What Are the Different Urinary Infection Symptoms?

Extreme fatigue may be a sign of a urinary infection.
An infection in the upper urinary tract can trigger fever and nausea.
Urinary Infections can be diagnosed with a urine test.
The use of antibiotics may be necessary to treat a urinary tract infection.
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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 December 2014
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A urinary infection, which is also known as a urinary tract infection, occurs when bacteria infect any part of the urinary tract, made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Generally speaking, infections that occur higher in the urinary tract, especially in the kidneys, are more severe than those that occur lower in the tract. Urinary infection symptoms vary based on which part of the tract is affected and on the age, gender, and overall fitness of the individual affected. Symptoms commonly associated with infections of the upper or lower urinary tract include painful urination, frequent urination, or bloody urine.

Infections of the lower urinary tract tend to be much less severe than infections of the upper urinary tract, though the urinary infection symptoms associated with lower urinary tract infections can still be painful and frightening. Painful, frequent urination accompanied by feeling unable to hold urine in is indicative of a urinary infection. Other signs of a lower urinary infection can include bloody or foul-smelling urine, an inability to urinate completely, and mild fever. The normal treatment for simple, lower urinary tract infections primarily involves oral antibiotics. In more complicated cases, intravenous antibiotics may be administered.

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Upper urinary tract infections tend to be much more severe than their lower counterparts, as the kidneys are very important to the proper processing of wastes in the body. The urinary infections symptoms of an upper urinary tract infection can be the same as those of the lower urinary tract infection, but are usually accompanied by more severe symptoms. Additional upper urinary infection symptoms include relatively high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the back or side. Such pain usually occurs around waist level. Another common symptom is extreme fatigue, which can occur even if the individual is otherwise healthy and well-rested.

Urinary tract infections are most common in sexually active women, diabetics, and individuals suffering from sickle cell disease. Infants and children sometimes get such infections, which can present with different urinary infection symptoms than those experienced by their older counterparts. Along with the symptoms experienced in normal cases, infants can also experience diarrhea and general fatigue. Elderly individuals afflicted with a urinary tract infection often become very lethargic, can experience fever or hypothermia, and may experience an altered mental state. In some cases, urinary infection symptoms are interpreted as sexually transmitted disease symptoms; in other cases, there are no noticeable symptoms at all.

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seag47
Post 6

I had an upper urinary tract infection once, and I felt absolutely horrible. I had let my bladder infection linger for too long, and my kidneys became infected.

My lower back and sides started aching. It felt as though someone were tugging down on them. They seemed very heavy.

I begun to feel nauseated, and I actually vomited. This motivated me to go to a doctor. He scolded me for not coming to him sooner, and he gave me some strong antibiotics.

I felt nauseated for the rest of the day, but by my second day on the medicine, the nausea went away. It took a few more days for the kidney pain to cease, but eventually, I made a full recovery.

Perdido
Post 5

@Oceana – Cranberry juice is great for easing urinary bladder infection symptoms. If you get upper tract infections, you will need antibiotics, but cranberry juice can help you eliminate a lower tract infection.

I was skeptical when I heard this from a friend, but the burning, frequent urination was getting to me, so I decided to try it. I drank two eight-ounce glasses a day, and I got better!

Another thing that probably helped was eating pineapple and yogurt. Both help fight off infection, and they are delicious, too!

If you absolutely can't stand the taste of cranberry juice, or if you just want an extra boost to help your body fight off the urinary tract infection, you can take cranberry extract supplements. They will have the same effect as the juice.

Oceana
Post 4

I have been getting urinary tract infections rather frequently in the past couple of years. I always take antibiotics, but I would like to try a home remedy instead.

Has anyone heard of an effective home remedy for urinary tract infections? I know that drinking plenty of water is good, because it helps flush out the bacteria, but it doesn't seem to kill all of it.

I am tired of running to the doctor every time I get an infection. Surely, there must be something else I can try! I would love to save money, also, because my insurance isn't all that great.

kylee07drg
Post 3

I have polycystic kidney disease, so whenever I start noticing urinary tract infection symptoms, I have to get treatment right away. My nephrologist told me that lower tract infections can spread to the kidneys if I don't get rid of them quickly.

I always know without a doubt when I have an infection. I get the strong urge to pee every thirty minutes or so, but I usually don't have much urine to eliminate. I also have cramps down low, and my urine feels hot coming out.

I don't want to risk damaging my already compromised kidneys, so I have no problem rushing to the doctor. Antibiotics always clears up the infection for me within a week.

jennythelib
Post 2

@ElizaBennett - Sounds like you had laid-back parents and are doing the same yourself! That's awesome. I don't have kids (maybe some day) but I've learned that in a cat, urinary infection symptoms can include urinating in inappropriate places, and I guess it's a similar issue - not having as much control as you usually do.

This subject makes me think of The Green Mile! Anyone else? The prison guard played by Tom Hanks was too stubborn to see a doctor for his urinary tract infection, and of course it spread to his kidneys eventually. (I always say, see your doctor *before* whatever you have gets much worse!) He was terribly ill by then. (Fortunately, there was an intellectually disabled inmate with the ability to suck illness out of people!)

ElizaBennett
Post 1

In kids, symptoms of a urinary tract infection can include bedwetting. If a child who has usually been dry all night starts wetting the bed again, a visit to the doctor is in order.

I was troubled by this as a child myself, up until the age of eight, eight and a half. My parents, fortunately, handled it very calmly. They taught me to strip my own bed when it happened - I don't think I even woke them up! (I would then sleep on a towel until morning.) I even remember going on a sleepover during the tail end of a bladder infection with a trash bag to put under my sleeping bag, just in case!

Now, when my son has this problem, I sometimes put him in the Pampers Jammers - the very large diapers. I don't make a big deal out of it and I make sure he understands it is just so he can get a good night's sleep. I think the existence of those is great; in addition to UTIs causing bedwetting, some kids just need more time for their systems to mature.

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