A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that happens in the kidneys, the bladder, or the tubes connecting them. The infection typically spreads from the anus into the urethra, where it develops. Even though UTIs begin and develop below the waist, you may be wondering if nausea is a symptom of this type of infection. Here’s what you need to know about UTIs, including whether they can cause nausea, what your symptoms mean, when to seek medical help, and treatment options. For same-day UTI treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Stoneham.
What causes a UTI and the symptoms
UTIs are caused by bacteria migrating from the anus to the urethra. Due to their anatomy, women are significantly more likely to contract UTIs than men. The most common UTI symptoms include frequent urination (or feeling like you need to urinate without producing urine), pain or burning sensation while urinating, pungent, cloudy, or discolored urine (pink, red, or brown tint), and pain in the pelvis or one side of the abdomen.
Can a UTI cause nausea?
In some cases, UTIs can cause nausea and dizziness. The infection lowers blood pressure, leading to lightheadedness, weakness, and even difficulty standing. When a UTI causes nausea, it usually means that the infection has spread to the upper abdomen and requires emergency medical attention. Failure to treat the infection once it has reached this point can rapidly lead to debilitating kidney disease.
When to seek medical care for a UTI
A mild urinary tract infection may resolve itself in a few days, but in most cases, it requires antibiotics. You should see a doctor as soon as you experience UTI symptoms and before they progress to more serious complications. If you are experiencing nausea and have a UTI, you need to seek medical attention right away.
You should also see a doctor if you experience frequent UTIs, as this is sometimes due to an underlying health issue like kidney stones or a problem in the kidneys, bladder, or urethra.
UTI symptoms can be similar to other infections, such as a yeast infection, which is another reason it’s important to see a doctor right away to rule out other health problems like a yeast infection.
UTI treatment and prevention
There are several ways you can prevent and reduce the risk of contracting a UTI. Always wipe from front to back, never from back to front, when using the restroom. Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse, and shower before sex when possible. Staying properly hydrated, avoiding irritating and scented feminine products, and limiting or eliminating alcohol and sugar consumption can also help prevent UTIs.
You can alleviate UTI symptoms at home by drinking lots of fluids, especially cranberry juice (make sure it’s real cranberry juice, rather than the more popular and common cranberry juice cocktail, which contains little to no actual cranberry juice and is full of sugar, potentially making your infection worse). Avoid acidic or sugary beverages like coffee and soda. UTIs typically require antibiotics to heal, so if your mild symptoms don’t go away on their own within a day or two, or you are experiencing severe symptoms like nausea or abdominal pain, seek medical treatment right away.