UTIs can cause a significant and distressing change in someone’s behaviour that is commonly referred to as ‘ acute confusional state ‘ or ‘ delirium ‘. Delirium is a change in someone’s mental state and usually develops over one or two days .
Because our immune system changes as we get older , it responds differently to the infection. Instead of pain symptoms, seniors with a UTI may show increased signs of confusion , agitation or withdrawal.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in older adults urethral burning with urination . pelvic pain. frequent urination . an urgent need to urinate. a fever . chills . urine with an abnormal odor.
Several sexually transmitted bacteria and parasites such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomonas vulvovaginitis share some similar symptoms with UTIs , including a burning sensation while peeing and pain in the lower abdomen.
UTIs can cause sudden confusion (also known as delirium) in older people and people with dementia . If the person has a sudden and unexplained change in their behaviour, such as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, this may be because of a UTI .
Urinary tract infection is considered a common cause of delirium in the elderly. In long-term care facilities, altered mental status is the most common indication for ordering a urine culture,1 and a urinary tract infection is the most common reason for prescribing antibiotics.
When left untreated , UTIs can cause serious problems in the elderly , including permanent kidney damage and sepsis, a generalized and potentially life-threatening infection.
People shouldn’t die from a UTI , but if sepsis begins to take over and develops to severe sepsis and then to septic shock, this is exactly what can happen. More than half the cases of urosepsis among older adults are caused by a UTI .
If the infection moves upstream to the kidneys, additional symptoms are likely, such as fatigue , weakness or feeling faint , and difficulty walking or thinking clearly. Other symptoms could include a fever of 101 F or greater, shaking and chills, upper back and side pain, and nausea or vomiting.
Most UTIs aren’t serious. But if left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life-threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and kidney scarring . Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within two to three days after starting antibiotic therapy.
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs . However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics . By some estimates, 25–42 percent of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery .
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole , nitrofurantoin , and fosfomycin are the most preferred antibiotics for treating a UTI.
UTI’s often have a frequent or urgent need to urinate, a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, and cloudy, dark, or strange-smelling urine. However, STDs can have additional symptoms that are not present with a UTI . These symptoms include: Pain during intercourse.
A UTI isn’t a sexually transmitted infection ( STI ), and it isn’t considered a contagious condition. However, you can pass the bacteria that causes a UTI between partners.