Older adults are more vulnerable to UTIs, because as we age, we tend to have weaker muscles in our bladder and pelvic floor that can cause urine retention or incontinence. Whenever the urine stays in the urinary tract, there’s a potential for bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, or E.
Risk factors for recurrent symptomatic UTI include diabetes, functional disability, recent sexual intercourse, prior history of urogynecologic surgery, urinary retention, and urinary incontinence. Testing for UTI is easily performed in the clinic using dipstick tests.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the following conditions make older individuals more susceptible to UTIs: Diabetes. Urine retention (Weakening of the bladder and pelvic floor muscles can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and incontinence.) Use of a urinary catheter.
Urinate frequently By drinking more water, the urge to urinate will become more frequent. Urinating more often prevents infecting bacteria from building up that cause UTIs in seniors.
Why some women get recurrent UTIs The infections are usually caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that lives in the intestinal system. If E. coli are carried from the rectum to the vagina, they can enter the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder) and infect the bladder.
Poor hygiene, namely wiping from “back to front,” is a common UTI risk factor for women, as this can easily spread bacteria into the urinary tract.
Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs. A suppressed immune system. Diabetes and other diseases that impair the immune system — the body’s defense against germs — can increase the risk of UTIs. Catheter use.
SITTING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME New evidence from the American Journal of Kidney Diseases linked prolonged sitting to kidney problems, including UTIs. According to the study, those who sit less and exercise more has the lowest risk of developing urinary complications.
Today, amoxicillin is commonly prescribed as first-line treatment for UTIs in older adults. Other common narrow-spectrum must be used with caution when patients have chronic kidney disease or take blood pressure medication, as many older adults do; or because their side effects can be serious in older adults.
Recurrent UTIs are defined as having two infections in a period of six months or three infections in a year. Most recurrences are due to a new infection as opposed to the old infection lingering.
How to Prevent Recurrent UTIs
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms — usually bacteria — that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.