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My aging friend has noticed significant fatigue and tiredness, all day long, during recurrent urinary tract infections. The fatigue is out of proportion to her usual feeling of being mildly tired. Have you seen this in your elderly relatives or friends

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My dad is 90 years old, has an enlarged prostate & cancer. Health great never no UTI's until he turned 90. Thank goodness my dad will be turning 91 in November 2017. PSA was normal start increasing when he turned 90 never went over PSA (24) now PSA (11) last checkup. I have been back and forth to the hospital with frequent UTI's the first one was really scary he had Sepsis, but came back strong and healthy. I do preventive care and have his bladder scan once a month at the urologist to make sure his bladder is being empty due to enlarged prostate and check his urine to avoid frequent UTI's. It is awful this is the only thing we have to fight hard to avoid, he wears depends, will work on getting him to go to the bathroom more to urinate, but with the enlarged prostate emptying totally can be a problem . My dad gets lethargic and back pain. This time around his right hand is flimpsy from the UTI always has to go the the hospitalized and stay a few days. I thought I had caught it early just had a checkup on on Sept. 11 urine was good, but back in the hospital again on Oct. 6, 2017 for a few days. This is really scary for the elderly, especially since my dad had Sepsis they did not think he was going to make it, but I knew this was not god's plan. Still fighting the fight to catch it early, considering low maintenance antibiotics daily but this is not a 100 cure this will not happen again, also do not want his body to get immune to antibiotic.
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my mother is 87 has complains of burning urination but no infection. Dr told her to drinks lots of water with the antibiotic but that brought her sodium DOwn and had to go to ER. They put sodium IV and brought it back up. Now 2 weeks later is complaining about the same thing? She also had a dry mouth.
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We have my mother on a daily cranberry pill and she has not had a UTI in 3 years.
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After 3+ years of caring for my mother thru UTI's, MRSA, E-Coli and Sepsis I have seen a lot. Everyone has good ideas as cases can vary somewhat. Tiredness is often a UTI symptom espcially if the individaul has reoccuriring UTI's - their body and mind just tire more quickly from the constant fight. But another cause that should be considered esp. in the elderly is their IONIC Calcium level. This is not a regular calcium level and it requires a special lab test and but it is worth it! Aftera 4 day hospital stay where doctors could find no reason for mom's weakness and fatique, a doctor friend advised me to have them check her IONIC calcium. He was spot on and once they discovered it and gave her IV fluids for 2 days she was back to her old self! So there can be and often are other causes and as advocates we have to keep on top of things so they don't get missed!
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My BIL had UTI's frequently and I don't think they are anything to mess with. He later found out that he had a problem that his kidneys were not completely emptying which caused severe infection and he was extremely ill, so much so we thought we would lose him. I would really see a doctor (or a new one) to make sure it isn't something more severe.
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UTI's are a fact of life for older females. I am the caregiver for my wife for the last 6 1/2 years. We have fought the battle of UTI's for the last 2 years. Proper hygiene and lots of water are the the most important parts of controlling the UTI's. A maintenance dose of Cipro (250 mg) should be part of the equation also. We use baby wipes front to back for every time she goes. You can try cranberry extract or juice but be careful because they can give you an upset stomach from all the acid. To answer your original question, I believe your friend needs a full blood work-up before doing anything else. Your friend will have to know what is wrong first before trying any other type of treatment.

Good Luck!!!
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Confusion, lethargy are more hallmarks of UTI's in the elderly than pain and frequency. Always check for a UTI first and make sure a culture is sent when they do a urinalysis so the correct antibiotics are ordered.
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My mom is 85, she has Alzhiemers/Dementia, and she also suffers from UTI's frequently. I have noticed that her symtoms cause her almost stroke symptoms. She is very sluggish, may have eyelids that droop, confusion and weakness. Many times I have really thought that she has had a stroke, but then she seems to snap out of it. I always suggest to her many doctors when I started noticiing the signs of the strong odor urine to please check to see if she has one and 9 times out of 10 she does. You cannot go by the frequency of urination in an Alzhiermer's patient, because they forget that they have just gone to the bathroom, so you have to watch for other tell tale signs like the odor, incontinence, sluggishness, dizziness, falls etc. I really do wish that there was something that could be done to combat this problem, but they grow amune to the antibiotics if taken on a regular basis, so we as the care givers just have to be aware of what to look out for and be quick to act. I think the most standoutish sign is the strong odor of the urine. Even when my mother drinks plenty (which I have to really work hard to make her drink alot), she still will have this first symptom and that is a very important one. I hope that this helps somewhat.
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Like everyone else, my elderly mom gets UTI's quite frequently. Never any typical symptoms but I can tell by her actions. Make sure the Dr ALWAYS has the urine sent out for a culture ! Seems like every other UTI she gets is resistant to Cipro and they have to change her meds after the results come back. On going battle ,no matter how hard I try to do all of the right things for her. Mom has good hygiene and this has been going on for about 3 yrs. She was on low dose Keflex daily for about 1 yr. There was no real change in the pattern so the Dr has now stopped that. Best of Luck
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My mom passed away 3 months ago and to this day I think it was a result of a UTI. Over the past several years she would get frequent UTI's and was able to let me know when she thought she had one. I know I took very good care of her, I had 2 wonderful caregivers who I told them what to look for and asked them to make sure they kept her clean. I took her to the doctors on a regular basis, and checked often when her symptoms of dementia got worse. This past year she no longer had the ability to let me know when she though she had one. She developed one in January (probably). I had her checked in February by the doctor and took her to ER. She had another one and never got better. Hospice started 2-6-13 and my mom passed away 3-6-13. I do have guilt that I did not pick up this infection soon enough. It can kill them. Though they did says she had alzheimers, I do not believe she did. She had some dementia and no other health issues. Please be very aware of UTI's in the elderly. Even though it was very had this past year, I miss her every day.
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UTI's are the result of a perfect storm: According to the doctor, my MIL's bladder is stretched and prolapsed, as many elderly persons' are. Urine pools there and cannot be totally eliminated. The dark, moist environment is perfect for bacteria to grow.
Then, she would not listen to common sense about preventing falls. Did not use her walker, or sit down to put on pants or pj's. Tried to get to places without asking for assistance even though we repeatedly warned her that she would fall and if that happened she would be at risk of not being able to stay in her home. She was like a little kid trying to get by with something - I do understand her frustration at not being able to do what she used to do, but it is what it is. Unfortunately. She did fall - and broke her hip twice. That made it mandatory that she never be left alone and assisted living would not keep her since she needed two people to get her bathed, etc.
Also, she 'modified' her meds when trusted to take them. She thought the 'cost too much' so began cutting them in half! When meds don't work and one won't take them properly, something has to be done. Also, since she would stop a course of antibiotics mid treatment, infections would come back.
In the nursing home, she gets, I think, 3 baths (or whatever is the minimum required by law) a week. She won't 'pay for extras because I don't want anybody to think I am getting special treatment'. Three baths is not enough when a person is incontinent 'both ways'. Talk about more bacteria!
What evolved is a situation where my BIL sold her home so there was no going back. I do have experience having her in our home and attempting to keep her clean enough. It really is not possible. It takes two people to lift her and to really get her 'parts' clean, well, I don't believe they are doing that in the nursing home. It is pretty intimate and she draws her line. So the end result of all of this is, it is what it is. It is very much like trying to care for a willful (yet loving, just stubborn and with a totally cognizant mind) three year old that weights 160 plus.
In the end, I think there is a lot of blame that gets spread around about who should be responsible for why she gets these so much. What I have learned is that in many ways, SHE is the one, regardless of the fact that in her day, a lot of these subjects weren't even broached or things were viewed differently, who is mostly responsible for where it is now. At this point, maintenance antibiotics (they don't really work), more heavy duty antibiotics if she has a 'bout', and doing the best she and everyone who takes care of her can, to get her to the toilet and bath her semi regularly is about all that can be done.
I'll tell you one thing though. As caregivers everyone on this site knows what a burden physically, emotionally, in every way caring for an old, sick person is. There are things we CAN do to not be those people in 20 or 30 years. Regular, reasonable exercise and a good diet, not being stupid and doing things physically that we should not do (my husband with two knee replacements no longer argues with me about cleaning the gutters. He has no business on our roof of climbing a ladder. He is NOT 'old' at 62 but does have some things going on that tell him it is a bad idea and only bad can come of it!). We pay $35 for that these days. From the explanation the doctor gave me about the bladder problems, I do Kegels. EVERYDAY. They do work and can give one an edge as they age in these matters. Finally, I WILL ask my doctor questions, I WILL take meds as directed, and I WILL be reasonable so that my kids don't throw up their hands and decide I cannot be trusted to take care of myself to some extent. We are on the cusp, people and are looking at our futures if we don't learn from our parents' mistakes.
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I guess I forgot to mention that pain is a great cause of fatigue, and with dementia often the element of pain is overlooked due to the fatigue. This is my first 'in-put' on this site, so please excuse my wandering from the original question. I find this site most helpful and educational for me, as well as my middle age children. Thank you for your care.
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Time for a complete physical and chemistry panel of your friend. Being tired without the UTI might be hypothyroidism which requires medication. Having a low B-12 makes one tired, but having an infection anywhere in the body ravages your strength because your body is having to fight the infection. Again, as a nurse, I am recommending your friend seek medical attention ASAP.
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Yes, my mom had 3 minor falls in about 10 days from excessive weakness; went to ER after third minor fall and they found a bad UTI (otherwise asymptomatic) with e.coli from stomach in her urine. Doctor said it is fairly common in the elderly as systems weaken, and not necessarily a symptom of poor hygiene. She was not incontinent and not wearing Depends/diapers at the time, although I was worrying about whether she was showering enough. She was not experiencing any other signs such as excessive/burning urination. I have had more than one facility say that UTI can manifest as dementia-like symptoms as well. (She is age 85 and also high risk multiple myeloma so has weakness/fatigue from anemia and hypercalcemia, but it had become more pronounced. Also trying to be a fighter/not-to-worry and doesn't tell me about the falls for a few days--ugh.) Antibiotics knocked it out and she has periodic urine tests now. She was discharged from hospital to skilled nursing for physical therapy to try to gain strength.
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My MIL has had chronic UTI's for years. She has been on a 'maintenance' dose of several antibiotics with very minor success. They cause her confusion, tingling in her extremities, terrible fatigue, a general over all bad feeling of being sick. UTI's seem to be very different in the elderly than in 'us'. While we may be dragged down when we aren't well or while we may feel a horrible sense of urgency with a UTI this is not necessarily the case. It is one of the reasons sometimes having a UTI is overlooked as the cause of some things, including dementia. Also the strong antibiotics make elderly people feel bad in general and cause other issues, along with ligament and bone problems and nausea. Also, she does seem to have a lot of incontinence and burning but that isn't always the case.
FYI, UTI's are a lot more common when elderly folks are in nursing homes rather than being cared for at home. As mentioned above, too, poor hygiene is a major problem, but combined with a weakened immune system, resistance to frequently taken antibiotics, and a dropped pelvic floor (don't forget the 'other end' of this business too - fecal and elimination problems with that!) and it can easily be the 'thing' an elderly person ends up dying from, despite other health problems.
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Cipro is an antibiotic that seems to be thought of as a 'catch all' for all infections. The most effective medication for the symptoms and pain is a Gantrison type drug. The urine turns bright orange, but the pain is quickly brought under control. Additional antibiotics may be necessary, but as I mentioned, it's the initial hygenic care that is usually the cause of the I.T.U. to start with. Educate the caregivers!!
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The most common cause is poor hygenic care. When the diaper is changed the urinary and fecal material are 'mixed', and the fecal bacteria enters the urinary tract, which causes the infection. In cleaning these areas care should be taken to see that they are cleaned separately. My mother, at 83 eventually passed away as a result of constant infections that could have been avoided. It seems to me there should be better training in this procedure, or some genius invent a 'diaper' that can separate the areas. I hope this is taken seriously as many people suffer as a result of the pain I.T.U.s cause.
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yes uti in the elderly does have different symptoms that someone who is younger, they don't experience the pain there, they are tired and may run a fever, my mom gets them regulary even though i try my best to keep her clean at all times , she has bowel incontence
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We are going through this now. My mom was diagnosed with a UTI 2-3 months ago then completed a 5-day prescription for Cipro. Four weeks ago she developed a back ache that is primarily on the left side of her backbone. Never even thought about a UTI, especially since she had just had one. But she again has a UTI, just finished 5-day Cipro on Sunday morning. Last night the back ache was returning. So back to the doc, they are considering a low dose antibiotic to add to her daily regimen.

The increased tiredness associated with the UTI's I had attributed to the back pain. But, now I think it is a combination of the UTI and the exhaustion from the back pain.
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To all, My Husband is getting over a U.T.I. and was so tired , and feverish it took him several days to get to the Doctors. Also he was drinking lots of water and flushed out lots of his salt .Taking his Meds but still a bit hotter than normal. So yes fatigue and being tired can be a symptom of U.T.I. Since this is a common problem it would be wise to keep am eye out for symptoms.
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Elderly people with neurological problems such as dementia are affected differently when they get UTIs than younger, healthy people. In my husband's case, his whole nervous system "crashes" so that he not only can't understand what he is being told, he can't even figure out how to perform the simplest motor functions such as sitting up in bed, standing up or walking. It can be quite dramatic. I can't say anything about fatigue because that would be the least of my husband's problems when he has a UTI. If the UTI isn't caught and treated very quickly with antibiotics, my husband ends up in the hospital on an IV where he sleeps most of the time. It is scary how something as common as a UTI can present with people who have dementia.
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UTI's make my mother crazy. I've heard others say the same thing. She's incontinent and it they make her wake up at night much more frequently.

I've heard that having to wear Depends makes the more susceptible to the problem as well.
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Urinary tract infections are common with the elderly, but are you sure that there isn't something else going on. Fluids are very important and necessary to help keep UTI down especially cranberry juice. But her excessive tiredness suggests to me that she is very low in minerals or iron. She should have a blood test done to check on this.
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