Warning Signs of Urinary Tract Disease

Many symptoms of urinary tract disease are vague—fever, weight loss, a vague feeling of being ill, fatigue, and vomiting—but others clearly indicate problems with the urinary tract. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor:

  • Frequent urination. If you are not drinking more fluids than usual but are urinating more, this could indicate that your kidneys or bladder are not working efficiently.
  • Painful urination. A burning sensation while urinating suggests inflammation, infection, or obstruction of the urinary tract.
  • Hesitancy or straining during urination. Any change in the force and diameter of the stream of urine, especially in men, suggests an obstruction of the urethra.
  • Unusual appearance of urine. Urine is normally clear and ranges from colorless to deep yellow. Urine that appears red, brown, milky, or cloudy may indicate a urinary tract disorder.
  • Pain. Pain in the side or the back between the rib cage and the hip can be a sign of inflammation, infection, or obstruction of the kidney.
  • Fluid retention. When the kidneys are not functioning efficiently they do not maintain a good balance of water and sodium in the body, which can lead to fluid retention. This usually appears as facial puffiness but can progress until fluid collects in the lungs, the abdominal cavity, and elsewhere in the body.
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