Home remedies, mood swings and more: 3 things you didn’t know about UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) also can cause mood swings and are more common in the summertime.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause mood swings like irritability in young children. In older adults a UTI can bring on restlessness and other mood changes.

And why are they more common during the summertime? Blame swimming pools, wet bathing suits, sweaty clothing and dehydration.

Here are three more things you may not know about UTIs.

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UTIs can cause mood and behavioral swings

Children and adults are all susceptible to UTIs at any age. What can be different among these groups though, are UTI symptoms. For example, in very young children, symptoms may include fever and irritability. Older children and teens, as well as adults, likely will show the more well-known signs of a UTI, like urgent, painful or frequent urination.

Older adults also may experience behavioral changes from a UTI in addition to the more common symptoms. Behavioral changes may include restlessness, hallucination, agitation and confusion.

These are just some symptoms of UTI, which can vary from person to person, regardless of factors like age.

Certain conditions such as pregnancy, menopause and diabetes can put you at higher risk for a UTI.

Home remedies for UTI? Mixed results

It seems like everyone has a home remedy for UTIs: cranberry juice, garlic, essential oils, probiotics and more. Researchers have gotten mixed and inconclusive results in many cases when studying the effectiveness of home remedies.

However, there are other forms of treatment alternatives undergoing studies that could be promising for the future of UTI treatments. These include immunotherapies and vaccines that   prevent UTIs, as well as biologic treatments that work to restore the ability of the body’s immune system to fight infection.

“Always see a primary care provider if you have fever, acute (new) back pain, nausea or vomiting,” said Crystal D. Narcisse, M.D., internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Hurstbourne. “This may indicate that the infection is not just in the bladder or urethra but involves the kidneys, which is called pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis may require IV antibiotics and additional testing to be properly treated.”

Frequent UTIs? See a specialist — treatment may help

Some women may experience recurrent UTIs or bladder infections (a type of UTI). When these infections happen frequently, such as two or more times in a six-month period, your primary care provider may recommend that you see a specialist, such as a urologist or urogynecologist, to determine the underlying cause and whether treatment can help.

Some possible causes of frequent UTIs may include kidney or bladder stones, bacteria entering the urethra during sexual intercourse, hormonal changes during menopause, abnormalities in shape or function of the urinary tract, or a predisposed risk for developing UTIs.

According to Dr. Narcisse, there are also things women can do to help prevent UTIs.

“In women, it is a good idea to urinate after sexual intercourse,” Dr. Narcisse said. “Reviewing proper hygiene techniques also may be beneficial. For example, women and girls should wipe from front to back in order to keep stool from the away from the urinary tract.”

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