If you’ve had a urinary tract infection, the symptoms are hard to forget. The constant need to pee, that burning feeling when you do, and let’s not forget the piercing pelvic pain (ouch doesn’t even cut it).
Even though we love to hate these classic UTI symptoms, they deserve a little credit. After all, they give us a painfully obvious heads up that an infection is coming in hot. But what happens when we don’t feel those symptoms? Two words: silent UTI.
A silent UTI is just like a regular UTI, only without the typical symptoms that prove our immune system is fighting off the infection. That’s why those with weaker immune systems, especially the elderly, are more prone to silent UTIs.
Urinary tract infections are risky to begin with. But the longer a UTI goes unnoticed, the more life-threatening it can get.
Kathy - a wife, mother, and silent UTI victim - had to learn that the hard way.
Meet Kathy: A silent UTI survivor
At the age of 74, Kathy has had her fair share of urinary tract infections. The symptoms have always been easy to spot and the infections treated with a variety of antibiotics. That was until a few years ago when her UTI stopped responding to two different antibiotic prescriptions. The doctors in the emergency room were puzzled and concerned.
“The doctors discussed (within my hearing) that the strongest antibiotic that could possibly work could also kill me!”
Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Instead, their extensive tests showed that Kathy had extremely low iron. She was given a transfusion and sent on her way.
Flash forward to 6 months later, when Kathy jetted off on a European getaway. She felt generally unwell on the trip but chalked it up to travel stress. It wasn’t until her flight home that her symptoms became more serious.
“Very suddenly, I began to feel incredibly cold. Blanket upon blanket didn’t help. Then came the tremors and I slipped off my seat onto the floor.”
Flight attendants and on-board doctors came to Kathy’s rescue. She completely passed out for the rest of the flight and her ambulance ride to the ICU. She didn’t remember texting her husband, but she did recall having a panic attack and asthma attack at the same time. Kathy was incredibly sick, voiding at both ends and slipping in and out of consciousness.
“I remained largely unconscious for hours, finally waking up in a ward with a patient suffering dementia whose screams sparked hallucinations.”
For 12 days Kathy endured this hospital horror story. Finally, she received her diagnosis: she had a silent UTI. The doctors told her it had been spreading for her entire 3-week vacation.
“I was shocked. I had no forewarning.”
Her silent UTI symptoms were entirely different from what Kathy had experienced with past UTIs. First, a sudden and overall change in her wellbeing. Feelings of extreme fatigue, shakiness, and aches made her think it was simply stress or even old age.
Then came the chills. Fever is a common sign of a silent UTI, usually signalling that the infection has moved to the kidneys or prostate. Other symptoms of silent UTI include lower back pain, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and disorientation.
Since we associate these symptoms with countless other health concerns, silent UTIs can go unnoticed and untreated for weeks. For Kathy and so many others, the result can be almost deadly.
Her silent UTI had turned into sepsis: a life-threatening condition that prevents blood from circulating through your body to major organs. Caused by her body’s extreme response to the infection, Kathy’s sepsis was fortunately caught just in time.
“I was exceptionally lucky. My recovery took about six months.”
If left untreated, Kathy’s sepsis could have caused organ failure, tissue damage, amputations, or even death. She may have been lucky, but the road to recovery was long, gruelling, and incredibly eye-opening.
From that point on, Kathy knew she had to be proactive about her UTIs. She couldn’t rely on constant prescriptions that led to antibiotic resistance. She couldn’t ignore the many symptoms of silent UTIs. Instead, she took action and found an effective UTI prevention supplement.
“I learned of Utiva through a friend and am so very relieved to have found it.”
Utiva offers a unique selection of doctor-recommended UTI prevention products. The Cranberry PACs Supplement is packed with 36 mg of PACs in every dose at a 15% concentration - one of the highest on the market and measured by DMAC/A2. All-natural and doctor recommended, the Cranberry PACs Supplement is clinically proven to prevent UTIs by stopping bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract.
Paired with a D-Mannose supplement to keep E. coli at bay, Utiva has freed Kathy from her UTI struggles (silent or otherwise).
“For the first time in years, I feel that my UTIs are under control!”
Silent UTIs might be sneaky, but they are still preventable. To avoid untreated UTI and antibiotic-resistance, try these additional silent UTI prevention tips:
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to pee more frequently.
- Avoid holding in your pee for long periods of time.
- Pee before and after sex and keep genitals bacteria-free with Utiva cleansing wipes.
- If you’re postmenopausal and struggling with recurrent UTIs, try a vaginal estrogen treatment.
- Take Vitamin C before bed to prevent bacteria from building up in the system.
- Take a daily probiotic, like Utiva’s Probiotic Power, to stimulate the good bacteria in your vagina and strengthen your immune system.
Let’s talk about silent UTIs
We shouldn’t be silent about silent UTIs. The dangers of an infection gone unnoticed are too real to ignore. If you’re an older adult or caretaker, it’s important to stay educated on the signs, symptoms, and prevention techniques for UTIs of all kinds - especially the quiet ones.
Our Utiva Community group is a safe space where you can talk to other people who are struggling with frequent and silent UTIs. We host monthly virtual sessions with doctors and industry experts to help educate and empower you and your loved ones to gain control over their UTIs.
To learn more about UTI prevention, UTIs in the elderly, and how Kathy won her battle with infections, go to www.utivahealth.ca.