Urinary Tract Infection – Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection include:
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent urination in small quantities
- Visibly cloudy and strong smelling urine
- Signs of blood in urine
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Fatigue & muscle aches
- Pelvic pain in women, mainly in the centre of the pelvis and around the pubic bone region.
A UTI can be easily mistaken for other conditions in older adults.
Urinary Tract Infection – Causes
UTIs generally occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract, multiply, and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. The common factors that increase the risk of UTIs are:
- Urinary tract abnormalities that hinder normal draining of urine out of the body
- Blockages in the urinary tract due to kidney stones
- A weak immune system
- A recent urinary procedure
It must be noted that Urinary Tract Infections are more common in women than in men. Causes of UTI, specific to women, are:
- Certain types of birth control
Urinary Tract Infection – Diagnosis
UTIs can be diagnosed with the help of Urine Sample Analysis, CT Scan, MRI, and Cystoscopy, depending on the specifics of the case.
Cystoscopy is usually performed in cases with recurrent UTI. In this procedure, a long and thin tube is inserted through the urethra to examine the insides of your bladder and urethra.
Urinary Tract Infection – Treatment
The line of treatment for a UTI depends on the severity and frequency of the infection. Usually, antibiotics are prescribed by the doctor for 1-3 days. In some cases, doctor may also prescribe an analgesic that relieves pain or burning while urinating. This treatment approach usually works for a simple non-recurring Urinary Tract Infection.
However, when the UTI is frequent, the doctor may recommend a course of antibiotics or vaginal estrogen therapy, depending on the case. Additionally, the doctor may ask you to keep yourself well hydrated and ask you to follow some home remedies.
When it comes to severe cases of Urinary Tract Infection, the doctor may have take a more serious and directed treatment approach.
Urinary Tract Infection – Risks & Complications
If treated promptly, lower UTIs rarely ever lead to complications. But if left untreated, it can have serious consequences which may include:
- Recurring infections
- A kidney infection that can lead to permanent kidney damage
- Higher risk in pregnant women of delivering below-ideal birth weight or premature infants
- Urethral narrowing, in men
- Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication (especially if the infection moves up towards the kidneys)