4 Surprising UTI Symptoms and When to Seek Treatment

May 14, 2024
Woman sitting at a computer with a headache, holding her temples

UTIs are notorious for causing discomfort and pain, but did you know they can also manifest in more ways than just that typical burning sensation while you pee? In over a decade of researching, testing, and treating chronic UTIs, I have seen a wide array of symptoms present that sometimes patients didn’t even realize were being caused by their UTIs.

When you understand these lesser-known symptoms, you set yourself up for better early detection that helps ensure you receive prompt treatment. Let’s explore some symptoms of UTI infections that may surprise you:

  • Unusual Fatigue. Feeling unusually tired or fatigued can be a sign of a UTI. When your body is working hard to fight off an infection, it redirects its energy resources to combat the invading bacteria. That can leave you feeling drained and exhausted.
  • Mental Fog or Confusion. UTIs can sometimes cause cognitive symptoms such as mental fog, confusion, or difficulty concentrating. The reason this occurs is because the infection can trigger an inflammatory response in your body that leads to changes in brain function.
  • Pain on your side. While lower abdominal pain is commonly associated with UTIs, pain on the sides of your body, just below your ribs, can also indicate a urinary tract infection. Pain of this kind may signal that an infection has spread to your kidneys. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Unpleasant Urine Odor. When bacteria is present in the urinary tract, this can produce unpleasant-smelling byproducts.If you notice any change in the odor of your pee, like a strong, or foul-smell, this can be a symptom of a UTI. 

When to Seek Treatment for a UTI

Understanding that these symptoms may be connected to UTI infections is important because you need to understand when to seek medical attention. Bottom line is, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, especially if they are severe or persistent, you should consult a healthcare professional.

It can lead to complications, such as kidney infections, if these symptoms turn out to be connected to a UTI but are left untreated. Early intervention is key to preventing further issues from arising. So if you experience any unusual symptoms or concerns, especially if you suffer from chronic UTIs,  don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. 

Your bladder may thank you for it!


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