Men and Women

The kidneys are a part of the urinary system, and are located on either side of the middle back and under the diaphragm. The kidneys function to filter waste products from the body, regulate blood pressure, maintain normal concentrations of electrolytes (sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) in the body, and contribute to the production of blood cells. Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a type of upper urinary tract infection.

Symptoms of kidney infection (pyelonephritis) include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, burning sensation with urination, dull pain on the side or lower back pain (dull kidney pain), and dehydration. In chronic kidney infections, the symptoms may be milder, but more last longer. Symptoms of urinary tract infection may include tenderness on the flanks immediately below the lowest rib, fever, dehydration, and rapid heart rate.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.