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Urinary Disorders

Teenage Kidney



I have had around 3 so-called kidney infections in the last year, all in my left kidney. In that kidney, i have terrible chronic pain and my doctor told me it feels swollen. I am very tired, and have nausea. I am also getting quite light-headed. I am only 16. What could possibly be wrong with it?


There are several possibilities. You could have a birth defect that makes you prone to getting kidney infections. Such conditions include urinary reflux; duplication of the urinary tract with an ectopic ureter; and ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Some girls are prone to getting frequent urinary infections, although it is unusual for individuals your age to get repeated kidney infections; most often they just involve the bladder, with burning, frequent urination, suprapubic pain, and a strong odor to the urine. It would be a good idea for you to undergo some testing to check the kidneys, specifically a kidney and bladder sonogram to start. If any abnormality is found, then other tests are done.

Related Resources:

Urinary reflux
UPJ obstruction

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University