My Mom is having recurrent UTIs. Nothing seems to help. Any advice?


We've used antibiotics cranberry, herbs etc. She was hospitalized in April of this year due to confusion, nightmares & erratic behavior. She had a UTI. Looking back, I can see that she had quite a few of these episodes over the past 5 years she's been living with me. The worst are the night terrors.
The second hospitalization was a week after the first She was given a flouriquinoline antibiotic and she completely went demented. (one of the side effects of the drug, in the elderly, that they don't mention unless you go digging for the information) She is allergic to penicillin. She has been given Batrin, a sulfa drug, for 10 days at a stretch. That seems to help, but the infection comes back within a week to ten days and we're back to square 1. This time the crazy behavior started at the end of her round of drugs. Last night when I called her to dinner, rather than go to the table, she came behind the kitchen counter. I told her that we were eating at the table (we don't have a place to eat in the kitchen area) she went and stood at the counter. She was so confused she couldn't find the table. She's drinking cranberry juice 2 X daily. She's taking the herbal mix "Kidney Blend" She's drinking lots of water, but she has to wear "depends". Any suggestions would be appreciated.
My husband told me that when his X wife had this, they would hospitalize her and catheterize her and "flush" her bladder with an antibiotic wash.



Unfortunately, there is some evidence that antibiotics aren't working for some bladder infections. Some blame it on the antibiotics fed to animals. When we eat meat, we get small doses and the drugs become less efficient when we need them. I want to be clear - this is second hand information. And yes - I eat meat, though not huge amounts, so this isn't an anti-meat statement.

Stubborn UTIs do seem to be more frequent in elderly women than in the past, but then we get back to the fact that people live longer so they will have more problems.

It's disturbing, though, that so many of you have seen UTIs in your moms that won't go away. What misery for the person with the disease and also the caregiver.

Keep the information coming since someone may have a tip that can make all the difference for another reader.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Carol Bradley Bursack

She needs to be seen by a urologist who specializes in elderly women. Shemay have an underlying bladder infection. Or she may need to be on prophylactic antibiotics. Or she way have a structural issue that could be improved by surgery.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Ok, been through all the stuff I read in the previous answers. I'm sorry it is crap. The antibiotics stay in her system for 30 days and will cause confusion and irritability the whole time. A new drug came into prominence in the spring of 2013. It is a type of methenamine. It is used daily to prevent UTI's by making the urinary tract too acidic for their growth. I took my mother to 5 Urologists before reading about it and asking for it myself. She has not had a single uti in a year of taking it. My mom is sensitive to drugs and can take this as it is not absorbed into the body to stay as antibiotics are. It just passes through and keeps the urinary tract acidic with no harm. 4 other ladies on my mom's floor of the nursing home have switched over to it and now have similar great results.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to bsbyboomer

Took my mom to a urogynocologist because of frequent infections, seven last year. Doc did a test to look at inside of bladder, it was very inflamed. Also did an input/output test by pumping water into the bladder to see if she was emptying completely. Then had her on a course of drugs including prophylatic antibiotics. She has not had a UTI this year. And her symptoms when she had them ran the gamut, everything from a backache to stroke symptoms not being able to talk or walk.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to gladimhere

My mom kept getting utis and I took her to urologist. He put her on macrobid low dose daily for one month, something about lining of the bladder. I give her a cranberry tablet daily and juice. I also try and watch the way she wipes which is not the best because sometimes reaches too far back then comes forward. I also make sure dhe washes her hands. You csnt watch them every minute,but the month of macrobid and or me supervising her toile ting and forcing fluids has helped.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to nicenurse10

Try D-Mannose, you can purchase it at most health food stores, and on Amazon. You may want to look it up on Amazon and read the reviews of folks who have used it for UTI's. It is suppose to be great. Also, you can do a google search of "D-Mannose". Good Luck
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Whitney

When elderly people have UTI's, one of the side effects is confusion, which younger people don't have. Alot of times there were no other symptoms like burning, frequent urinating and pain. Just the confusion. UTI's are very hard to clear up. Alot of times they tell you to drink cranberry juice, which is worthless, unless it's from an herbal store and contains at least 30% actual cranberry juice. Cranberry juice in stores contains about 5% juice from cranberries and the other 95% is just sugar water. I heard of some people who tried garlic tea that had good results. Four cloves of fresh garlic steeped in 1 c water for 20 minutes. It's best to drink at night. You want to urinate first, drink the tea and go to bed. The longer it's in the bladder before being urinated out, the more effective it is. But not everyone can take garlic as it can interact with various meds, so anyone wanting to try this would want to Google garlic to see what it interacts with. Also when taking an antibiotic, don't ingest any citrus fruits as they render the antibiotic useless.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to herbalizer77

Nice, how in the heck are you successful at forcing fluids?! I try and try and try to end up with the deer in the headlights look, how dare I try to get her to drrink something. Or if she does drink, just little bitty sips, probably not even a teaspoon full. And there is no reasoning with her to explain why it is so important!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to gladimhere

Mom, 96 with dementia, recently completed a successful course of antibiotics for a UTI. A home health nurse, visiting as follow-up to Mom's stay at residential rehab, spotted the symptoms and got the lab work done. I have two theories on how the infection started. First, Mom refused to wipe from front to back, doing the opposite. (Now I use baby wipes and do it for her.) And also her *briefs* sometimes weren't changed often enough at rehab and/or she wasn't cleaned thoroughly.

Also want to add that a friend had frequent bladder infections and they stopped when she followed her doctor's advice to NEVER interrupt the urine stream once it's started.

Regarding your mother's mental confusion, it will be interesting to see if the symptoms persist after you complete the antibiotic treatments. If so, then she could be evaluated for medication. Mom's behavior -- agitation, anxiety, paranoia, etc. -- became unmanageable and her doctor put her on generic Seroquel which is a big help.

Blessings for a successful result.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Gigi11

All of you pouring advice on UTIs today have overlooked the simplest and less harmful of the remedies: Lots of probiotics (with at least 5 billion of a variety of beneficial bacteria -the more strands the better). Another thing, cranberry juice is a waste of money, it's mostly watery sugar. Why not get the cranberry extract in capsules, instead, and take it according to the instructions on the bottle. For a few days you could even exceed by one or two the daily doses. Also STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR and drink plenty of plain filtered water. You'll see how fast and painlessly you can get over a UTI, without the harmful side effects of antibiotics. Remember, antibiotics kill the good bacteria along with the bad. It's a vicious circle and in no time at all you will be back on antibiotics, without lasting relief.

Without the beneficial bacteria in your gut any infections and inflammation find a green light to invade any part of your body, not just the bladder. Probiotics are a sure way to strengthen your immune system, and a healthy immune system can fight any invader, even cancer.

Be loving and gentle with your body.

Peace and hugs,

--Gloria G.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to gloriagie

See All Answers