While a urinary tract infection may be easy to diagnose in a younger woman (or man), a postmenopausal woman’s UTI rarely causes clear symptoms, and may not involve any pain or discomfort. Believe it or not, it’s not only the leading cause of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection, they also contribute to dementia diseases by making them worse. A bladder infection places stress on the body, and that stress can result in confusion, and abrupt changes in behavior in 50 and older adults. For those men or women suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or other dementia, any kind of stress, physical or emotional, will often make dementia temporarily worse.
If a UTI goes untreated, the infection can reach the kidneys and create an infection in the bloodstream. If one is not having the normal increased urgency and burning with urination, you most likely won’t even know you have a UTI.
Common Warning Signs
Not being able to do tasks that one could easily do a day or two beforeA feeling of being over-tiredThe onset of urinary incontinence, or not being able to control the involuntary leaking of urineUrine that appears cloudyUrine that appears bright pink or cola colored (a sign of blood in the urine)Strong smelling urineA fullness in the rectum, for men
This unlikely connection is definitely something people should be aware of as we age, or if we have senior citizens in our life. Understanding the correlation between the two and learning how to diagnose a UTI are important steps in this process.