I worked in a nursing home for 13 years. I was in finance but I was in charge of the census daily. The census was how many people were currently in the home. It showed any new people that came in and anyone that left. It also showed diagnosis of these individuals. Urinary tract infection, UTI, would send more elderly people to the hospital than you could imagine. UTI in the elderly can actually look like early Alzheimer’s disease. They are the leading cause of sepsis in elderly adults. A simple UTI is life threatening because the bacteria infection can get into the bloodstream. Why am I giving a lesson in UTI’s in elderly patients on an multiple sclerosis blog, because UTI’s can mimic a MS relapse. UTI’s exacerbates your MS symptoms. Once the UTI is cured your symptoms are better. Considering a relapse looks very similar, it is easy to mistake the two. Many times over the year when I felt I was having a relapse, I had to be checked for a UTI first.
If you’ve been lucky and never had a UTI, let me list some of the possible symptoms:
- frequent urge to urinate
- painful or burning sensation when urinating
- feeling tired
- painful bladder or stomach when not urinating
- urinating only in small amounts even though you feel the pressure of more
- cloudy urine or milky with a stronger odor
MS causes some type of bladder issue in almost 90% of patients. When the bladder isn’t functioning properly the chance of bacteria infecting the urinary tract becomes more probable. This bacteria leads to infection. This infection leads to a UTI. UTI’s left untreated can be a trigger for spasticity or cause a pseudo relapse. Where MS is advanced a UTI can lead to sepsis like it does in elderly adults causing a life threatening situations if the bacteria gets in the blood.
i personality have had more than my fair share of UTI infections. I never leave the house without uristat. This is a tiny pill that will alleviate the symptoms of a UTI without affecting the UTI test results. The only downside to this pill is it causes your urine to be orange and dyes everything that color too. I can speak from experience that it definitely has caused my symptoms of MS to go bonkers until I got an antibiotic and cured the UTI . In a day or so, things went back to normal. Just be aware how a simple thing as a UTI is dangerous. If you even think you might have a UTI , see your doctor.