Usually, the symptoms of lower urinary tract infections start unexpectedly and can include one or more of the following listed below:
- The urge to urinate more often which can recur at once after the bladder has been emptied.
- When urinating, the person feels a painful and burning sensation. Most likely, the infection is urethritis which is only limited to the urethra if this is the only symptom that occurs.
- Pressure or discomfort at the lower area of the abdomen. There is also abdominal distention.
- The pelvic area or back has pain.
- Oftentimes, the urine contains blood, appears cloudy or has a strong smell. This is indicative of pyuria or elevated count of white blood cell in the urine. This is considered a very reliable indicator of infections in the urinary tract.
- Fever will infrequently develop.
Symptoms of Severe Infection of the Kidney or Pyelonephritis
The symptoms of kidney infection can affect the entire body and can even be more severe compared to inflammation of the bladder and ureters or cystitis. Symptoms will include:
- Symptoms of lower UTIs which will remain for more than a week. There are times when the symptoms of lower UTI will only be the signs of infection to the kidney. Patients suffering from diabetes, those with history of relapsing or recurring UTIs and individuals with impaired immune systems are highly susceptible to the silent infections of the upper urinary tract.
- The urge to urinate at night has increased in frequency.
- Fever and chills persist and would usually last for more than two days.
- Presence of pain in the flank or pain occurs along the back approximately at the level of the waist.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms of UTIs in Infants and Toddlers
In infants and preschool children, UTIs tend to be more severe compared to the ones that occur in young women. This is because they are more likely to involve the kidneys. On the other hand, older kids are more predisposed to lower urinary tract infection along with the standard symptoms. If the symptoms listed below are present, infants and young kids must always be checked for urinary tract infections.
• High fever which is persistent and with unknown cause. This is accompanied with signs of feeding problems and debility like fatigue and listlessness.
• Urination is frequent and painful and urine has a foul smell, Bilirubin in urine. Generally, parents will not be able to identify a urinary tract infection just by smelling the urine of a child. Medical tests are required.
• The urine is cloudy. In case the urine is clear, most likely, the child has some other ailments even if it is not a definitive proof that the child is free from UTI.
• Bedwetting is recurrent or the child has poor urine control at daytime although he already had achieved control before.
• Pain in the abdomen and low back can occur.
• In infants, there may be vomiting and pain in the abdomen.
Symptoms of UTIs in Older Patients
The typical symptoms of pain, frequency or urgency of lower UTIs and the symptoms of upper tract such as chills, tenderness and flank pain can be nonexistent or altered in older people who have UTIs.
The UTI symptoms which can take place in the elderly but not in younger adults can include pain in the abdomen, nausea or vomiting, cough or shortness of breath as well as mental changes or confusion.
Also, concomitant illness can add more confusion to the picture and would make diagnosis difficult.