Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infection (uti) can affect the bladder, kidneys or any part of the urinary system. Urinary tract may seem simple, but it is a complicated system made up of several different parts. It is composed of the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys. Urinary tract is responsible for cleansing the body and eliminating wastes through the production of urine.

Urinary tract infection (uti) is a common illness that can affect any or all the parts of the urinary tract. The infection is caused by bacteria that normally live in the digestive system or on the skin near the rectum or near the vagina. It enters this opening in the body and causes the urinary tract to be infected.

Causes of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Most of the time, bacteria is the common cause of urinary tract infection (uti). In men, the  urinary tract infection could result from abnormalities in the urinary system such as enlarged prostate, deformed bladder…etc, or it can be due to infections of the related organs such as prostate.   Another important risk factor in causing urinary tract infection would be the catheterization in certain individuals and after a surgical procedure related to the urinary system. In elderly individuals, incontinence or involuntary passing of urine can also give rise to urinary tract infection as this would promote colonization of bacteria in wet diapers or on the skin itself.

Any part of the urinary tract can develop an infection when bacteria, viruses, fungus or parasites are present in the normally sterile urinary tract.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a frequent urge to urinate, burning sensation with urination, increased urinary frequency, blood in urine, and foul-smelling cloudy urine. Pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men may also be indicators of a urinary tract infection. The presence of fever, chills, nausea and vomiting may indicate a kidney infection. Urinary tract infection symptoms make a person feel very irritable and desperate for relief. The diagnosis of a urinary infection is confirmed by an analysis of the urine for bacteria. Because the symptoms of a urinary tract infection mimic those of some STDs, such as chlamydia, it is important to visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Depending on the location and severity of the urinary tract infection, some men may experience shaking or chills.

It is fairly common for a man with a urinary tract infection to suffer from nausea and vomiting. Some men may experience pus in their urine as a result of a urinary tract infection.

Prevalence of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection (uti) is very common in women, but men, toddlers and children also suffer from it occasionally. Because the urethra is long in men, they are less likely to get a urinary tract infection than women; however, men over 50 are susceptible to urinary tract infections. Pets such as dogs and cats can suffer from a urinary tract infection just as people can. Risk factors for developing a urinary tract infection include female gender, sexual activity, use of a diaphragm for birth control, menopause, underlying anatomical abnormalities of the urinary tract, a weak immune system and the use of a bladder catheter.

Women who change sexual partners or begin having sexual intercourse more frequently may experience bladder or urinary tract infections more often than women who are celibate or in monogamous relationships. Although it is rare, some women get a urinary tract infection every time they have sex.

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Preventing a urinary tract infection from occurring involves a number of simple measures. In addition to drinking sufficient water, which is recommended for everyone, urinate after sex to help flush out any bacteria. When wiping after using the restroom, always wipe from front to back to prevent the bacteria found in feces from being pushed from the anus to the vagina and urethra. Irritation can occur from the excessive use of feminine products such as powders and douches.

Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Mild urinary infections can be treated by your body’s own immune system. You can treat frequent urinary infections by simply keeping yourself hydrated and taking an over the counter pain reliever for pain symptoms until they are over. If your urinary infection symptoms last for longer than a few days, you should contact your doctor. The doctor may prescribe a prescription antibiotic for anywhere from a day to two weeks. If left untreated, a urinary tract infection may spread to the blood, which is a life-threatening situation. Treating a urinary tract infection usually requires an antibiotic and an order to drink more fluids.

If you suspect that your child has a urinary tract infection, contact your pediatrician right away. Your pediatrician will conduct tests to ensure that this is the problem rather than a more rare problem that can cause painful urination such as vaginitis or a pinworm infection. If your child develops a fever, lower back pain, belly pain, vomiting or chills, the infection may have spread to the kidneys. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect a kidney infection because the sooner you catch it the more likely you can minimize any long term damage to the kidneys.

Although antibiotics may be necessary to clear up a urinary tract infection (uti), there are a few treatments to alleviate pain and discomfort that can be accomplished in the comfort of your own home. Consume adequate amounts of water to dilute the urine and assist in the flushing out of bacteria. Avoid acidic drinks such as sodas and juices, as well as drinks containing alcohol and caffeine, because they can exacerbate the symptoms. The use of a heating pad on the lower abdomen is effective against cystitis. This can help alleviate the pain and discomfort centered around the bladder.