Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infection In Older Adults
Certain factors may increase the risk of UTIs in older people.
They often require people to wear incontinence briefs. If the briefs arent changed regularly, an infection may occur.
Several other things put older adults at risk for developing a UTI:
- a history of UTIs
Treatment Of Bladder Urinary Tract Infections
The specific intervention depends on the severity of the symptoms. In many instances, healthy patients who have a urinary tract infection but have no symptoms require no treatment at all. Such asymptomatic UTIs typically resolve within two to three days.
If urinary tract infection symptoms are presentsuch as a burning sensation during urination or an increased need to urinatetreatment usually consists of antibiotic medications, which are prescribed for three to 14 days. They include:
- Trimethoprim: Trimethoprim is the standard treatment for urinary tract infections in otherwise-healthy adults. It is one of the more potent UTI antibiotics, so most patients only require a three-day course. Trimethoprim is generally well-tolerated with few side effects, which generally include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea/constipation or stomach pain.
- Nitrofurantoin: Nitrofurantoin is the second most commonly prescribed antibiotic for bladder UTIs. It usually requires a longer course than trimethroprim , and is usually well tolerated but should not be taken by anyone with kidney disease. Side effects include nausea and vomiting.
- Cephalosporins: Cephalosporins are often used as a first-line of treatment in patients that have upper urinary tract infections involving the ureters or kidneys. It is usually taken for seven to 10 days. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhea.
Can Sex Make A Uti Worse
If you already have a UTI, having sex can make the infection feel worse, exacerbating the symptoms. Using spermicides can increase discomfort because it can cause irritation. Using non-lubricated latex condoms can also increase friction leading to irritation. Using a water-based lubricant or lubricated condoms will help avoid making your UTI feel more irritated. After and before sex, be sure to urinate immediately to flush out the bacteria.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
Eat Healthy And Exercise
A healthy diet and exercise are two of the best ways for most everyone with SCI to boost their immune system. A healthy immune system helps you to fight off infections.
- Ask your health professional for advice before starting an exercise program or changing your diet.
- Consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E may help to boost your immune system. Ask your health professional for advice before taking any supplements.
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How Are Recurrent Utis Treated
Treatment for recurrent UTIs depends on whats causing them. Sometimes the answer is as simple as teaching a child to empty their bladder as soon as they have the urge to go.
If a condition like VUR is causing the infections, the solution is a bit more complicated. Kids with VUR must be watched closely, because it can lead to kidney infection and kidney damage. Most kids outgrow the condition. Some might need surgery to correct the reflux.
Some kids with VUR benefit from daily treatment with a small amount of antibiotics, which can also make surgery unnecessary. Kids with VUR should see a pediatric urologist, who can decide if antibiotic treatment is the best option.
In some cases, surgery is needed to correct VUR. The most common procedure is ureteral reimplantation, in which one or both of the ureters are repositioned to correct the backflow of urine from the bladder. This procedure requires only a small incision and, in some children, can be done using robotic-assisted laparoscopy. When surgery is necessary, the success rate is high, but not everyone is a good candidate for it.
Kids may be candidates for ureteral reimplantation if they:
- have an intolerance to antibiotics
- get recurrent infections while on antibiotic treatment
- have severe, or high-grade, reflux
- are older kids and teens with reflux
Youre Using Certain Methods Of Birth Control
When it comes to UTI prevention, not all birth control methods are created equal. Luckily, only one method is associated with UTIs: a diaphragm.
Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk, says Minkin. The good news? There are plenty of other great birth control options.
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The Problem With Testing And Treatment
Current gold standard testing misses a lot of bacterial infections as is but in the case of fungal infections, it doesnt pick them up at all and other testing methods are needed.
This means that if you have symptoms but no infection has been found it does not guarantee that there isnt a fungal infection present.
Antibiotic treatment also poses a problem as fungi are not affected by antibiotic treatment. Instead, bacterial species that may keep fungi in check from taking over, may be killed off by antibiotics allowing fungi to proliferate.
Instead, anti-fungal medication is needed but with the lack of adequate testing, doctors are unlikely to prescribe them as there would be no proof of an infection.
This shows once again, that the balance of the microbial system is really important.
Finding The Cause Of Cystitis
It is important for doctors to find the cause of cystitis in several different groups. The cause should be found in
Analgesics as needed
Cystitis is usually treated with antibiotics. Before prescribing antibiotics, the doctor determines whether the person has a condition that would make cystitis more severe, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system , or more difficult to eliminate, such as a structural abnormality. Such conditions may require more potent antibiotics taken for a longer period of time, particularly because the infection is likely to return as soon as the person stops taking antibiotics. People with such conditions may also have infections caused by fungi or unusual bacteria and may thus require something other than the most commonly used antibiotics.
For women, taking an antibiotic by mouth for 3 days is usually effective if the infection has not led to any complications, although some doctors prefer to give a single dose. For more stubborn infections, an antibiotic is usually taken for 7 to 10 days. For men, cystitis usually is caused by prostatitis Prostatitis Prostatitis is pain and swelling, inflammation, or both of the prostate gland. The cause is sometimes a bacterial infection. Pain can occur in the area between the scrotum and anus or in the… read more , and antibiotic treatment is usually required for weeks.
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Don’t Be Surprised If Your Doctor Doesn’t Rush You Into Treatment
Urinary tract infections can be tricky in older age. They’re not always as easy to spot or treat as in youth. And the decades-long approach to treatment is changing. “We’ve been hasty in using antibiotics, and we’re learning there are significant consequences that can range from side effects of medication to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” says Dr. Helen Chen, a geriatrician at Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.
Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
It’s important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Treatment Of Recurrent Utis
Some people develop recurring urinary tract infections and may require further testing to determine the cause. Treatment may include longer doses of antibiotics or more potent doses of antibiotics delivered intravenously. Recurrent UTIs may be a symptom of a more chronic problem and require further examination by a trained urologist.
Couling, R. . Managing lower UTI in adults in the community. Nurse Prescribing. 6, 485-489.
Huang, C.-H. et al. . Cranberry-Containing Products for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Susceptible PopulationsA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Archives of Internal Medicine. 172:988-996.
OShea, L. . Diagnosing urinary tract infections. Practice Nurse. 40, 20-25.
Riley, J. . Urinary tract infection. Conditions and Procedures in Brief, 1-3.
Stapleton, A.E. et al. . Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection and Urinary Escherichia coli in Women Ingesting Cranberry Juice Daily: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 87:143-150.
Urinary tract infection. . Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from .
Urinary tract infectionCauses. . University of Maryland Medical Center.
Urinary tract infections in adults. . National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information. Publication No. 122097.
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Blood in urine and new onset since starting antibiotic
- Taking antibiotic more than 24 hours, and pain with passing urine is severe.
- Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
- Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and pain not better
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Symptoms In The Elderly
Most people who develop a urinary tract infection will exhibit symptoms, such as those listed above. However, elderly people are less likely to display classic symptoms specific to the genital and urinary regions. This may be due to changes in immune function as age increases, as well as the possibility of additional diseases and disorders affecting usual bodily responses.
Additionally, a urinary tract infection may cause certain behavioral changes in an elderly adult, such as confusion, agitation or disorientation. Such symptoms are often categorized as delirium. People with age-related issues such as delirium or dementia are especially at risk of developing a more severe UTI because they may not be able to communicate their symptoms and receive prompt treatment.
Although this connection between UTIs and delirium has been established, the reason why delirium may occur in elderly adults with a UTI is not yet known.
Good to know: If a urinary tract infection is suspected in an elderly person, always contact a doctor as a simple urine analysis test is usually enough to confirm the diagnosis.
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Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a lower UTI include
- Pain or discomfort when urinating
- The feeling of being unable to empty your bladder fully
- Cloudy and/or foul-smelling urine that may contain blood
- Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis
- Feeling achy, tired and generally under-the-weather
Symptoms of an upper UTI include
- A high temperature of 38°C
- Pain in your sides or back
- Shivering or chills
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When Should I Contact My Childs Healthcare Provider
Urinary tract infections need to be taken care of right away. Call a healthcare provider if your child:
- Shows a decrease in feeding or drinking.
- Isnt tolerating home medications.
- Experiences an increase in fever or pain.
- Becomes more irritable or inactive.
- Has any signs or symptoms that worry you.
Quickly getting treatment for your childs UTI decreases the risk of kidney problems and the risk that the infection could spread.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Although a urinary tract infection isnt a life-threatening condition, it may result in a hospital stay or lead to complications that can affect your childs quality of life. Be sure to have them checked out by their healthcare provider as soon as they show symptoms. Always make sure that your child takes all of their prescribed medication. Even if they seem better, you should still have them take the medication until the treatment is complete.
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First: What Is A Uti Exactlyand How Do You Usually Treat One
Essentially a UTI is a bacterial infection that can form in your urethra, bladder, or kidneys, causing unpleasant symptoms like frequent urination, a burning sensation while you pee, pelvic pain, and more.
When UTI symptoms rear their ugly head, trying to treat them yourself will only give the infection more time to spread. The longer you wait to get medical attention, the more youre putting yourself at risk for more serious health complications.
One in five women gets a UTI at least once in her life, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Waiting too long to start treatment can allow the infection to progress from a simple bladder infection treated with three days of oral antibiotics to a complex kidney infection requiring intravenous antibiotics, says Ekene Enemchukwu, MD, assistant professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Enemchukwu also points out that theres also the chance youre actually not dealing with a UTI at allanother reason to always check in with your health care provider about any concerning symptoms. UTI-like symptoms, in the absence of bacteria, can be caused by other conditions, such as vaginal infections, STDs, kidney stones, severe constipation, and vaginal atrophy, says Dr. Enemchukwu.
If its a typical, mild UTI, heres what your treatment will look like. These interventions can also make it easier for you to go about your day and sleep with a UTI.
Cystitis In Men And Older People
Men tend to get cystitis later in life. Where trouble with urine flow is a symptom, this may indicate that the underlying cause is a problem with their prostate gland.
Cystitis is common in older people, particularly if they are unwell. Bladder catheters and some urinary-tract operations may also increase the risk of cystitis.
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What Are Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urethra and bladder and multiply. This presence of bacteria may result in an infection if the bodys defenses dont clear it quickly. Since the urine and bladder are normally sterile, the presence of bacteria there is abnormal. There are other urinary issues that are much more common in cats that cause similar clinical signs, so it is important to always have your cat checked out by their veterinarian if urinary issues are seen.
Urinary Tract Infection Causes
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra, travel into the bladder and begin to multiply. Common bladder infection causes include:
- Infection of the bladder This type of infection is usually caused by Escherichia coli , a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, other bacteria are sometimes responsible. To reduce your risk of this type of infection, be sure to wipe front to back , drink plenty of fluids, avoid holding your urine, urinate before and after intercourse, avoid scented products and take probiotics that contain cranberry. Also, be sure to change your pad or panty liner every 3-5 hours.
- Infection of the urethra This type of infection occurs when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Because the urethra is in close proximity to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma can also cause urethritis.
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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
Normal urine is sterile and contains fluids, salts, and waste products. It does not contain bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A UTI occurs when germs, most often bacteria from the digestive tract, get into the opening of the urethra and start to multiply.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
Diet For Urinary Incontinence
People suffering from incontinence should try to stick to a more natural diet, filled with natural antioxidants and vitamins, including fruits and vegetables, and water. Everything is balance is recommended for these patients to avoid the worst situations. Certain things are common in everyones diet and without getting notices heavily contribute to incontinence.
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Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .