Uti Tests And Diagnosis
If you suspect that you have a urinary tract infection, go to the doctor. You’ll give a urine sample to test for UTI-causing bacteria.
If you get frequent UTIs and your doctor suspects a problem in your urinary tract, they might take a closer look with an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. They might also use a long, flexible tube called a cystoscope to look inside your urethra and bladder.
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.
Various Predisposing Factors Increase The Risk Of Urinary Tract Infections In The Elderly Adults
Common healthcare conditions associated with old age such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease may contribute to a reason for why an elder adult could find it difficult to control when they urinate. As a result, this may lead to neglect of self-care, poor hygiene, or urinary retention. Many of the organisms, especially E. coli, thrive and multiply in significant numbers when there is urine retention in an unclean environment. Similarly, these older adults may also be at an increased risk of incontinence. Thus, you may consider encouraging your elderly loved one to wear incontinence briefs. If the incontinence briefs are not changed frequently, then the older adults may be predisposed to an infection. Fortunately, assisted living facility caregivers are available to support seniors with their activities of daily living and ensuring proper hygiene to reduce infections.
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Empty Your Bladder After Sex
Following sex, be sure to use the bathroom and empty your bladder as soon as possible. You should also drink extra water to flush any bacteria out of the urinary tract.
If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection and need relief from your symptoms, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Primary Care & Walk-In Medical Clinic online, , or visit the clinic in person.
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Treatment Considerations In Older Adults
Dr N: She told me that her incontinence had definitely gotten worse in the last couple of weeks. I had noticed that another physician had sent a urine culture that had grown more than 105 CFU/mL of E coli that was sensitive to all antibiotics. Assuming that this was asymptomatic bacteriuria, it was not treated with antibiotics. A repeat urine culture again showed more than 105 CFU/mL of E coli, again it was pan sensitive. Given her symptoms, I treated her with a 7-day course of an antibiotic. However the antibiotics didnt really make a difference.
Studies have shown that treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria does eradicate bacteriuria. However, reinfection rates , adverse antimicrobial drug effects, and isolation of increasingly resistant organisms occur more commonly in the therapy vs nontherapy groups. No differences in genitourinary morbidity or mortality were observed between the 2 groups.
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Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
How To Find The Best Assisted Living Facility For An Elderly Adult With Urinary Tract Infections
Finding the best assisted living facility for a loved one involves both conscious and deliberate efforts. You should be aware of the care your loved one needs, the services the facility offers, the location and proximity to you and your family, the environment, the compassion of the staff, and the management expertise of the administrators. The pattern of disease presentation varies and having a team of staff who are trained to identify early symptoms or changes is crucial.
Objectives to look out for when identifying whether the assisted living facility’s staff can cater to the needs of a loved one with urinary tract infection include:
- Ability to maintain or promote a better quality of life
- How knowledgeable the caregivers are about the urinary tract infections signs and symptoms, risk factors, and strategies for prevention of UTIs
- Ability to discern when to present the senior for proper medical care, provision of transportation to healthcare appointments, and medication management
- Providing support, care and spending quality time each day with the seniors
An assisted living facility may help reduce the risk of recurrence of urinary tract infections if appropriate measures are taken. Dietary monitoring, garden walks, and socialization interactions to bond with other seniors in the assisted living facility may promote good health and add more quality life to your elderly loved one.
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Urinary Tract Infection Treatment
If you are a healthy adult man or a woman who is not pregnant, a few days of antibiotic pills will usually cure your urinary tract infection. If you are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe a medicine that is safe for you and the baby. Usually, symptoms of the infection go away 1 to 2 days after you start taking the medicine. Its important that you follow your doctors instructions for taking the medicine, even if you start to feel better. Skipping pills could make the treatment less effective.
Your doctor may also suggest a medicine to numb your urinary tract and make you feel better while the antibiotic starts to work. The medicine makes your urine turn bright orange, so dont be alarmed by the color when you urinate.
Private Duty Nursing Services
Sometimes, seniors need help with more than daily living tasks and require a licensed medical professional. Centric Healthcare offers the services of private duty nurses who attend to your or your loved ones medical needs in your home. Examples of our services that can assist in the treatment and prevention of UTI include assistance with catheter care, medication administration, and a trained eye that can help identify self-care needs and watch for classic and non-classic UTI symptoms.
What Causes A Uti
A UTI occurs when bacteria, usually from either the anus, kidney stones, or from backed-up urine, is trapped in the urethra and allowed to grow. Research tells us that there are various causes for UTIs and urinary infections , and causes tend to change as we grow older. For example, in older women, a decrease in estrogen can lead to UTIs. Other factors that contribute to UTIs and UIs include:
- Living in an environment with someone that has a yeast infection or UTI
- Wearing incontinence supplies for an extended time
- Sexual activity, especially unprotected sex that can expose you to bacteria and STDs
- Kidney stones or other issues affecting the urethra, trapping urine and bacteria
Simple Ways To Prevent A Uti In Elderly Women
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are more than a painful medical condition. Left untreated, these infections can spread through the body. The leading cause of sepsis, an untreated UTI can ultimately result in death. For caregivers of elderly patients, learning how to recognize a UTI can be tricky as the symptoms are varied. Fortunately, there are three easy ways to avoid the onset of the infection to begin with.
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What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated
If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.
Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.
Effects On The Bladder And Vagina
As you grow older, you may notice some changes to your nether regions that adversely affect your intimate life. What might you expect as you approach menopause? How does the change in hormones at menopause affect your vagina, urinary tract, and sexual health, and what can you do to manage these unpleasant side effects?
The changes in our urinary tract and vagina, not to speak of generalized changes such as hot flashes, are not always a welcome introduction to the late summer and autumn of your life. Yet, for each of these symptoms, there are often several possible solutions which can reduce the impact they have.
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Diagnosis Of Urinary Incontinence
The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor. He or she will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and the medicines you use. He or she will want to know if you have been sick recently or had surgery. Your doctor also may do a number of tests. These might include:
- Urine and blood tests
- Tests that measure how well you empty your bladder
In addition, your doctor may ask you to keep a daily diary of when you urinate and when you leak urine. Your family doctor may also send you to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in urinary tract problems.
The Urinary Tract Infection Risks Factors For Male Seniors May Include:
- Kidney Stones and Bladder Stones: Kidney stones and bladder stones along the urinary tract can occur among older men. This obstruction of the urine outflow tract often causes pooling of urine and provides a suitable medium in which organisms can grow and thrive.
- Urethral Strictures: Narrowing of the outflow tract can cause a full bladder, and difficulty in voiding urine. Stones occluding the urinary tract may cause urethral strictures.
- Enlarged Prostate: This is an age-related condition, as prostates usually increase in size as a man ages. This may be due to the increase in the levels of sex hormones, however, causing difficulty in urination.
- Bacterial Prostatitis: The proximity of the prostate to the urinary bladder could easily transmit infections to the bladder when the prostate becomes infected by bacteria.
- Catheter Use: Prolonged use of a catheter to drain urine from the bladder is a risk factor for urinary tract infection.
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How Urinary Tract Infections Affect The Elderly
Elderly patients who need catheters to urinate are at increased risk for urinary tract infections, especially if they recently had surgery for urinary dysfunction.
Older people who have a depressed immune system, like diabetes, may also not be able to naturally protect themselves against the bacteria. This can lead to current urinary tract infections.
Elderly men who have an enlarged prostate can suffer complications that increase their risk for urinary tract infections. The abnormal prostate can trap urine inside the bladder, which leads to recurrent urinary tract infections.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
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Urinary Tract Infections In Elderly Patients: How Best To Diagnose And Treat
How is urinary tract infection best managed in elderly persons?
Genitourinary infection is the second most common type of infection in community-dwelling adults older than 65 years it occurs only slightly less frequently than upper respiratory tract infection. 1 The presentation of UTI in elderly patients may differ significantly from that in younger ones. Chronic urinary symptoms are common in elderly persons, and the classic triad of UTI-frequency, urgency, and dysuria-occurs routinely in older persons without infection.2 As many as one third of community- dwelling elderly women are incontinent, which can further confuse the presentation. A high index of suspicion is needed first to entertain the diagnosis and then to pursue a thorough evaluation.A variety of risk factors predispose older persons to UTIs . In those between ages 50 and 70 years, the most common are urinary tract surgery, incontinence, cystocele, high postvoid residual volume, and low estrogen levels. Neurogenic conditions of the bladderparticularly those associated with diabetes and with anticholinergic medicationalsopredispose to UTI.3 In patients older than 70 years, risk factors include the use of multiple antibiotics, the presence of an indwelling catheter, and a history of UTI.
Prevention Of Urinary Tract Infections In Elderly Adults
Preventive measures can be adopted to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. It is worthy of note that not all urinary tract infections are preventable. Precautionary steps are usually advised, especially for the elderly adults who are at a higher risk of getting infected.
Consider the following strategies to help your elderly parent prevent a urinary tract infection:
- Stay Hydrated: Water is said to be a cleansing solvent, and water helps in staying hydrated. We are recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Water keeps the body system active, and also flushes small stones that may later calcify to form bigger stones, which could then obstruct the outflow tracts. Staying hydrated could also help clear the mind and reduce the frequency of confusion.
- Drink Cranberry Juice: Some urologists believe that an ingredient in cranberry juice helps senior citizens prevent the growth or adherence of bacteria to the bladder, reducing the chance of getting infected. However, there is no scientific-proven evidence for this belief.
- Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine: Alcohol and Caffeine are referred to as bladder irritants in the elderly adults. Alcohol is detrimental to a seniors health. Alcohol use can lead to more confusion, hallucinations, or change in typical behaviors. Chronic use of alcohol could damage vital organs of the body, which further worsen a seniors immunity.
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Reason #2 Urinary Tract Infections
Physical changes in the vaginal wall are also responsible for the increased susceptibility to UTIs experienced amongst post-menopausal women. More specifically, the reduction in estrogen post-menopause causes the lining of the vagina to get thinner, which makes it easier for unhealthy bacteria to multiply. The vaginal fluid also becomes less acidic, which is problematic because acid kills harmful bacteria and unhealthy bacteria thrive in alkaline environments. The reduction of estrogen can also prevent the bladder from emptying completely, and any bacteria that are in the urine will then remain in the bladder, increasing the likelihood for developing bacterial-induced bladder problems such as UTIs. Other things that increase the risk for urinary tract infections in elderly women include dehydration, a lowered immune system, kidney problems, immobilization and catheterization.
Control Of Urinary Tract Infections
For seniors that are immobile and can no longer take the best care of themselves, assisted living facilities may be a better option in ensuring that they are always dry and clean, and that proper preventive measures are followed. Senior caregivers at assisted living facilities are well trained about how to help elderly adults prevent and manage urinary tract infections. The senior caregivers will also accompany the elderly adults to visit their healthcare professionals.
The seniors may need to visit their healthcare provider to discuss the best care plan options. As urinary tract infection symptoms can present differently in each senior, the healthcare provider will be able to assess whether the older adult shows such a symptom.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
- Pain or burning when urinating
- An urge to urinate often, but not much comes out when you go
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Urine that smells bad or looks milky or cloudy
- Blood in the urine. This is more common in younger women. If you see blood in your urine, tell a doctor or nurse right away.
- Feeling tired, shaky, confused, or weak. This is more common in older women.
- Having a fever, which may mean the infection has reached your kidneys
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What Are The Symptoms
It may be hard to figure out if a loved one has a UTI or not, because they may not have the classic symptoms. This is because urinary problems, such as incontinence, may have similar symptoms related to another issue, making it more difficult to recognize.
The classic, or common, symptoms of a UTI can include:
- Burning while urinating
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- A feeling the bladder is not completely empty
- Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
More severe symptoms of a complicated UTI can include:
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