A urinary tract infection is an infection of the kidney, the ureter (the tube running from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder, or the urethra (the tube running from the bladder to outside the body). It is a highly common condition that around 50% of women will experience at some point in their lives with a lower incidence in men.
The symptoms you experience due to a UTI are dependent on where it is located: In an upper urinary tract infection affecting the ureter or kidney you may experience a fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. However in a lower UTI you may find yourself urinating more frequently and finding it painful. Your urine itself may take on a different colour or opacity and may have an abnormal smell.
These symptoms usually pass within 5 days. However, if they are particularly severe or last longer than that time then seeing a medical professional is advised.
Elderly people suffering from dementia also present with a strange set of further symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, difficulty focusing and feelings of agitation or sleepiness. This is known as delirium and it may be problematic if there are existing communication difficulties as it would be hard for the individual to inform anyone of their condition.
A UTI is caused by a bacterial infection of any part of the urinary system. This may be more likely to occur if you have kidney stones, incomplete emptying of the bladder for whatever reason or are immunocompromised. Additionally catheters are often a cause of urinary tract infections in hospitals.
While UTIs that present with complications such as alongside a pregnancy are treated in hospital, most cases can be treated with a course of antibiotics and painkillers when needed.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.