CAN UTIs CAUSE BEHAVIORAL CHANGES | Parkinson's Resource Org · Parkinson's Resource Organization

CAN UTIs CAUSE BEHAVIORAL CHANGES?

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By Angel Westerman, The Dependable Daughter

If you or your loved one has struggled with a urinary tract infection (UTI) then you know that even with all the modern treatments, UTIs can be stubborn and difficult to treat. In adults with dementia, UTIs can also cause behavioral changes in addition or sometimes, instead of the regular symptoms.

How should one deal with this? Let us go over how you can identify behavioral changes due to a UTI and what you can do about it.

But first, it is important to know which symptoms are associated with a UTI.

  • An urgent need to urinate.
  • A burning sensation during urination – may not be felt by a person with Parkinson’s.
  • Pain in the pelvis – may not be felt by a person with Parkinson’s.
  • Fever/high temperature
  • Chills
  • Urine that has a cloudy or unusual color
  • Sometimes, urine will have a bad smell – When a person first passes urine, it is usually odorless. Thus, fresh urine that has a bad or strong odor can point to an infection.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in the urine

If you notice any of these symptoms, chances are that an infection is present.  It is best, in this case, to consult with the doctor. Not doing so could lead to the spread of the infection which complicates matters.

UTIs and behavioral changes – While this is not a “usual” symptom, older adults with dementia or who are risk for it, may experience behavioral changes with a UTI.

These changes include:

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Social withdrawing
  • Falling down
  • Hallucinations
  • Unusual hyperactive

If you or your loved one is typically not like this and you notice that this has happened for more than 24 hours, it is a cause for concern. Get to an emergency room immediately.

What you can do to help – When it comes to UTIs and behavioral changes, quick action is the key to reversing the changes as well as treating the infection. To take it a step further, it is helpful if you can recognize a UTI during the early stages of infection. This can be done using specific “Smart” Pads that detect infections very early on so your loved one can receive the treatment they need.

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Updated: August 16, 2017