What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
Synthetic Antibiotics Derived From Dyes
Synthetic antibiotic chemotherapy as a science and development of antibacterials began in Germany with in the late 1880s. Ehrlich noted certain dyes would color human, animal, or bacterial cells, whereas others did not. He then proposed the idea that it might be possible to create chemicals that would act as a selective drug that would bind to and kill bacteria without harming the human host. After screening hundreds of dyes against various organisms, in 1907, he discovered a medicinally useful drug, the first synthetic antibacterial , now called arsphenamine.
The first and the first systemically active antibacterial drug, , was developed by a research team led by in 1932 or 1933 at the Laboratories of the conglomerate in Germany, for which Domagk received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sulfanilamide, the active drug of Prontosil, was not patentable as it had already been in use in the dye industry for some years. Prontosil had a relatively broad effect against , but not against . Research was stimulated apace by its success. The discovery and development of this sulfonamide opened the era of antibacterials.
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How Serious Is A Urinary Tract Infection
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What Is Urinary Tract Infection
UTI is a fungal or bacterial infection in any of the 4 parts of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the urethra, the bladder, the ureters, and the kidneys. The urethra and bladder are called the lower urinary tract, and the ureters and kidneys comprise the upper urinary tract. An infection will most commonly begin in the urethra and move up through the rest of the urinary tract. The majority of UTI cases are diagnosed and treated while still in the lower tract. When fungi or bacteria enter the urethra, the bodys own immune system will fight against them, and will usually kill them before an infection takes hold. If, for some reason, the body is not able to fight them off on its own, a UTI results.
Generally, a person who gets UTI will have one or more of the following risk factors:
Weakened immune system
A recent medical procedure involving the urinary tract
History of UTI
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.
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Bladder Infection Vs Other Utis
The symptoms of a bladder infection, which people may refer to as cystitis, are very similar to those of UTIs in other parts of the urinary tract. As a result, it may be difficult to tell which part of the urinary tract has an infection based on the symptoms alone.
An infection in the urethra may cause pain and burning when urinating and discharge from the urethra, but bladder pain is not a symptom.
An infection that has spread to the kidneys will cause the most severe symptoms. A person with a kidney infection may notice the same symptoms as those of a bladder infection, plus fever, chills, and back pain.
Treatment is usually the same for all types of UTI, except for kidney infections. Treating a kidney infection may require a person to stay in the hospital.
Kidney infections can cause serious health conditions, so anyone with these symptoms should seek treatment as early as possible.
UTIs occur when harmful bacteria enter the urinary tract and start spreading.
- Biological sex: Females have a
When To See A Doctor
Although the body may sometimes fight off a UTI on its own, waiting for this to happen carries risks. UTIs can quickly spread, causing serious kidney infections.
A person should see a doctor for any symptoms of a UTI, particularly if they are pregnant or have an underlying health condition that affects their immune system.
A person with should go to the emergency room for immediate medical care. The symptoms of a kidney infection include:
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Anatomy Of The Bladder And Outlet
The main organs involved in urination are the and the . The of the bladder, known as the , is innervated by fibers from the and fibers from the spinal cord. Fibers in the constitute the main afferent limb of the voiding reflex the parasympathetic fibers to the bladder that constitute the excitatory efferent limb also travel in these nerves. Part of the urethra is surrounded by the or , which is innervated by the somatic originating in the cord, in an area termed .
Smooth muscle bundles pass on either side of the urethra, and these fibers are sometimes called the , although they do not encircle the urethra. Further along the urethra is a sphincter of skeletal muscle, the sphincter of the membranous urethra . The bladders epithelium is termed which contains a superficial layer of dome-like cells and multiple layers of stratified cuboidal cells underneath when evacuated. When the bladder is fully distended the superficial cells become squamous and the stratification of the cuboidal cells is reduced in order to provide lateral stretching.
Top Tips To Prevent Further Bladder Infections
When you chat with you doctor, he may suggest you make a few lifestyle changes including:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Reduce your intake of alcohol, tea and coffee as these can all irritate the bladder
- Take urinary alkalinisers
- Take mild painkillers for pain relief
- Avoid eating any foods that can irritate the bladder while the infection is present, including foods with high acid content and amino acids
- Drink cranberry juice everyday
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Although urinating can be painful when you have a UTI, its important to drink as many fluids as possible, particularly water. Most adults should aim to drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
The more you drink, the more youll urinate. Urinating helps flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.
Bladder Infections In Men
Bladder infections are not very common in men less than 65 years old. However, younger men who are uncircumcised or have anal sex may be at greater risk.
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About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.
Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .
UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.
This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.
This page covers:
Treatment If The Condition Gets Worse Or Recurs
If your urinary tract infection does not improve after treatment with antibiotics, you will need further evaluation and additional antibiotic treatment.
If the infection spreads and affects your kidney function or causes widespread infection , you will need hospital care. These complications are not common. And they rarely occur in people who are otherwise healthy.
A new infection, rather than a relapse of the same infection, usually is the cause of a UTI that keeps coming back .
- Women with recurrent bladder infections may be treated with preventive antibiotic therapy.
- Recurrent UTIs in men are usually a sign of prostate infection . Chronic prostatitis can be hard to treat. For more information, see the topic Prostatitis. Follow-up checkups are usually needed for men who have UTIs and are always needed if the infection recurs.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection Vs A Uti
Symptoms can offer clues about whether you’ve got a bladder infection specifically or a UTI somewhere else in your system. Regardless of which type you have, you’re likely to have some or all of the most common UTI symptoms, which MedlinePlus says includes:
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Fever, tiredness, or shakiness
- An urge to urinate often
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish
- Pain in your back or side, below the ribs
If you’re dealing with a bladder infection specifically, the CDC says you may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Frequent urination
- Feeling the need to urinate despite having an empty bladder
- Bloody urine
- Pressure or cramping in the groin or lower abdomen
Left untreated, a lower UTI or bladder infection can turn into a kidney infection, which the NIDDK says can lead to serious health issues like sepsis, kidney failure, or renal scarring in rare cases. According to the CDC, some common symptoms associated with kidney infections include:
- Lower back pain or pain in the side of your back
- Nausea or vomiting
The symptoms you experience with a UTI of any kind are importantthey can help clue your doctor into where the UTI is located, and which type of treatment will work best for your specific case. If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to seek medical care right away, to help treat what’s going on and prevent any complications.
How Can I Prevent Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
- Keep your genital area clean
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement
- Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to flush bacteria out of your urinary system
- Urinate immediately after intercourse to help eliminate any bacteria
- Use forms of birth control other than a diaphragm and spermicides
- Avoid douches, powder and deodorant sprays
- Wear un-dyed, full cotton underwear
Other prevention measures being studied include drinking cranberry juice and, for women past menopause, the use of estrogen cream or pills.
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When Should I Call A Doctor For A Urinary Tract Infection
Sometimes, the bodys natural immune system fights off the infection quickly without medical intervention. Most urinary tract infections, however, will not resolve themselves, and they can become severe quickly. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, its a good idea to speak with a doctor and begin taking antibiotics. There are some over-the-counter test strips that can help identify the presence of bacteria in the urine if you wish to check for an infection before pursuing medical care.
If your primary symptom is frequent urination accompanied by burning, you may wish to try an over-the-counter remedy for a few days. Beware, however, that drugs like AZO can suppress the symptoms of a UTI without treating its cause, which may actually worsen the infection. Always use caution when using any home remedies without antibiotics.
If you develop lower back pain or pelvic pain in conjunction with a fever or nausea, be sure to get medical assistance right away. These are signs of a severe infection that has spread to the kidneys. Left untreated, this infection may cause kidney damage and ultimately lead to kidney failure. It could also release the bacteria into your bloodstream, leading to a life-threatening infection.
How Can You Prevent A Bladder Infection Or Uti
UTIs are incredibly common, but there are steps you can take to help prevent both UTIs and bladder infections specifically.
First and foremost, the NIDDK suggests drinking enough liquids dailythat means about six to eight glasses. Having enough to drink is also a good option for when you’re treating a UTI, too. It helps you pee more, and “every time you pee, you’re clearing out the infection,” says Dr. Eilber.
The NIDDK also says watching your bathroom habits is a good idea. That means making sure to empty your bladder completely each time you pee, wiping front to back , and to try your best to urinate after sex to flush away any bacteria. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can also keep your urethra dry and free from bacteria.
The CDC adds that taking showers instead of baths can help reduce your chance of getting a UTI, as can minimizing unnecessary vaginal cleaning products .
And if you do happen to get a UTI, it’s in your best interest to see a doctor as soon as you feel any possible symptomsthat way, you can treat the condition early and minimize your risk of complications.
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Video Answer: How To Express A Dogs Bladder
Overall, dogs with sudden pyelonephritis do well and return to normal health unless they also have kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract obstruction, or cancer in the urinary tract.
dogs with chronic or recurrent pyelonephritis may be difficult to cure, and their prognosis is more serious.
Like people, all animals carry germs.
Illnesses common among housepets such as distemper, canine parvovirus, and heartworms cant spread to humans.
But pets also carry certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that can cause illness if transmitted to humans.
These diseases can affect humans in many ways.
If the bladder stones are very small it may be possible to pass a special catheter into the bladder and then flush the stones out, using a technique called urohydropropulsion.
In some cases, this procedure may be performed with the dog under heavy sedation, although general anesthesia is often necessary.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
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Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections
Delayed treatment for UTIs can lead to complications. Most UTIs cause no lasting damage if they are treated quickly. But if left untreated, UTIs can lead to complications that include:
- Recurring infections
- Narrowing of the urethra in men
- A potentially life-threatening infection called sepsis, especially when kidneys are infected
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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