People Get Chronic UTI's For Different Reasons
For Middle-Aged Women It's Related to Menopause.
Urinary Tract infections occur more frequently in older women, and a large percentage of them suffer from recurrent infections that return every few months. Here’s why. There are many types of bacteria that normally live in the vagina and happily coexist. And they keep each other in check, like a mini-ecosystem. The hormone estrogen allows the “good” bacteria called Lactobacillus to thrive and keep the “bad” bacteria in check.
After menopause, as levels of estrogen decline the risk of vaginal infections increases because vaginal atrophy leads to a change in the acidic environment of the vagina, making older women more susceptible to infection with bacteria, yeast, or other organisms.
Another factor causing recurring UTI’s in older women is bacterial vagninosis (BV). BV is caused by the overgrowth of the Gardnerella vaginalis bacteria; when these bacteria get into the bladder, they activate any E Coli bacteria which may be there, causing the urinary tract infection.
For Middle-Aged Men, It's Often Related To A Prostate Problem.
Urinary Tract infections in men are more common with older age. One reason is that older men are more likely to develop noncancerous enlargement of their prostate gland, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate wraps around the neck of the bladder, where the urethra connects to the bladder. Enlargement of the prostate gland can choke off the bladder neck, making it harder for urine to flow freely. If the bladder doesn’t empty completely, bacteria that are normally flushed out with the urine might gain a foothold.
Other factors that may be linked to an increased risk of urinary tract infection in men include: kidney stones, wearing catheters and diabetes.
For Seniors, It’s Because They Have No Symptoms.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) aren’t just a nuisance in the senior population—they can cause serious health problems. Older individuals are more susceptible to UTI’s due to a weakened immune system. Many of them may not exhibit any of the typical signs of a UTI such as the burning sensation, or the pressure and pain in their lower abdomen. This is known as “asymptomatic bacteriuria” or ASB. Almost half of men and women over age 80 living in an assisted living environment will have this condition. The reason that they do not have symptoms is either because their immune systems are unable to fight the infection, or because they may not be able to communicate their discomfort. Without these symptomatic “alarm bells”, an undiagnosed and untreated UTI can quickly lead to complications, such as kidney damage and blood poisoning.
One tell-tale symptom of UTI’s in seniors is a sudden change in mental state. Medically speaking this is known as “delirium”, but it is often mistaken for the early stages of dementia. Delirium is distinct from dementia because it develops rapidly, over hours to days, rather than months to years. And unlike dementia, delirium is usually temporary, improving when the UTI is treated. Key indicators of delirium include: confusion, agitation, hallucinations, inability to communicate clearly, dizziness and falling. Caregivers and family members should be on the lookout for these signs and, if present, ask for a UTI test as the first step in helping their elderly patient.
For Younger Woman, It's Romantic Adventures.
18 million women between the ages of 18 and 50 years old had a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the past year; that’s about one-third of all women in this age group. The strongest risk factor for recurrent UTIs in young women is frequency of sexual intercourse. Other factors include: having diabetes and maternal history of chronic UTI’s.
Reasons that UTI’s may continue to return include:
1) E-Coli Reinfection: 80% of UTI’s are cause by the E Coli bacteria. In a growing percentage of cases, the prescribed antibiotics are failing to get kill all of the original E Coli infection, allowing the infection to return.
2) Non-E Coli-Infection: 20% of UTI’s are caused by other bacteria (Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Enterococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter) and if not diagnosed properly, the incorrect antibiotics are prescribed and the infection is resistant to them.
3) Biofilms: The original UTI bacteria have found a way to hide. They have burrowed into the lining of the bladder and formed a slimy coating (biofilm) which not only prevents antibiotics from killing them but also allows them to get nourishment and grow.