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Are frequently recurring UTIs commom with alzheimers?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by smudgedog, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. smudgedog

    smudgedog Registered User

    Oct 31, 2012
    My lovely mum who has alzheimers seems to be getting frequent urinary tract infections. She mentions it burns when she goes to the toilet and we notice a worsening in her symptoms. She gets very agressive and more confused. The antibiotics the doctors prescribes to treat them make her feel very unwell. Are these frequent infections common as mum never had them in the past and is there anything that could help other than antibiotics?

    Many thanks
  2. RSA

    RSA Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    I don't know whether it's common or not my only thought is that she's now not remembering to drink as if you don't drink enough that can sometimes lead to uti's,
    what could help is either drinking cranberry juice or Barley juice's as water is the best.
    Any infection in the body will make her condition worse for the time the infections present.
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Yes they are, very common. Often with none of the symptoms that are typical of UTIs but with a massive downturn in the dementia symptoms. I think the primary reason is probably hygiene: that is, the person may not "wipe" appropriately or possibly at all. Apart from a bidet, someone helping them (and that's problematic unless they are late stage) or flushable wet wipes (1) are they truly flushable and 2) will they actually get used) there aren't many options. Using the loo is an intensely personal affair and most people will resist any help or even supervision. You could try giving cranberry juice (or cranberry capsules) to try to head these things off, but my sense is that while they might help if hygiene is OK, they are a drop in the bucket when they aren't.

    Re the antibiotics: have you told the doctor how they make your mother feel? Because 1) there are other ABs that could be tried and 2) assorted things that might ameliorate the side effects. For example, if the symptoms are an upset stomach, acidophilus can help, as can making sure the ABs are taken as prescribed: some say after food, some say on an empty stomach.
  4. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hello smudgedog, Yes as jennifer says UTI's are very common - a 'deterioration' in ability to maintain personal hygiene, not drinking enough fluids, poor health generally an all make someone more vulnerable to recurrent UTI's and they do have such a negative effect on mood/balance etc.

    Do try and increase Mum's fluid intake as much as is possible - hard I know but it really will help but I'd also ask the Doc to take a urine sample and get it analysed if this hasn't been done already as it can be that the generic AB's prescribed simply haven't removed the infection completely and so, back it comes - if the sample is tested an AB specific to the infection can be prescribed which should be more effective.
  5. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    OH has just returned home from hospital after UTI which really played havoc with dementia. He drinks lots of fluid but avoids cranberry which is not suitable for anyone who is prescribed Warfarin.

    OH has had several UTI's since he has had a catheter - unfortunately this is quite common no matter how careful about hygiene.
  6. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011

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