Defensive Measures Against Bladder Infections
Try these simple tips to avoid cystitis and other UTIs:
While bladder infections are unpleasant, they do not present a significant danger to your health. Kidney infections, on the other hand, are very similar, but can be much more dangerous. On the next page, we will examine what causes kidney infections and how you can prevent them.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide , Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need any tests, such as urinalysis?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary tract infection ?
- Do I need medicine? How should I take it?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
- When should I expect relief from my symptoms?
- What symptoms would indicate that my infection is getting worse? What should I do if I experience these symptoms?
- I get UTIs a lot. What can I do to prevent them?
- Do I need preventive antibiotics? If so, should I be concerned about antibiotic resistance?
- My child gets UTIs a lot. Could an anatomical problem be causing his or her UTIs?
Everything You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Infections
The best way to fully grasp how to prevent urinary tract infections is to understand what they are and where they originate. As you know, the urinary tracts primary purpose is to make and store urine. The entire urinary tract consists of several parts, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra.
Urine is made in the kidneys, fist-sized organs in the back that filter liquid waste from the blood and release it from the body in the form of urine.
It travels down the ureters to the bladder where it is stored until your body feels the urge to empty it. Urine is then drained through the urethra, a small opening at the end of the penis, or above the vaginal opening.
Normal urine has no bacteria in it because the one-way flow prevents infections. Bacteria, however, can still get into the urine by entering through the urethra and traveling up into the bladder.
As a urinary tract infection worsens, it could also enter the kidneys, causing a more severe medical condition. The most common type of urinary tract infection is a bladder infection.
- Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of UTIs
- The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- An intense urge to pee
- A burning feeling when you pee
- The need to frequently urinate, even when little to no urine comes out
- Cloudy urine
- Dark yellow, brown, pink, or red urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pain or pressure in the back or lower abdomen
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What Else Can You Do When Antibiotics Fail
When it comes to the best treatment for recurrent chronic UTIs there are two main camps.
Some physicians prefer a long-term antibiotic treatment protocol, frequently prescribing a variety of antibiotics over the course of several months .
Others advocate for the mindful use of antibiotics and focus on correcting underlying dysbiosis as the main reason for recurrent UTIs. In fact, we are still learning about the human microbiome and the effect bacteria have on our health and it seems less and less probable that antibiotics alone could solve chronic issues.
Moreover, antibiotics were developed when we thought that a healthy bladder is sterile which we now know is far from the truth.
What is the best approach to cure a chronic UTI? Here is a selection of posts that can help you to get up to speed:
Causes Of Bladder Infections
Bladder infections could be provoked by a number of conditions or factors, but bladder infections are caused by bacteria that enters the bladder. E. coli is usually the kind of bacteria that causes UTIs and are normally not a problem. The infection and problem begins when the bacteria get into the urethra and travel to the bladder.
Also Check: How To Get A Healthy Bladder
Ways To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
The best way to deal with UTIs is to prevent infections altogether. Especially if you are someone who gets frequent urinary tract infections, youll want to stay clean and avoid irritation of the urethra. To minimize your risk and say goodbye to the unpleasant symptoms of UTIs, keep bacteria away with these prevention tips:
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will give you the urge to urinate more often, flushing bacteria out of your urinary tract. Avoid liquids that dehydrate the body, such as tea, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Water is the best choice when it comes to hydration. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
Avoid holding your pee. Make sure you urinate when you feel the urge to go. Holding your urine can encourage bacterial growth. Dont wait more than 4 hours to go to the bathroom. This is particularly important for pregnant women.
Wipe from front to back. The most common cause of UTIs is a bacteria called E. coli, commonly found in the rectum. Always wipe your genitals from front to back after using the bathroom. This decreases the risk of bringing bacteria from the anus to the urethra.
Take a probiotic. Over-the-counter probiotics are live microorganisms that increase good gut bacteria. They have also been known to promote the growth of good bacteria in the urinary tract, protecting you from getting a UTI. Probiotic supplements can be found at most drug or grocery stores.
Home Remedies For Yeast Infections
For those who want to try a more natural approach to treatment, things like tea tree oil, coconut oil, garlic, oil of oregano, or even yogurt have shown some signs of effectiveness. However, these treatments are spotty and you should still talk to your doctor about using a home remedy, as some herbs and natural supplements can interact with other medications you may be taking. In addition, its always helpful to receive a complete diagnosis from your doctor in case your condition isnt a yeast infection or is being caused by another underlying condition.
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Common Causes For Utis
Since UTIs are caused by bacteria, there are a number of things that make you more susceptible to infection, typically as a result of reduced bladder emptying or irritating your urinary tract.
Some causes include:
- Poop traveling to your vagina or urethra
- Chemical irritants in the vagina
- Hormonal changes
- Previous UTIs
So, yup, everything from sex to douching can cause UTIs. Dr. Rice also stresses that transposition of fecal matter and hormone changes make you more susceptible to UTIs. PSA: wipe front to back, people!
If youre careful hygiene-wise, and youre certain hormones arent responsible for your UTIs, chances are your previous UTIs are causing recurrence.
Always Wipe From Front To Back
After urinating, reach behind your buttocks and wipe from the front of the vagina to the back. When you are finished, take a separate piece of toilet paper to clean the anus, starting at the perineum and wiping back between your buttocks. Doing so prevents introducing bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
Also Check: Can You Have A Fever With A Bladder Infection
What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated
If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.
Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.
Discuss With Your Doctor If Some Of Your Uti Symptoms Persist After Antibiotics
Here are several questions that you should think about prior to your doctor visit to help your physician with the right information:
- Are your symptoms stronger when the bladder is full and you feel better after urination?
- Does a certain position trigger bladder pain?
- Do you feel that your symptoms stay the same over the course of days and even weeks?
- Is there blood in your urine, foul smell, or is your urine cloudy?
- If youd like more help on how to discuss your UTI with your provider and how to make the most out of your patient-doctor relationships, check out my Actionable Guide here.
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Uti Home Remedies: 10 Natural Ways To Keep Burning At Bay
Chances are, youve experienced the unpleasantness of a urinary tract infection: that urge to pee every 15 minutes, along with the associated awful burning sensations, and those razor sharp pains. Then, possibly, theres the sheer terror of seeing blood appear in your urine. Urinary tract infections are absolutely no fun, and if left untreated, they can become extremely dangerous. Fortunately, there are a number of simple, easy-to-use, natural UTI home remedies that can ease your symptoms and speed your recovery.
Are Some Women More At Risk For Utis
Yes. You may be at greater risk for a UTI if you:1,5
- Are sexually active. Sexual activity can move germs that cause UTIs from other areas, such as the vagina, to the urethra.
- Use a diaphragm for birth control or use spermicides with a diaphragm or with condoms. Spermicides can kill good bacteria that protect you from UTIs.
- Are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can change the bacteria in the urinary tract, making UTIs more likely. Also, many pregnant women have trouble completely emptying the bladder, because the uterus with the developing baby sits on top of the bladder during pregnancy. Leftover urine with bacteria in it can cause a UTI.
- Have gone through menopause. After menopause, loss of the hormone estrogen causes vaginal tissue to become thin and dry. This can make it easier for harmful bacteria to grow and cause a UTI.
- Have diabetes, which can lower your immune system and cause nerve damage that makes it hard to completely empty your bladder
- Have any condition, like a kidney stone, that may block the flow of urine between your kidneys and bladder
- Have or recently had a catheter in place. A catheter is a thin tube put through the urethra into the bladder. Catheters drain urine when you cannot pass urine on your own, such as during surgery.
Recommended Reading: Can A Bladder Infection Cause Dizziness
What Is A Yeast Infection
Different parts of your body, including your mouth, moist parts of your skin, and your digestive tract, contain a natural balance of yeast, candida albicans , and bacteria. Most of the time, this balance remains in check, with the good bacteria in your body keeping your candida levels under control. But when the balance of candida, yeast, and bacteria are off, candida can overgrow in these areas and cause a yeast infection to occur. If left untreated a yeast infection could take up to two weeks to go away and may end up returning.
Natural Ways To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Its no secret that bladder infections, the most common type of urinary tract infection , can be painful and inconvenient. What you may not know is that the bacteria responsible for a bladder infection can spread to one or both of your kidneys. Left untreated, the resulting kidney infection, known as pyelonephritis, can lead to permanent kidney damage or even a life-threatening infection called sepsis that can travel throughout your entire body.
Its estimated that out of every 10,000 people in the United States, about a dozen women and three to four men are affected by a kidney infection, and kidney infections account for most of the 100,000 hospital visits for UTIs in the United States each year. If you suffer from acute or chronic bladder infections or experience the signs of a kidney infection, its important to seek immediate medical treatment. Thankfully, there are also some simple ways to help prevent kidney infections and the need for medical attention.
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Six Things You Can Do Every Day To Keep The Utis Away
The following symptoms of a UTI are not unforgettable: frequent urination , urgency to go, severe burning and embarrassing incontinence. Once you have suffered through one, you will never want to experience one again.
UTIs are extremely common, just like getting a cold or a cough about 60% of women will contract a UTI at some point in their lives and of that 60%, approximately 40% will have another. To put that into perspective, UTIs account for more than 8 million doctor visits each year, making it the second most common type of infection in the body.*
Whether youre a first-time UTI sufferer or consider yourself a seasoned veteran, here are six simple things you can do to keep the pesky infection at bay.
Stay hydratedFor overall health we should all drink plenty of water to keep our system hydrated. For most people that is about 8 cups of water a day. Especially is the case with the urinary tract to keep it healthy. Drinking adequate amounts of water will flush bad bacteria out of the urinary tract or urethra when urinating. By doing so, you prevent the bacteria from multiplying and making their way into the bladder.
Clean yourself from front to back when going to the restroomWhen you finish going to the bathroom, always wipe from front to back, never back to front. By following this motion, youll reduce the amount of bacteria that may creep its way into the vagina from the rectum and ultimately into the urinary tract.
Causes For Bladder Infection In Men
Bladder infections are a lot less prevalent in men, especially in mend under 50. Here are some of the bladder infection causes for men:
- kidney stones
- recent procedure involving cauterization
- a weak immune system
Knowing what causes bladder infections helps you prevent them from happening in the first place. But its also important to know how to cure an infection thats already gotten a foothold in your urinary tract. Prescription antibiotics will do it, but its not always necessary to take antibiotics.
You can kill those bacteria with simple home remedies which will stop you from developing a more severe and more painful UTI. Here are six super home remedies you can use to fight bladder infection and UTI.
Read Also: Reasons For Lack Of Bladder Control
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will usually be able to tell whats causing your pain by your description of your symptoms, along with a physical exam. Testing your urine can also help your doctor identify what type of infection you have. Usually, a sample of your urine is taken in your doctors office and sent to a lab to check for infection.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
do not use condoms or diaphragms with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
Recommended Reading: Can Bladder Cancer Be Seen On Ultrasound
Soothe Uti Pain With Heat
Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure, and pain around your pubic area, says Kandis Rivers, MD, a urologist in the Henry Ford Health System in Wast Bloomfield, Michigan. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, dont apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.
Should I Take A Daily Antibiotic To Prevent Utis
For women who get recurrent UTIs that are not related to sex, the American Urological Association states that a low-dose daily antibiotic may help prevent UTIs from coming back. Antibiotics often prescribed for daily use include:
Low-dose antibiotics can be taken for up to 6 to 12 months. Once you stop taking the antibiotics, however, the UTIs tend to come back. Taking a daily antibiotic is not without risk: It increases the risk of antibiotic resistance which could make it harder to treat future infections.
Long-term antibiotic use can also increase the risk for side effects like upset stomach and fungal infections in the mouth or vagina. There are also reports of rare but more serious side effects, like skin rash, severe nausea, and liver damage.
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