Urinary Tract is comprised of the kidneys, bladder, ureter and urethra. Any infection caused by microorganisms within these body structures is considered a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Since urinary tract infection can happen within different body parts, medical professionals prefer to utilize more specific terms depending on where the infection is localized. These terms are:
- urethritis (infection in the urethra)
- cystitis (infection in the bladder)
- pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
- ureter infection
What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection in the urinary tract that is more common in women than men. This condition leads to 8.3 million visits to the doctor per year. Although this condition is very common, most people do not really know what Urinary Tract Infection is. Undetected UTI can lead to recurrent infections and serious complications such as Glomerulonephritis and renal failure.
The most common organism associated with urinary tract infection is E. coli, accounting for 80 to 85% of UTI cases. Urinary Tract Infections happen when pathogens from outside the urinary tract can easily travel to the urethra making the individual more prone to infections. These pathogens travel upward, causing other parts of the urinary tract to get infected too.
• Intercourse - Microorganisms from the vagina and bowel can be massaged up to the urethra therefore causing infection. In sexually active women, intercourse is the cause of 75% to 90% percent of bladder infections. Spermicide and frequent sexual activity can increase the risk of UTI.
• Gender - Women are more prone to urinary infections than men. In females, the urethra is closer to the anus compared to males. Women also lack the bacteriostatic properties of the prostate secretions. Among the elderly, the numbers of infected males and females become equal because of the enlarged prostate in older men. The enlarged prostate leads to obstruction of urine flowing to the urethra therefore causing build up and colonization of microorganisms.
• Urinary Catheters - Aseptic technique is sometimes not practiced by users of catheters causing build up of microorganisms in the urinary tract. An obstruction to the flow of the catheter and not changing it frequently can also lead to infections.
• Other Causes - Genetic predisposition to UTI, diabetes, sickle cell disease, or anatomical malformations can also lead to urinary tract infections.
Some cases of this condition can go undetected as mentioned earlier because the individual does not feel any pain or changes in the body. But those who experienced a UTI would notice the symptoms the next time around.
The most common symptom is dysuria (pain when urinating). Some people would describe the pain as unbearable as if needles are prickling the inside of their urinary tract during and after urinating.
Aside from dysuria, there is also high frequency of urination, urge to urinate, hematuria (blood in urine), inability to urinate despite the urge, and body weakness.
When urinary tract infection reaches the kidney, flank pain and fever will start to manifest. In children, symptoms may include loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.
Diagnosis is made through urine laboratory studies and urine cultures. UTI is treated with antibiotics such as cotrimoxazole. When treatment is started, symptoms usually subside within five days. This condition is easily treatable but when left unattended it can lead to serious problems. You can avoid acquiring UTI if you are maintaining proper hygiene, urinating regularly, drinking lots of water and eating fruits such as cranberries. Sometimes UTI are recurrent especially with post menopausal women. In this case regular intake of low dose antibiotics is needed.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the kidneys, bladder, urethra or ureters. These are the parts of the body where the urine passes through before it is released from the body.
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of the UTI. Generally, they would include:
- strong and persistent urge to urinate
- burning sensation during urination
- frequent passing of small amounts of urine
- cloudy or colored urine
- strong smelling urine
- rectal pain in men
- pelvic pain in women
• Kidney Infection
- upper back and side pain
• Bladder Infection
- pelvic pressure
- discomfort in the abdomen
- frequent painful urination
- blood in the urine
• Ureters/Urethra Infection
- burning sensation during urination
It's a must to see the doctor immediately if you experience any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
Treatment options would include home remedies and medical treatment.
You can treat your UTI at home but with the supervision of a doctor after a urine test is done to evaluate if you do have infection in the urinary tract. Take all the antibiotic medications as instructed. Continue taking them as prescribed by the doctor even after the pain is gone.
To relieve pain:
- Take over-the-counter pain medications.
- You can also use a hot water bottle to ease the pain on the abdominal area.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol and spicy foods that can further irritate the bladder.
- On top of that, stop smoking. Smoking is a well-known bladder irritant that can cause bladder cancer.
For Lower Urinary Tract Infection (Cystitis), a three-day course of antibiotics would be prescribed. Other doctors meanwhile would opt for the seven-day course. In some cases, a single dose of antibiotics is given. Be sure to check with your doctor to find out which of these options is most suitable for you.
- For adult males suffering from UTI, they would usually need the 14-day antibiotics.
- One month of antibiotic treatment is necessary for males who also have Prostate Infection (Prostatitis).
- Adult females with kidney problems, urinary tract defects or diabetes are typically prescribed with the five- to seven-day antibiotics.
- Children with lower tract infection are given the 10-day antibiotic course.
• Pain Medicines
Pain medications are given to reduce the burning sensation felt during urination. An example of this drug is phenazopyridine (Pyridium), which can be taken along with the antibiotics for the first two days of treatment.
- For Upper Urinary Tract Infection (Pyelonephritis), adults may receive IV fluids and oral antibiotics or antibiotic injections.
- Follow-up checkup is needed two days after the start of the treatment to monitor the progress.
- For those who are very ill, dehydrated and weak, they will be admitted to the hospital. Fluids and antibiotics will be given through IV.
Although not backed by medical research, cranberry juice has long been recommended as an alternative natural treatment for UTI due to its infection-fighting qualities. Many experts believe that drinking cranberry juice everyday can also prevent urinary tract infections. However, don't drink this juice if you are taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin, as interaction between the two can cause bleeding.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a serious health problem affecting millions of people each year, reported by the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearing House. It is considered to be the second most common type of infection in human body today. At increased risk of UTI are pregnant women, or women in general, children, elderly, hospitalized patients with catheters, previous urinary tract surgeries, urinary retention, immobile patients and people with kidney stones and diabetes.
Some people with UTI are asymptomic while other affected individuals experience symptoms.
Very common symptom is dysuria, or painful urination. One may feel a burning sensation either in the bladder or urethral area during urination.
Another symptom, although not evident to every affected individual, is low fever.
Cloudy or bloody and foul smelling urine is also another symptom.
And there is increased frequency and urge to urinate even if only small amount of urine is passed out every time.
Symptoms such as chills, body malaise, fever 38+ Degrees Celsius, flushed skin, flank or back pain, mental alterations such as confusion and severe abdominal pain or nausea and vomiting may indicate that the infection has gone up to the kidneys already.
In children, it is difficult to assess for UTI since the child cannot describe or complain right away what he might be feeling. Non-verbal actions of the child such as being irritable, loss of appetite, incontinence, or fever that is not relieved by paracetamol are the common presentation of UTI. Fever is more common in children than in adults, while confusion might possibly be the only evident symptom in elderly.
Usually, UTI is diagnosed through urine analysis that will test the presence of white and blood cells, bacteria or pus. It is an utmost importance to teach the patient how to properly get sample urine. A midstream, clean catch is to be done, meaning the patient needs to wash first the genital area and then collect the urine during midstream; do not collect right away the first urine that comes out. This is important because it can help prevent contamination of the sample urine and prevent a false positive test. Culture and sensitivity is done from the collected sample.
If you have recurrent UTI, an ultrasound exam may be recommended. Cystoscopy is another useful test wherein a cystoscope is used because it allows the examiner to see inside part of the urinary tract, from the urethra to the bladder. Intravenous pyelogram is another test that is used when an infection does not clear up with treatment.
Prompt treatment of UTI is very important, because when left untreated, one can be at greater risk of developing kidney damage. Antibiotic is the drug used to treat the infection. Sensitivity test is done in order to know which antibiotic works best.
This infection is very preventable. Doctors suggest these easy reminders to avoid this infection especially to women:
• Do not hold urine; when you feel the urge, urinate.
• Drink adequate amount of water everyday (8-10 glasses)
• Showers are better than tub baths
• After every urination, wipe from front to back, not back to front, with clean tissue paper while avoiding the use of sprays
• Clean genital area before and after sexual intercourse. Also urinate after.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine because it can irritate the bladder
• Wear cotton underwear
• Avoid douching
• Use sanitary napkins and tampons
• Drink cranberry juice
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is not at all strange to women, but it does not occur as frequently in men. Even then, it is something that needs to be given as much attention as the infection can progress and pose debilitating consequences, if not fatal. UTI in men is in fact more complicated than UTI in women. Young men especially need to be aware of the factors that cause UTI in men and be able to determine signs and symptoms so they can seek immediate treatment.
UTI in men occurs when bacteria, such as E.coli for instance, find their way into the urethra. Men who have had sex with someone who has UTI, is using a urinary catheter, has kidney stones, or who has a rather poor immunity due to a chronic disease like diabetes, are at risk to develop UTI.
Men who are at risk for developing UTI should be mindful of the signs and symptoms that are suggestive of an infection, and these include flank pain or pain on the back (the pain is often described as radiating, sharp, intense), high fever that may be accompanied by chills, abdominal pain, difficulty in passing out urine, cloudy urine, blood in urine, frequent urination, urge to urinate even at night, and painful urination. When you notice these signs and symptoms, have your urine tested at the laboratory to confirm the presence of an infection.
E. coli is responsive to antibiotic therapy. Men with UTI of this nature will have to take antibiotics for seven to fourteen days. However, if the UTI has progressed to involve the kidneys, hospitalization may be required. In addition to the antibiotic treatment, UTI sufferers are advised to drink more than the usual eight glasses of water. Pure cranberry juice has also been found to be effective in treating UTI by preventing the bacteria to stick to the bladder walls. While on treatment for UTI, UTI sufferers need to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages as these are irritating to the bladder.
UTI in men can be prevented by being mindful of hygienic practices especially when it comes to sex. Drinking 2 to 2.5 liters of water and taking cranberry juice or tablets every day will also be very helpful in warding off the disease.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) happens when either the bladder, kidneys, urethra and ureter becomes infected by bacteria. The most common sites of urinary tract infection occur at the urethra and bladder.
Women most commonly suffer from UTIs mainly because of the urethra's shorter length. Also, the close distance between the vaginal and anal openings increases the risk for urinary tract infections in women. There are fewer incidences of urinary infections occurring at the kidneys or the ureter. This kind of infection is inconvenient because it is painful, as well as irritating. It is always best to diagnose and treat a urinary tract infection before it worsens and leads to a potentially severe medical condition.
There are some mild urinary tract infections that do not show any symptoms to alert the sufferer. Then there are those that exhibit the usual symptoms of this kind of infection.
These common symptoms include:
- frequent strong urges to urinate (despite having urinated just minutes before)
- pain and a burning sensation when urinating
- having bloody or cloudy urine
- frequent urination in small amounts
Other symptoms may be exhibited, depending on where the infection occurs.
For instance, an infection in the kidneys will bring pain in the upper back accompanied by fever and chills, vomiting, nausea and shaking.
An infection in the bladder will bring low fever, added pressure in the area of the pelvis, and discomfort in the area of the lower abdomen.
Infection in the urethra normally brings a burning feeling while urinating.
As commonly observed, most urinary tract infections occur at the urethra and the bladder. In this case, the infection can only be considered as very inconvenient and painful, but is not a significant health risk to the sufferer.
However, if the infection reaches one or both kidneys, that can lead to serious health risks that can even lead to death.
Treatment of UTIs commonly involves antibiotics taken over a short period of time. The most common antibiotics used are ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin. Generally, the symptoms will be alleviated after just a few days of taking medication; however, it is always advised to complete the full course given by the doctor to prevent recurrence of the infection.
For recurrent UTI, a longer period of antibiotic medication is normally prescribed by the physician. In some cases, stronger types of antibiotics may also be ordered.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the infection in any part of the urinary system including urethra, ureters, kidneys, and urinary bladder. It is most commonly seen in women. If left untreated, infections in one part of the system will affect the other parts resulting in serious damage.
Based on the site of infection, UTI is classified into four different types. When the infection is in the urinary bladder, it is called cystitis. Pyelonephritis is infection in the kidneys, and urethritis is infection in the urethra. Infection in the ureters is uncommon.
Urinary tract infections are caused by the growth of bacteria inside the urinary tract. Many factors can contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. One of the main reasons is the position of the urethra in women. The urethra lies very close to the anus, and is very short in women. The close proximity allows for easier migration of bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
Any underlying disease which can cause obstruction inside the urinary tract can also lead to retention of urine. This urine will become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria eventually causing infections.
Another reason is incomplete treatment of infection. If you do not take antibiotics for the prescribed period of time, the bacteria will not die and this will cause recurrence of infection. The bacteria may even become resistant to the antibiotics. Apart from these, there are many other predisposing factors such as diabetes, use of urinary catheters, prostate enlargement, pregnancy, and kidney stones. Any infection in the kidney can be fatal if not treated quickly.
The most common symptoms of UTI are discomfort and pain in the lower abdominal region. Other symptoms include increase in the frequency of urination, back pain, fever, dark colored urine, foul smelling urine, and vomiting. Some people also experience fever. If there is infection in the kidney (pyelonephritis), the patient may experience fever, pain and discomfort in the upper abdominal region, nausea and vomiting.
Urinary tract infections can be easily prevented just by knowing what causes it. Good hygiene is the first step to preventing it. Young girls and women should wipe from front to back to prevent cross contamination. Scented feminine washes can cause irritation, and lead to infections. Drinking plenty of water will help keep the urinary tract free of bacteria. Holding urine for a very long time is not a good option, as it will result in retention of urine resulting in the growth of harmful bacteria. Also, make sure you complete the prescribed dose of antibiotics when they are prescribed.
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?:
- pain when urinating; strong need to urinate frequently even right after you just emptied your bladder
- cramps in the lower abdomen or at the back
- cloudy urine with a strong odor
These are clear signs of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), an infection that occurs in the urinary tract and affects both men and woman of all ages. It is caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and the bladder and can lead to the infection of the kidneys if not treated properly. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, you may experience chills, fever, severe abdominal pain, back or groin pain, and nausea.
You do not need to suffer all these pain. If you have a bladder infection, the remedy is to drink plenty of fluids. Among the highly recommended fluids that you should take, aside from water, is cranberry juice. Research shows that within eight hours of drinking this juice, you can prevent the development of bacteria in the urinary tract.
Cranberry juice comes from cranberries, often found throughout the colder parts of the northern hemisphere and the United States. Most cranberries are processed into products such as sweetened dried cranberries, sauce, and juice drinks. The juice is sold as a pure juice or in blends with other fruit juices to reduce the fruit's natural tartness. It contains phytochemicals, which may help prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. More importantly, it is found to prevent urinary tract infections at the molecular level.
Cranberry juice contains active compounds, which are not destroyed during digestion but instead fight against bacteria. This is the result revealed by the researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, who used a mixture of cranberry juice, water, and sweeteners for their research. They grew E. coli strains, which were collected from the urine of healthy people before and after drinking cranberry juice cocktail.
How does the juice prevent an infection? The study showed that the juice changes the thermodynamic characteristics of bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby creating a certain barrier to prevent these microorganisms from attaching onto the cells to start an infection.
Most infections of the urinary tract come from E. coli bacteria in the intestinal tract. Women and elders are vulnerable to the infection. By drinking cranberry juice, the E. coli bacteria are prevented from adhering to the bladder by causing their hook-like structures called fimbria to detach from the bladder cells. Thus, during urine flow, these infection-causing germs are easily eliminated from the bladder. Without the cranberry juice, these bacteria can attach strongly to the cells and cause an infection.
If you have an infection, aside from taking medications, it is important to drink cranberry juice and water during and after treatment, for each time you urinate you allow your bladder to clean itself. Make sure that you take 100% cranberry juice so that you get the most benefits.
In addition, take some preventive measures to avoid UTI once you are treated. Go to the bathroom when you feel like urinating and for females, do not forget to wipe from front to back with toilet paper. Keep your genital area clean and dry to prevent bacteria from spreading. If you experience any of the symptoms of UTI, drink cranberry juice right away. The quicker you remedy your situation, the less uncomfortable you will be.