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.
Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.
Causes Of Bladder Infection
When the bacteria attack the urinary tract, it results in a bladder infection. Women get affected by a bladder infection also due to the short length of their urethra. In men, it is mostly caused due to sexual intercourse with an infected female. The use of contraceptive diaphragms or spermicidal agents is also a reason for bladder infection. Other causes are:
- A feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI.
A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
Check If Its Cystitis
- pain, burning or stinging when you pee
- needing to pee more often and urgently than usual
- pee thats dark, cloudy or strong smelling
- pain low down in your tummy
Symptoms in young children may also include:
- a high temperature they feel hotter than usual if you touch their neck, back or tummy
- wetting themselves
- reduced appetite and being sick
- weakness and irritability
In older, frail people with cognitive impairment and people with a urinary catheter, symptoms may also include:
- changes in behaviour, such as acting confused or agitated
- wetting themselves more than usual
- shivering or shaking
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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.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Bladder Infection
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli . This type of bacteria is naturally present in the large intestines. An infection can occur when bacteria from the stool get onto the skin and enter the urethra.
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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 See A Doctor
Contact your doctor if you have pain or discomfort when you urinate or other symptoms of a bladder infection, especially if the symptoms have been present for two days or more. If an infection lingers for too long, you risk the bacterial infection traveling to other parts of your body, including your kidneys. Therefore, you should seek treatment if you notice symptoms.
Your doctor will complete a physical examination and collect a urine sample to send for lab analysis to determine if an infection is present. Complications from an uncomplicated bladder infection are typically rare with antibiotic treatment. However, if you develop fever, chills, nausea, or confusion, you should immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms suggest a more serious infection that has spread to your kidneys. If you have a kidney infection, you may need an IV treatment of high-dose antibiotics, which may require hospitalization.
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Uti Symptoms In Women
In most cases, youll never have to wonder if you have a UTI. Thats because the signs of a urinary tract infection are typically apparent and may include:
- Persistent urge to pee
- Sometimes passing only a couple of drops of urine despite a feeling of urgency to pee
In some cases, you may experience asymptomatic bacteriuria, which occurs when bacteria is present in your urine but no symptoms of a UTI appear. The only indication may be an increased urge to pee. A simple urine test will be able to diagnose this condition. Make sure to attend your annual doctor visits to prevent asymptomatic bacteriuria from going undetected and causing complications.
If You Have a UTI, Consult A DoctorCall to Schedule an Appointment
Home Remedies And Treatments For Kidney Infections
Some people prefer to treat medical conditions with home remedies or complementary remedies.
Because of how serious kidney infections are, its important that you dont rely on home remedies. Instead, take the prescription antibiotics a doctor gives you and use home remedies to help ease symptoms or pain.
You can also use home remedies to avoid UTIs and improve kidney function.
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Load Up On Vitamin C For A Healthy Urinary Tract
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s health library. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when youre having pain urinating.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
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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.
How Do You Get Urinary Tract Infections
The design of the human body makes it so it isnt hard to get a bacterial UTI, because the infection comes from outside, through the urethra. Bacteria in the genital area can enter the urethra and the urinary tract, either because wiping after going to the bathroom, sexual activity, or unsanitary conditions. Once the bacteria have entered the urethra, the body tries fight them off, but sometimes the bacteria multiply and cause an infection.
In the case of a fungal infection, usually the fungus gets to the urinary tract through the blood stream. Those who develop this type of infection are usually ill with a disease that has compromised their immune system, such as AIDS.
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Recurrent Utis In Children
A small number of children have recurring UTIs. If your child’s had a UTI before, it’s important that both of you watch for the return of any associated symptoms.
Tell your GP about any symptoms as soon as possible so a diagnosis can be confirmed and treatment can begin.
If your child has a problem that increases their risk of UTIs, such as faulty valves that allow urine to flow the wrong way, they may be prescribed low-dose antibiotics as a long-term measure to prevent further infections.
In The Meantime There Are A Few Things You Can Do For A Little Relief
Drink water lots of it. Getting in the recommended eight glasses of water per day can help flush the bacteria out of your bladder and make you heal a bit faster. Limit your caffeine or sugary drinks though, as they can irritate you bladder.
When you gotta go, go. Holding your urine when you really have to go gives time for the bacteria in your system to multiply, making it harder to get rid of.
Talk to your doctor about over the counter pain relievers. While these wont cure a UTI, they may help give you a bit of relief while youre waiting for the antibiotics to treat the infection.
Rest. Getting enough rest gives your body the energy it needs to be able to fight off an infection. Make sure you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Wear loose clothing. Not only will this be more comfortable for you during this time, but it might also prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria grow the quickest in moist, warm environments so ditch the skinny jeans for a week or so and opt for loose trousers, skirts or dresses.
Follow the steps above for quick relief from UTIs.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections 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:
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 a diaphragm or cap with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
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What Can I Give My Dog For A Urinary Tract Infection
Our Winston-Salem vets often see dogs suffering from urinary tract infections . In fact, it’s estimated that up to 27% of dogs will develop a UTI at some point in their life. Below, we share some of the most common symptoms of this condition in dogs, and what you can give your dog if they have a UTI.
Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system. This type of infection can involve your urethra , kidneys or bladder, .
Your urine typically doesnt contain bacteria . Urine is a byproduct of our filtration systemthe kidneys. When waste products and excess water is removed from your blood by the kidneys, urine is created. Normally, urine moves through your urinary system without any contamination. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside of the body, causing problems like infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract infection .
Key Points About Utis
See other pages for UTIs in pregnancy, UTIs in men and UTIs in children.
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Is It Safe To Treat Utis Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are effective treatments for UTIs. Sometimes, the body can resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own, without antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs require medical treatment. These are some factors that can make the infection complicated:
- changes in the urinary tract or organs, such as a swollen prostate or reduced flow of urine
You Dont Drink Enough Water
Guzzling H2O will make you go pretty often. And thats a good thing. When you do this, the bacteria gets flushed out before they have a chance to grab hold, Minkin says.
Consider that your cue to make a giant water bottle your BFF. Hooton TM, et al. . Effect of increased daily water intake in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections: A randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4204
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