How Is Reactive Arthritis Treated
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may also include:
- Antibiotics to treat the infection
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Immunosuppressive medicines such as methotrexate to control inflammation
- Strong biological immunosuppressants given as a shot
- Rest to ease pain and inflammation
- Exercise to strengthen muscles and improve joint function
Burning Sensation When You Pee
Does it feel like you’re shooting fire out of your urethra? That burning during urination is a telltale UTI symptom. And if you’re wondering where it comes from, you can once again blame bacteria causing inflammation that interferes with nerve fibers in your urinary tract.
“The infection and inflammation set off all the fibers, instead of just the pressure fibers, and that creates the sensation of burning in the urethra,” says Dr. Linehan, adding that bladder spasms may also play a role. “Imagine doing bicep curls all day. That would cause the bicep to hurt. The bladder is in constant spasming, and that creates the burning,” she says.
Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection That Men And Women Should Never Ignore
When it comes to UTIs and other bladder infections, they can affect any part of the urinary system. For reference, the urinary system includes the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. However, most individuals tend to develop infections in their lower urinary tract, which consists of the urethra and bladder.
In any event, symptoms of a bladder infection, with a few exceptions, are the same for both men and women. That said, the 15 signs of a bladder infection that should never go ignored include the following:
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Causes Of Bladder Infection In Men
Cystitis is less common among men. In men, a common cause is bacterial infection of the prostate that causes repeated episodes of cystitis and urethritis. Urethritis Urethritis is infection of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Bacteria, including those that are sexually transmitted, are the most common cause of urethritis… read more Although antibiotics quickly clear bacteria from the urine in the bladder, most of these drugs cannot penetrate well enough into the prostate to quickly cure an infection there. Usually antibiotics must be taken for weeks at a time. Consequently, if drug therapy is stopped prematurely, bacteria that remain in the prostate tend to reinfect the bladder.
Empty Your Bladder As Needed
Keeping a full bladder for a long time or delaying the urge to urinate can contribute to a bladder infection. Holding your urine increases the risk of bacterial growth.
In addition, it increases pressure on the kidneys, which can cause kidney problems. Hence, urinate frequently to reduce the risk of bladder infections as well as kidney problems.
- Use the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to urinate. Try to empty your bladder completely whenever you urinate.
- It is also important to urinate after having sex. It will help flush bacteria away from the urinary tract.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
How Can I Avoid A Bladder Infection
Its not always easy to avoid contracting a bladder infection, but there are some precautions you can take to reduce your risk.
These precautions include:
- Not waiting long periods to empty your bladder when you feel the urge
- Making sure you empty your bladder fully
- Avoiding the use of perfumed products around your genitals
- Emptying your bladder after sex
- Wiping from the front to the back after going to the toilet
- Avoiding using a contraceptive diaphragm or spermicidal condoms or lubricant
- Wearing cotton instead of synthetic underwear
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Causes Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection usually happens when bacteria, often a type called E. coli, get into the tube that carries urine out of your body .
The bacteria travel up to your bladder, causing cystitis, and then up into your kidneys.
E. coli bacteria normally live in your bowel, where they cause no harm.
They can be transferred from your bottom to your genitals during sex or if you’re not careful when wiping your bottom after going to the loo.
A kidney infection can sometimes develop without a bladder infection. For example, if you have a problem with your kidney, such as kidney stones, or if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system.
What Are The Signs Of A Bladder Infection
Reviewed by our clinical team
A bladder infection is a common condition normally caused by the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. It typically causes mild urinary symptoms that pass on their own within a few days, however it can sometimes spread to the kidneys causing more serious symptoms. A bladder infection falls under the category of a UTI and is also known as cystitis. You may also hear it referred to as a water infection.
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What Is The Bladder
The bladder is a hollow muscular organ that is located in the pelvis. The bladder has two functions: one is to store urine and the other is to release/expel urine. Urine drains from the kidneys , down the ureters , and into the bladder. The urine is stored in the bladder where it remains until urination. When it is time to urinate, the bladder muscle contracts and the outlet of the bladder and sphincter muscles relax to allow urine to pass through the urethra to leave the body. The bladder and urethra are part of the lower urinary tract, whereas the kidneys and ureters are part of the upper urinary tract.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection
The symptoms of a water infection vary depending upon its severity. However, most people experience the following:
- Needing to urinate more often than usual
- Pain or a burning/stinging sensation while urinating
- The sudden urge to urinate
- Feeling as though you cannot fully empty your bladder
- Foul-smelling, cloudy or bloody urine
- Feeling achy, tired and unwell
On their own, these symptoms typically point to a lower UTI such as cystitis. This means that the infection has only affected the urethra and/or bladder. If the infection spreads further up the urinary tract to the ureters or kidneys this is known as an upper UTI. An upper UTI is more serious than a lower UTI, and its symptoms include:
- Agitation and restlessness
Left untreated, an upper UTI can seriously damage the kidneys and spread to the bloodstream. When you start experiencing these symptoms, you should contact a doctor.
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Other Over The Counter Products For Uti Prevention
Some OTC products do not directly affect the progress of an acute infection, but could help to prevent UTIs in the future:
- Special probiotics to restore vaginal flora
- Bacterial biofilm-fighting molecules
However, it is crucial to address the reason you had a UTI happened in the first place.
There are multiple factors that can make you more prone to UTIs, such as certain contraceptive methods , diseases that affect vaginal health etc.
Therefore, a holistic approach to UTI prevention is more effective than just treating an acute infection.
Whats your favorite OTC UTI remedy that worked for you?
Written by Anastasia Visotsky, medically reviewed by Dr. Ogunyemi
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
The symptoms of an infection in your upper urinary tract are different from symptoms of infection in your lower urinary tract .
However, in some cases you may notice the symptoms of both, as one can spread to the other.
Symptoms of a UTI are similar to those of many other conditions and don’t necessarily mean you have an infection.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Cystitis
The main symptoms of cystitis include:
- pain, burning or stinging when you pee
- needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
- urine that’s dark, cloudy or strong smelling
- pain low down in your tummy
- feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
Possible symptoms in young children include a high temperature of 38C or above, weakness, irritability, reduced appetite and vomiting.
Read more about treating cystitis
How To Get Rid Of Uti Back Pain
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are infections that infect areas of your urinary system. The urinary system is made up of four parts:
The urethra is a thin tube that connects the bladder to the outside of your body. When you urinate, the urine flows out of the bladder through the ureters and urethra.
Sometimes bacteria makes its way up the ureters, into your bladder, and sometimes all the way up into your kidneys. This can lead to back pain and is a sign of a serious infection.
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Symptoms In The Elderly
Most people who develop a urinary tract infection will exhibit symptoms, such as those listed above. However, elderly people are less likely to display classic symptoms specific to the genital and urinary regions. This may be due to changes in immune function as age increases, as well as the possibility of additional diseases and disorders affecting usual bodily responses.
Additionally, a urinary tract infection may cause certain behavioral changes in an elderly adult, such as confusion, agitation or disorientation. Such symptoms are often categorized as delirium. People with age-related issues such as delirium or dementia are especially at risk of developing a more severe UTI because they may not be able to communicate their symptoms and receive prompt treatment.
Although this connection between UTIs and delirium has been established, the reason why delirium may occur in elderly adults with a UTI is not yet known.
Good to know: If a urinary tract infection is suspected in an elderly person, always contact a doctor as a simple urine analysis test is usually enough to confirm the diagnosis.
Bladder Pain In Women And Men
Bladder pain is more common in women. This is likely due to the fact that the two most common causes of bladder pain urinary tract infections and interstitial cystitis more often affect women than men. It may be also due to the fact that the bladder comes into direct contact with a womans reproductive organs, which may cause irritation and aggravate symptoms.
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Pain Radiating From The Pelvis
Along with a burning or stinging sensation while urinating, many individuals with a bladder infection, UTI or otherwise, will often experience pain radiating from the pelvis.
The pelvis is the basin-shaped structure in the body. It is responsible for supporting the spinal column and protecting the abdominal organs. Many individuals with a bladder infection will experience this type of pain. The discomfort can vary in intensity, even when they are not urinating.
What You May Not Have Known About Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection
When it comes to bladder infections, which include UTIs, they impact everyone differently. While some women might find themselves struggling with a wide range of symptoms, others may not experience any symptoms at all.
One study published by Harvard Health Publishing found that a small percentage of women, even though they may have large numbers of bacteria in their urine, never experience UTI-related symptoms. This unique phenomenon that affects only a handful of women is known as asymptomatic bacteriuria.
And it will usually go away on its own over time. However, in cases where a woman is pregnant, most physicians will recommend antimicrobial therapy to minimize the risk of pregnancy complications.
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Types Of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere within the urinary tract, which includes the:
- Urethra, the tube that passes urine out of the body from the bladder. Infection of the urethra is also known as urethritis
- Bladder, the organ that collects and stores urine. Infection of the bladder is also known as cystitis
- Ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
- Kidneys, the organs that filter blood, eliminating waste via the urine. Infection of one or both kidneys is also known as pyelonephritis
The majority of UTIs affect the bladder and/or the urethra. These are known as lower urinary tract infections.
However, the infection can also travel up the urinary tract to reach the kidneys. In rare cases, the ureters may also become infected. These are called upper urinary tract infections. They are less common than lower tract infections and tend to be more severe.
How Is Reactive Arthritis Diagnosed
The process starts with a health history and a physical exam. Diagnosis can be difficult. This is because there are no specific tests that can confirm the condition. Some blood tests may be done to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Other tests may include:
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate . This test looks at how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. When swelling and inflammation are present, the blood’s proteins clump together and become heavier than normal. They fall and settle faster at the bottom of the test tube. The faster the blood cells fall, the more severe the inflammation.
- Tests for infections. This includes a test for chlamydia. It may also include tests for other infections that are linked to reactive arthritis.
- Joint aspiration . A small sample of the synovial fluid is taken from a joint. It’s tested to see if crystals, bacteria, or viruses are present.
- Urine and stool samples. These are used to look for bacteria or other signs of disease.
- X-rays. This test uses a small amount of radiation to create images of tissues, bones, and organs. X-rays are used to look for swelling or damage to the joint. This can check for signs of spondylitis or sacroiliitis.
- Gene testing. A test may be done to check for HLA-B27.
You may also have testing to rule out other forms of arthritis.
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Cystitis In Men And Older People
Men tend to get cystitis later in life. Where trouble with urine flow is a symptom, this may indicate that the underlying cause is a problem with their prostate gland.
Cystitis is common in older people, particularly if they are unwell. Bladder catheters and some urinary-tract operations may also increase the risk of cystitis.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You might feel like you need to pee all the time, even if you just went. Other UTI symptoms include:
pain or burning when you pee
bad-smelling or cloudy urine
blood or pus in your urine
soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides
If the infection goes to your kidneys, your UTI symptoms may also include:
pain in your mid-back
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How Can The Low Back And The Bladder Be Connected
+ Click to Enlarge
The diagram to the left shows the sacral nerves coursing by the L5-S1 disc in the low back. These then head toward the bladder and act as a conduit for bladder sensation. Without any pressure on the nerves, they function normally to allow the sensation from the bladder to reach the brain through these spinal nerves.
+ Click to Enlarge
The second diagram to the right shows what happens when an L5-S1 disc bulge or slipped disc places pressure on the sacral nerves. These irritated nerves in turn cause pain in the bladder as well as spasm. They can also make the patient believe the bladder is full when its not. All of this happens because the electrical impulses that represent bladder sensation get disrupted by the irritated sacral nerves.
Whats even more interesting is that only some patients who have bladder burning, spasm, and pain and get diagnosed with interstitial cystitis will have back pain. Many patients dont have that symptom even though the trouble spot is in the spine. So whether you have back pain or not, your sacral nerves being irritated by a disc bulge can still cause bladder issues.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Phenazopyridine comes as a tablet or capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day after meals. Do not chew or crush the tablets as it may cause your teeth to become stained swallow them whole with a full glass of water. You may stop taking this drug when pain and discomfort completely disappear. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take phenazopyridine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
If you have any symptoms of a UTI, its important that you see your GP for correct diagnosis and treatment. Untreated kidney infections can lead to serious complications.
Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection. They may also recommend special drinks you can take to help flush your urinary tract and make urinating more comfortable. They might recommend you take over-the-counter medications to help deal with pain or fever.
UTIs are not contagious, which means you cant spread them to other people. However the symptoms of a UTI are similar to those caused by sexually transmitted infections. While UTIs arent contagious STIs are, so you should talk to your doctor about the cause of your symptoms.