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About Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur)

Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.

Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .

UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.

This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.

This page covers:

Infections And Dementia: The Link You Need To Know

Infections can cause short-term cognitive impairments that are reversible once they are treated, but they can also cause long-term cognitive impairment in people who are already on their way to dementia. As a result, the infection can reveal subtle symptoms of dementia in people who appear to have little dementia. It is also possible for UTI to cause permanent brain damage. Infections can damage nerves and brain cells, which is why skilled home health care professionals are so concerned. If you have any of the following symptoms, please see a doctor: confusion, decreased appetite, depression, a change in behavior, or difficulty speaking.

A Urinary Tract Infection Or Uti May Lead To Severe Health Complications If Left Untreated

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti | Updated : October 28, 2014 4:15 PM IST

A urinary tract infection or UTI, is commonly seen in women as compared to males. Although children and older people are susceptible to this condition, pregnant women and those with a pre-existing health problem are at an increased risk of its complications. Hence, if you experience symptoms of UTI, consult your doctor or try natural remedies to treat urinary tract infection. It is important to get treated for UTI as the complications of UTI are rare but can cause serious consequences on the health. Some of the common UTI complications are as follows.

Recurrent urinary tract infections

A urinary tract infection if left untreated or improperly treated may lead to recurrent UTIs. This is commonly seen in women who experience UTIs due to unhygienic practices and weak immune system. It may have serious consequences if pregnant women or young children suffer from urinary tract infection.

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Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis

If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.

There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:

  • a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
  • cranberry products, such as juice or tablets

Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.

Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.

Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023

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Does Urinary Tract Infection Affect Women

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Urinary tract infections are uncomfortable and can lead to serious complications, even organ damage. Commonly referred to as UTI’s, the infection primarily targets the bladder and kidneys and has a nasty tendency to recur. Women, teens, and young children are most often afflicted but men can suffer from them as well. While UTI’s may seem like a straightforward infection for which antibiotics are the clear solution, they are anything but, and the following 10 facts will make that clear.

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How Can I Take Care Of Myself

  • Follow your healthcare providers treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
  • Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
  • If you have a fever:
  • Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reyes syndrome.
  • Keep a daily record of your temperature.
  • A hot water bottle or an electric heating pad on a low setting can help relieve cramps or lower abdominal or back pain. Keep a cloth between your skin and the hot water bottle or heating pad so that you dont burn your skin.
  • Soaking in a tub for 20 to 30 minutes may help relieve any back or abdominal pain.
  • Keep your follow-up appointment with your provider, if recommended.
  • Increased Frequency Of Urination

    Urinary tract infection is one of the most common causes of frequent urination.

    Frequent urination is defined as the need to urinate more than usual. This symptom is often confused with urinary urgency. It is an inconvenient symptom that can greatly disrupt daily life for a person with UTI.

    The byproducts of the infection will create inflammation and irritation in the linings of the urethra and bladder. As a result, the irritation of the bladder wall creates the urge to empty the bladder frequently.

    Furthermore, the bladder also often feels full. During each trip to the bathroom, the amount of urine is often less than the usual amount.

    The bladder also sends confusing signals to the brain. The body would feel the need to pee even when the bladder might not be full.

    Typically, the bladder can often hold as much as 600 ml of urine . The urge to urinate is usually felt when the bladder contains about 150 ml of urine .

    Most people urinate between 4 to 8 times, depending on fluid intake, over a 24-hour period.

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    Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections

    Urinary tract infections are an extremely common condition, and most people recover quickly with antibiotic treatment. However, if left untreated the infection can spread throughout the urinary tract system, increasing in severity and causing complications.

    In some cases, the infection can reach the kidneys in the upper urinary tract, an infection known as pyelonephritis. Without medical intervention, this can lead to permanent kidney damage. Possible complications from untreated UTIs include:

    • Formation of abscesses within or around the kidneys
    • Swelling of the kidneys, also known as hydronephrosis
    • , also known as blood poisoning

    All of these complications are serious and require immediate medical attention.

    Why Does Uti Cause Altered Mental Status In Elderly

    Urinary Tract Infection – Overview (signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, causes and treatment)

    An UTI, which causes urgency and pain in the urinary system, affects women over the age of 50. Furthermore, UTIs can cause delirium in older people, which reduces their ability to form logical conclusions and lead to disoriented thinking.

    Confusion between seniors and dementia may be caused by UTI rather than dementia. Multiple studies have found a link between delirium and UTIs. It is an intense and sudden state of confusion that occurs when a patient is confused. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that can infect the entire body. UTIs are a very common condition, but they can also become more severe as the condition goes undetected. A urrosepsis can occur in the most severe cases. You can prevent UTIs by following these general precautions. Dr. Bens recommends drinking plenty of water and wiping your hands from front to back.

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    How Do I Know If My Child Has A Urinary Tract Infection

    UTIs are sometimes hard to diagnose in babies and young children, because they canât tell us how theyâre feeling. Therefore, urine should be tested in a baby or a young child who has an unexplained fever for three days. A UTI may be the cause of the fever. Fever might be the only symptom in a baby with pyelonephritis.

    An older child might be able to tell you that it hurts to urinate. Children who have a sudden need to urinate and who hold themselves or squat to keep from urinating might have a UTI. If your child has a kidney infection, you may be able to tell that he or she is sick. Your child may act tired, or have a fever, or have nausea and vomiting.

    Of course, babies and children can get a fever from many other illnesses, such as colds, ear infections and the flu. Also, other things can cause pain with urination or loss of urine control. Irritation at the opening of the urethra may cause pain with urination. Bubble baths can irritate the tender skin around the urethra and make urination hurt. Dirty diapers or underpants can irritate the skin around the genital area and cause pain. .

    If you think your child has a UTI, call your doctor.

    What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated

    If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.

    Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection

    Classic symptoms of UTI include:

  • Frequent and urgent need to urinate

  • Bladder incontinence

  • Social withdrawal

  • The symptoms of UTI in older adults related to changes in mood, cognition, and behavior are well-documented, but they often mimic symptoms of other conditions like dementia or stroke. This coupled with the fact that the elderly may not be able to tell you when they are experiencing classic symptoms of UTI make it important for their loved ones and caregivers to take prompt action when an abrupt change in mood or behavior is observed. Medical professionals can test for UTI and can determine whether or not a bacterial or fungal infection is present in the urinary tract, or if the changes are the result of some other condition. Tests for UTI are usually performed through urinalysis.

    The good news is that if UTI is diagnosed early enough, treatments are usually easy and effective. Depending on the source of infection, antibiotics or antifungal medications are used with great success against UTI. Drinking plenty of fluids while taking the medication will also help flush the infection out of the urinary tract. It is important to take the antibiotic or antifungal medication exactly as it is prescribed, even after UTI symptoms go away. Taking all of the medication will help kill all of the infections. Centric Healthcares trained and caring professionals can help ensure that their clients take all medications as prescribed and drink appropriate amounts of fluids.

    Utis Can Be A Common Concern For Kids

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    One in five children who have one UTI will have more. Unfortunately, long-term studies have demonstrated little success with antibiotics. Based on the research, prevention appears the best approach with a focus on education and proper care. For those children who do suffer from a UTI, cranberry juice may be effective.

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    Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back

    If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:

    • D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
    • cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day

    Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.

    Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.

    If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.

    Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025

    Urinary Tract Infections In Babies And Young Children

    Babies and children are at risk of UTIs. These infections always need to be investigated as they may indicate a serious underlying condition, such as urinary reflux. Reflux is caused by a bladder valve problem allowing urine to flow back into the kidneys from the bladder. Reflux can cause the urine to stay inside the body increasing the risk of infection. It may lead to kidney scarring, which in turn leads to high blood pressure and sometimes kidney problems.

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    How Long Will The Effects Last

    For most UTIs, the symptoms go away within 24 hours after you begin treatment. Take all of the medicine your healthcare provider prescribes, even after the symptoms go away. If you stop taking your medicine before the scheduled end of treatment, the infection may come back.

    Without treatment, the infection can last a long time. If it is not treated, the infection can permanently damage the bladder and kidneys, or it may spread to the blood. If the infection spreads to the blood, it can be fatal.

    A Urinary Tract Infection Can Spread To Other Parts Of The Body

    Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Overview | Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

    First, a little primer on how UTIs happen: Bacteria gets into the urinary system, which includes the kidneys and the bladder. This typically happens through the urethra . The bacteria then begins to multiply once in the system, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    The infection is most often seen or located in the bladder, but it can happen in any part of the urinary tract.

    In some cases particularly if left untreated the infection can spread to the kidneys or other parts of the body, and sometimes make its way into the bloodstream. Complications from this can include permanent kidney damage. It can also lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication. As part of the process of responding to an infection, the body releases chemicals into the blood stream to fight it off. Sepsis can occur when the bodys response to those chemicals becomes out of balance, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can result in damage to your organs.

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    Can A Urinary Tract Infection Cause Blurry Vision

    On January 9th I took my daughter into the doctor because she was complaining about stomach pains and feeling like she had to pee all the time but nothing would come out. The doctor took a urine sample and her exact words were ” Oh yes her urine is very … more »

    On January 9th I took my daughter into the doctor because she was complaining about stomach pains and feeling like she had to pee all the time but nothing would come out. The doctor took a urine sample and her exact words were ” Oh yes her urine is very bad”. The doctor prescribed sulfameth-trimeth, 2 doses daily, for 10 days. Giving the adequate dosage the medication only lasted for 7 days. My daughter seemed to be doing better for a couple of days but is now complaining of stomach pains and blurred vision. Can a persons vision be affected by an improperly treated bladder infection? I will be taking her to the doctor again in the morning but if someone could answer my question sooner I might be able to get some sleep tonight…Thanks

    Urinary Tract Infections In Men

    Men can get UTIs, particularly if they have trouble with urine flow. Older men who experience prostatitis are at a higher risk. If the bladder is not emptying properly, the build up ofurine makes it more difficult to cure the infection.

    A small number of young men may get a UTI. In males, this is usually the result of a sexually transmitted disease.

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    Bacteria Are Not The Only Culprit

    Have you ever heard of schistosomiasis? It’s a disease caused by a harmful organism and may cause UTI’s. There are four types of schistosomiasis all can lead to kidney disease and bladder cancer. Worldwide, 200 million people are infected every year and 100,000 die. Although it’s most common to Africa and the Middle East, it’s on the move even to as far away as Fiji.

    Who Is Most At Risk

    Can Uti Cause Face Rash

    In addition to the causes mentioned above, there are some things that can increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence without directly being the cause of the problem. These are known as risk factors.

    Some of the main risk factors for urinary incontinence include:

    • family history there may be a genetic link to urinary incontinence, so you may be more at risk if other people in your family have experienced the problem
    • increasing age urinary incontinence becomes more common as you reach middle age and is particularly common in people over 80
    • having lower urinary tract symptoms a range of symptoms that affect the bladder and urethra

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    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis

    UTIs can cause such signs as:

    • pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
    • an increased urge or more frequent need to pee
    • waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
    • belly pain in the area of the bladder
    • foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood

    If you have any symptoms of a UTI, youâll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable youâll be. Call your doctorâs office or clinic. If you canât reach your doctor, you can visit an urgent care center or hospital emergency room. The most important thing is to take action as soon as possible.

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