Can a UTI Cause Bloating and Weight Gain?

Man holding his stomach due to bloating and weight gain

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Bloating and weight gain can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, but not all the time.

If you’ve recently started experiencing bloating or unexplained weight gain, it could be due to an underlying UTI. But how do you know if this is really what’s going on?

And even more importantly…how do you treat it?

UTI bloating and weight gain can be difficult to manage. However, there are steps you can take in order to improve your UTI bloating and help decrease the weight gain that may be associated with it.

In addition, always remember that though excessive weight gain or urinary tract infections may occur together, they are not directly related nor do they cause each other.

This article will teach you everything there is to know about UTIs and their relationship with bloating and weight gain so that next time your doctor asks if anything has changed in your life, they won’t have to guess.

What can cause it?

Weight gain can be caused by many different things, but it’s not often associated with a UTI. So what happens to your body when you have a UTI that leads to bloating and weight gain?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an inflammation or irritation of any part of the urinary system—the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. In women, this may include the urethra as well as the vagina.

It can result from sexual intercourse, exercise or simply using public restrooms where bacteria are present in poor hygiene conditions.

Most people will experience at least one episode during their lifetime; however, up to 50% will experience recurrent infections within six months after treatment for initial episodes.

UTI symptoms

The main symptom is pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen or back.

You may also experience:

  • pain during urination;
  • a frequent need to urinate (especially at night);
  • the feeling of having incompletely emptied your bladder;
  • cloudy, bloody, or bad-smelling urine;
  • and/or vaginal discharge that is different than usual

If not treated properly it can lead to more serious health issues such as a kidney infection.

If left untreated, a kidney infection can lead to septicemia (a blood infection), which is a serious and life-threatening illness. It needs to be treated right away with antibiotics.

This can result in symptoms such as fever, chills, skin rash, swelling of the face/tongue, vomiting, body aches, and a general feeling of being unwell.

When you have a urinary tract infection your body can misidentify the bacteria as something harmful and respond with an inflammatory response that causes chronic inflammation of the uterus ( endometritis ), fallopian tubes ( oophoritis ), or ovaries ( salpingitis ).

Fat man with bloating and abdominal pain, overweight male body on gray background - bloating and weight gain
Fat man with bloating and abdominal pain, overweight male body

Chronic inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a state in the body where there is an ongoing response from the immune system that can lead to disease.

In cases of endometritis, it’s thought that the uterine immune cells are attacking bacteria as if they were foreign invaders.

Chronic inflammation can cause weight gain, fatigue, and a weakened immune system needed for fighting off infections.

This can lead to other health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Can UTI cause bloating and weight gain?

Yes. A UTI (urinary tract infection) can cause bloating and weight gain because of several reasons:

1. Dehydration

2. Food poisoning (UTI, as mentioned above is a type of food poisoning)

3. Pregnancy (rare; only if the pregnant woman has kidney issues)

4. Lactose intolerance

5. A 2013 study with Primary Health Care and fellow researchers at the University of Bristol found that a specific type of UTI caused weight gain in a group that was studied. Other types of UTIs do not cause weight gain.

The most important finding is that, although asymptomatic bacteriuria is a very common infection, its treatment leads to a significant increase in body weight and fat mass. These results suggest the hypothesis that asymptomatic bacteriuria could be an unrecognized risk factor for obesity.

Emma Derbyshire | Researcher at the University of Bristol

The five reasons above are all different, but they do have one thing in common: They affect the body’s systems in negative ways, which causes weight gain.

However, the above reasons are not the ONLY causes of weight gain due to UTIs. Bloating and weight gain can also be caused by other factors that are unrelated to a UTI or food poisoning. You should seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your health.

How to treat UTI bloating and weight gain

UTI sufferers may experience an increase in the size of their abdomen and bloat. This can be accompanied by a sense of fullness after eating even small amounts, and weight gain. While these symptoms are caused largely by your body’s reaction to bacteria or other infectious agents, they can also be exacerbated by diet.

The best way to treat UTI bloating and weight gain is to follow a diet that improves your digestive health, speeds up the removal of bacteria from your body, and boosts your immune system.

  • A balanced diet
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Regular exercise

All these can help you fight back against UTI bloating and weight gain by speeding up the removal of toxins from your body.

In conclusion

In general, UTIs can cause a lot of different symptoms in both men and women. If you have been experiencing bloating or weight gain that does not seem to be going away with time, it could be from an underlying infection.

Get checked out by your doctor to make sure there is nothing more serious at play before self-diagnosing yourself as having a UTI!

In the meantime, drink lots of fluids to flush out your system and eat plenty of fiber to keep things moving in the right direction!

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