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.
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 .
The main danger associated with untreated UTIs is that the infection may spread from the bladder to one or both kidneys. When bacteria attack the kidneys, they can cause damage that will permanently reduce kidney function. In people who already have kidney problems, this can raise the risk of kidney failure.
The classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection ( UTI ) are burning pain and frequent urination. UTIs may not cause these classic symptoms in older adults . Instead, older adults , especially those with dementia, may experience behavioral symptoms such as confusion.
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 .
How families can help avoid or limit hospital delirium Consult with a geriatric specialist. Bring a full medication list to any new health professional. Make things familiar. Stay close. Insist on sensory aids. Promote activity. Be there for meals. Participate in discharge planning.
Sepsis Symptoms Fever and chills. Very low body temperature. Peeing less than usual. Fast heartbeat. Nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea. Fatigue or weakness. Blotchy or discolored skin.
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.
A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys . While this type of infection is rare, it’s also very dangerous and if you’re experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection , you should see a doctor immediately: Upper back or side pain. Fever, shaking or chills.
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.
Complications of a UTI may include: Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period or four or more within a year. Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to an untreated UTI .
Symptoms of UTIs A burning feeling when you pee. A frequent or intense urge to pee, even though little comes out when you do. Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling pee. Feeling tired or shaky. Fever or chills (a sign that the infection may have reached your kidneys) Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
Do antibiotics for a UTI require a doctor’s visit or prescription? Antibiotics are not available without a prescription in the United States. You will need to talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner to get a prescription.
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.