Does a UTI Cause Bloating?

4354
Jessica Guht
Categorized as UTI

Bloating is uncomfortable and annoying. A lot of things can make you feel bloated but getting rid of that bloated feeling isn’t always easy. You might look for solutions to treat the bloating, but what’s important is finding out what’s causing it. Treating the underlying cause will help to ensure the bloating goes away too.

UTIs are a common infection, especially for women. But does UTI cause bloating?

What Is a UTI?

A UTI (urinary tract infection) is a bacterial infection of any part of the urinary system. This includes the urethra, bladder, ureters (tubes connecting your bladder and kidneys), and kidneys. Infections will often start in the urethra and can move to other parts of the urinary tract, especially if they’re not treated.

Can a UTI Cause Bloating?

So, does a UTI make you bloated? A UTI can sometimes cause bloating, discomfort in your abdomen, or pressure in your pelvis. Bloating isn’t necessarily one of the most common symptoms of a UTI but it is usually listed as a possible symptom. If you’re experiencing bloating, it could be a UTI, particularly if it’s accompanied by other UTI symptoms. However, bloating isn’t always caused by a UTI so it’s also important to be open to other possible causes. Pressure in your pelvis can also feel like bloating, even though you’re not actually bloated.

Why Does a UTI Cause Bloating?

A UTI might cause bloating due to inflammation. UTIs can cause inflammation in the bladder, which often produces the sensation of bloating, fullness or pressure. What feels like bloating might not actually be bloating in that it is caused by excess gas. Instead, the inflammation and pressure in the pelvis can make you feel like you’re bloated.

Some people who have a UTI may also experience bloating that isn’t caused by the infection, but there could still be a link. Bloating is often caused by problems in your gut, and people with poor gut health could be at greater risk of developing a UTI.

How to Get Rid of UTI Bloating

If you feel bloated when you have a urinary tract infection, treating the UTI is the most important thing to do to get rid of the bloating. When the infection has been treated successfully, the inflammation and bloating will go away too.

Pain and discomfort from bloating can be treated while the UTI is being taken care of too. Doctors might recommend the use of OTC painkillers such as acetaminophen/paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve pain. These medications can help to reduce inflammation too. 

You might also find that the way you sit and stand has an effect on how you feel when you’re bloated. Adjusting your posture can help to relieve some of the pressure. However, it’s usually necessary to treat a UTI with antibiotics.

What Are Other UTI Symptoms?

Bloating is not one of the most common symptoms of a UTI, although it does occur. There are various other symptoms that you are more likely to experience.

UTI symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination and/or urge to urinate
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Cloudy urine or urine with an odor
  • Fever
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis

It’s important to pay attention to these symptoms because they can help to determine whether a feeling of bloating is caused by a urinary tract infection. Bloating can have many causes, ranging from gas to some types of cancer. If you are also experiencing the symptoms above, it could indicate that you have a UTI rather than another problem. However, if you’re not sure what the problem is, you should always see a doctor.

How to Treat a UTI

A UTI is usually treated with antibiotics. UTIs are bacterial infections, so a course of antibiotics should treat them successfully. Some minor UTIs can go away on their own, but it’s more usual for them to require antibiotics to treat them effectively. 

You will need to be prescribed antibiotics by a doctor. Your doctor might recommend that you finish the full course of antibiotics, even if your symptoms improve, or they might say you don’t need to. Always listen to their advice for the best chance of treating a UTI.

Meanwhile, try to drink plenty of water, empty your bladder when you need to (don’t hold it), and try using a heating pad to relieve bloating or cramps.

When to See a Doctor

If you have any of the symptoms of a UTI, including bloating and bladder pain, you should see a doctor. Firstly, it’s important to get the right diagnosis to ensure you get the right treatment. Even if you’re pretty sure you have a UTI, you need to confirm it. A doctor (or sometimes a nurse or other medical professional who can prescribe medicines) needs to prescribe antibiotics for you. Urinary tract infections can get worse if they are not treated and can lead to kidney infections.

There is a chance your symptoms can clear up on their own, but it doesn’t happen often.

Get Help from an Online Doctor

Trying to find the time to get to a doctor’s appointment can be difficult, but an online doctor makes it much easier. You can make an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you and quickly get the right diagnosis and treatment without going out of your way to visit a doctor’s office. You will speak to a qualified, professional doctor who can discuss your symptoms and prescribe the best treatment.

Key Takeaways

  • UTIs are common infections, which can cause a variety of symptoms
  • Bloating or a feeling of being bloated can occasionally be a symptom of a UTI
  • You may feel bloated due to inflammation and pressure in the bladder
  • Bloating can also be caused by a range of other illnesses or problems
  • Antibiotics can successfully treat urinary tract infections
  • See a doctor if you have any of the symptoms of a UTI for proper diagnosis and treatment – UTIs are unlikely to go away on their own

Sources:

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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