Recognizing the Symptoms of a Concussion: June 17, 2019

Too much soda, sugar, even alcohol can put you at risk for one of the most common bacterial infections. “Too much sugar, sugary sodas, they are terrible for the bladder,” said Cynthia Reichelt, an advanced provider with Lee Health.

Other things like nicotine, tobacco and too much caffeine can irritate the bladder and put patients at risk for developing a urinary tract infection, or UTI for short. “You need to hydrate, and you need to eliminate to flush the system,” she said.

Advanced provider Cynthia Reichelt says UTI’s are more common in women—and can be particularly dangerous for children and the elderly if left untreated. “Once that bacteria set up home in the bladder it wants to migrate to the kidneys. When the infection migrates all the way to the kidney that can cause really complex problems,” Reichelt said.

It’s important for patients to notice the early symptoms and see their doctor. “It’s a frequency, a burning symptom that you feel like you have to go to the bathroom a lot,” she said.

Once the infection starts to spread, patients can develop more severe symptoms. “Some flank pain, some nausea, some fever, because it’s getting closer to being in the whole systemic circulatory system,” said Reichelt.

A urine test can determine if a patient has a UTI—and if caught early, doctors can treat the infection with an antibiotic. Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping your body hydrated can lower your risk for developing a UTI.