A majority of infections of the urinary tract are not particularly harmful and are treatable, and leave no consequences when they are over. Still, some people, typically hospitalized patients, might end up with severe physical complications ensuing from an urinary tract infection.
Consequences of urinary tract infections
Let us review what happens when an urinary tract infection does leave consequences. Infections of upper urinary tract infections that are of particular severity can lead to obstruction, which may cause a widespread infection that can be life-threatening. As mentioned, hospitalized patients who develop an urinary tract infection are more likely In example, diabetics who have severe urinary tract infections may suffer from obstruction of the ureter. Mortality rate in such cases exceeds forty percent.
Further, common infections of the urinary tract may cause scarring of the kidneys in adults that are considered as high-risk (people with predisposing diseases or structural abnormalities), which may cause hypertension and kidney failure. Also, recurrent urinary tract infections might lead to increased risk of urge incontinence in postmenopausal women. Also, it is known that there is a link between kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Bacteria that cause infections also secrete enzymes that lead to increased concentration of ammonia in urine, which, in turn, forms crystals that eventually congregate into stones.
Urinary tract infections in pregnancy
Both mother and child are exposed to risk if mother develops an urinary tract infection while pregnant. Asymptomatic infections that are not detected as soon as possible lead to kidney infection in a quarter of cases. Kidney infection, in turn, is related to risk for premature birth, miscarriage, infant mortality, and chronic kidney disease that might develop from ongoing infection. Untreated urinary tract infections, even, if they do not cause kidney infections, may, in some cases, increase the risk for mental retardation and developmental delay in newborns.
Urinary tract infections in childrenChildren that suffer from an urinary tract infection often end up hospitalized. Untreated urinary tract infections can be very serious if the affected child is under four years of age. The good news is that timely treatment usually resolves infections without any serious consequences. Children who develop serious or recurrent urinary tract infections are at high risk for kidney scarring. Early kidney scarring is connected to increased risk for later hypertension and kidney failure.
Urinary tract infections and diabetics
People who suffer from diabetes are much more prone to severe urinary tract infections than non-diabetics. Hospitalization rate related to urinary tract infections is also higher in diabetics, as is rate of infection complications.