Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common. They can be painful and uncomfortable, but they usually pass within a few days or can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
They’re more common in women than in men – it’s estimated that half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life and one out of every 2,000 healthy men will develop one each year.
You may find that your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, if you are finding your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days, go to see your GP.
Also see your GP if you have a UTI and:
• you develop a high temperature
• your symptoms suddenly get worse
• you have diabetes

How UTIs Affect People With Dementia

When younger people get a urinary tract infection, they will experience distinct physical symptoms. Most commonly, painful urination, an increased need to urinate, lower abdominal pain, back pain on one side, fever and chills.

But those same symptoms may not be present for an older adult. Because our immune system changes as we get older, it responds differently to the infection. Instead of pain symptoms, older people with a UTI may show increased signs of confusion, agitation or withdrawal.

For older adults who have dementia, these behavioral changes may come across as part of that condition or signs of advanced aging.

• Treating UTIs
• Urinary tract infections usually get better on their own within four or five days.
• Antibiotics can help speed up recovery time and are usually recommended for women who keep getting UTIs. In some cases, long-term use of antibiotics help to prevent the infection returning.
• Complications of a UTI aren’t common but can be serious and lead to kidney failure or blood poisoning.
• These complications usually only affect people with a pre-existing health problem, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system (the body’s natural defense against infection).

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