What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and have pain that will not go away in your tummy, lower back or genitals.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you cannot get a GP appointment and need urgent medical attention, go to your nearest urgent care centre .
If you do not have a local UCC, go to your nearest A& E.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
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Preventative Care For Urinary Tract Infections
Whether you are at risk of a bladder or kidney infection, methods reducing the likelihood of bacteria entering the urethra and spreading to the bladder are effective ways to prevent either infection from developing.
The primary way to prevent urinary tract infection is to pee when you need to and trying to empty the bladder. Holding urine can lead to bacteria build-up and irritation in the urinary tract.
Staying hydrated is a critical way to ensure frequent flushing of bacteria from the urinary tract. Drinking lots of fluids can prevent constipation from occurring and other irritating kidney infection symptoms.
Fiber-rich foods such as apples and cabbages are also effective preventative measures for constipation. Staying hydrated can also be done by drinking water or tea and avoiding sugary or caffeinated beverages.
Other home remedies include using a heating pad on your belly, back, or side to soothe pains and aches from infections.
Good hygiene also contributes to preventing further infection. Other methods for reducing the risk of infection include:
- Urinate soon after sex, and make sure you practice safe sex in general
- Contraceptive diaphragms prevent proper and complete emptying of the bladder consider switching to different birth control methods
- Women with chronic urinary tract infections may find it helpful to take preventive antibiotic therapy
If you experience any symptoms above, to set up a phone appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.
Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
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Important Notes For Uti Treatment
To ensure your UTI is completely gone, its important to finish your course of antibioticseven if it doesnt burn when you pee anymore. If you dont, you risk developing an antibiotic-resistant UTI, which makes a UTI more complicated to treat.
If youve dealt with bladder infections or UTIs before, youve likely heard about home remedieslike drinking lots of cranberry juice and water as alternatives to taking antibiotics. Although home remedies may sound like an easier alternative, they wont clear up an infection. Things like staying hydrated may be recommended as a part of your treatment plan, but there is no substitute for antibiotics.
How to get UTI treatment, 24/7
The sooner you get treated for your UTI, the better. If youre feeling the burn and urgency to go, its time to start a visit. The longer you wait, the more risk that an infection could travel to your kidneys. You can start an online visit at Virtuwell anytimeyes, even in the middle of the night when your bladder wont let you sleepand UTIs are very treatable.
Increasing Worsening Or Changing Symptoms
If any of your symptoms increase, worsen or change from the normal UTI symptoms, it might be an STD instead. If symptoms start to include ones like discharge or smell, its far more likely to be one of the most common STDs instead.
For any repeated urinary tract infections that appear to keep coming back, see your doctor: There are many things that can cause repeated UTIs. The same is true for any symptoms that can point to more than just an STD: Again, see your doctor.
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How Is Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed
In order to ensure a clean urine sample, a physician will likely have you clean your genital area with a special wipe beforehand, and ask that you do a midstream catch of the urine.
If a UTI is diagnosed, youll be treated with antibiotics. Its important to note that false negative results do occur and that almost all women who experience typical UTI symptoms and a negative urine culture actually do have a UTI. 30209-4/fulltext rel=nofollow> 11)
If youve had a prior UTI, your healthcare provider will look at prior cultures to see which bacteria were found, if any, and which antibiotics were used this often guides therapy in recurrent UTIs.
Is Urinary Tract Same As Bladder Infection
UTIs can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the urethra, ureters, bladder, or in more serious cases, the kidneys. A bladder infection is a UTI that only affects the bladder. It is not always possible to distinguish what UTI a person has because the symptoms of the different types can overlap.
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What Could Be Mistaken For A Uti
There are several conditions whose symptoms mimic UTIs. Sexually transmitted infections cause symptoms also common in UTIs, such as painful urination and discharge.
Vaginitis, caused by bacteria or yeast, can result in a burning sensation when urinating and similar discomfort that may mimic a UTI.
Often mistaken for a UTI, interstitial cystitis , or painful bladder condition, is a chronic condition affecting the bladder that does not improve with antibiotic treatment. Symptoms of IC include increased urgency and more frequent urination as well as pain in the pelvic area.
Other conditions to rule out are overactive bladder, pregnancy, prostatitis, diabetes, cancer, and kidney stones.
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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Check If Its A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy
- 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
What Is The Difference Between A Bladder Infection And A Kidney Infection
Kidney and bladder infections are both considered urinary tract infections. Although they share similar symptoms, there are differences between the two. A kidney infectionâs signs and symptoms vary significantly from person to person and normally develop within a day or as fast as a few hours.
Understanding the difference between a bladder and kidney infection can ensure you take the proper steps towards healing and speeding up doctor consultation sessions.
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Who Is Most Susceptible To A Bladder Infection
UTIs are more common in women than men. This is partly due to their anatomy in women, the urethra is shorter, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause an infection.
Other risk factors for bladder infection include:
Any medical condition or injury that prevents you from emptying your bladder completely
Any medical condition that weakens your immune system
Being a woman in or after menopause
Having a UTI in the past
Needing to have a bladder catheter
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent UTIs. These include the following:
Drink plenty of water.
Empty your bladder immediately after sex.
Dont hold it when you feel the need to go.
Think about switching to a different method of birth control if you currently use one with spermicide.
Consider vaginal estrogen if youve gone through menopause.
How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
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Favorite Organizations For Essential Uti Info
We love the patient-friendly foundation page of the American Urological Association website. Here, youll find lots of support and educational resources for those with urological issues. Our favorite part is that all your must-know info can come straight to your mailbox: UCF offers free subscriptions to its UrologyHealth Extra magazine.
This no-nonsense clearinghouse is run by the National Institutes of Health, and provides gobs of information on urinary tract infections from the National Library of Medicine. We especially like that you can easily find the latest published research on UTIs and that theres a quick link to current clinical trials for those who are interested.
The CDC is a trusted go-to source for the writers and editors of Everyday Health, thanks to their commitment to science-based research and reporting. What makes the CDC a particularly helpful resource for urinary tract infection information is the fact that their antibiotics and treatment guidelines for UTIs are always up-to-date.
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Differences Between Pyelonephritis And Uti
Pyelonephritis vs UTI
UTI or urinary tract infections are one of the common infections affecting human beings. Since the urinary system is in constant proximity to metabolic waste from the body, it is more prone to infections than other systems of the body.
UTIs can be classified as upper and lower based on the site of infection. Infections of the kidney and ureter are called as upper UTI while those of the urinary bladder, prostate and urethra are termed as lower UTI. Colloquially speaking, when not specified, a UTI means a lower UTI, more specifically a bladder infection . Pyelonephritis is an infection of the renal pelvis, the region of the kidneys from where the urine drains into the ureters and is carried away to the urinary bladder. It is relatively rarer than UTI as it higher up and chances of the bodys immune system eradicating the infection by then are high.
Children and elderly are more prone to UTIs. In adults, women are more prone to UTIs than men especially during pregnancy, sexual intercourse and menopause. Use of spermicides also increases the risk of UTI. At least 50% of women have suffered from a UTI at some point in their lives. In men, UTIs are rarer and when present, commonly complicated with another underlying condition like an enlarged prostate etc. Catheterisation is a frequent cause for developing a UTI.
Take Home Points:
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Causes Of Utis And Bladder Infections
UTIs and bladder infections occur as a result of bacterial growth in your urinary tract. Your body is naturally home to billions of species of bacteria, and not all of them are bad.
In fact, bacteria help keep your body functioning the way its supposed to. But some bacteria dont belong in sensitive places in your body, and they can trigger some pretty miserable symptoms when they end up in the wrong place.
For example, E. coli, which is most commonly found in your digestive system, is also the most common type of bacteria to cause a UTI or bladder infection.
Several things can increase the risk of UTIs and bladder infections. While some of these risk factors are out of your control, you can control others.
- Sexual intercourse: As fun as sex is, it can increase the risk of developing UTIs. The friction and movement around your genital area during sexual activity can facilitate bacteria moving around down there.
- Hygiene: Things like forgetting to change your underwear, wiping from back to front, or sitting in wet or sweaty clothes for prolonged periods can up your chances of getting a UTI.
- Genetics: Some people are simply more prone to UTIs than others. If someone in your immediate family gets UTIs regularly, youre probably more susceptible to them too.
- Age: Due to urinary incontinence and estrogen deficiency, research shows that women are more likely to get recurrent UTIs after menopause.
What About Kidney Stones Are They Involved Here Somehow
Sort of. A kidney stone isnt an infection, but a collection of salt and minerals that hardens and turns into a stone. While some stones may be small others can be much larger. They may stay in the kidney, or begin to move into the ureter, the tube that connects the kidney and the bladder. When this happens, kidney stones can become extremely painful.
Kidney stones can be tricky, since they may have many of the same symptoms as a UTI or a kidney infection pain when urinating, needing to urinate often, and cloudy or strong smelling urine, blood in the urine, fever, nausea or vomiting. And while stones often pass on their own, larger stones sometimes need to be broken up, or removed.
Sometimes, kidney stones can lead to a urinary tract infection or a kidney infection, so its important to get them checked out by your doctor. And, since the symptoms are so similar, getting a checkup is probably a good idea anyway just to rule out the possibility of an infection, and to make sure the stone is moving along as it should.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover
Both UTIs and yeast infections should clear up after taking medications within days or a few weeks. You must make sure to take prescribed or over-the-counter medication as directed for the entire recommended length of time to prevent the infection from returning.
You may be able to prevent both UTIs and yeast infections by practicing good hygiene and making changes to your wardrobe. Here are some prevention tips:
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing around your genital area, such as pantyhose and restrictive pants.
- Change out of wet swimsuits quickly.
- Do not douche or use vaginal spray or deodorizers near your genitals.
- Avoid scented feminine hygiene products.
Further prevention of UTIs include:
- using the bathroom frequently
- regularly drinking lots of fluid
- urinating before and after sex
Its also possible that drinking cranberry juice can prevent UTIs. The research results are mixed. Make sure to choose a sugar-free version. If the juice is too tart, you can water it down to make the juice more palatable.
You may also be able to reduce your chances of contracting a yeast infection if you:
- avoid hot baths and hot tubs
- change your feminine products often
- control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
Uti Or Gonorrhea: Whats The Difference
At times, it can be difficult to tell whether you have a urinary tract infection or a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea. Indeed, there are many similarities between the two, while both these infections are also relatively common. At the same time, it doesnt help that your bladder and urinary tract are located near your reproductive organs.
Obviously, the best way to determine if youre suffering from UTI or gonorrhea is to get tested at a clinic or laboratory. Still, there are plenty of things that can clue you in on your true condition. We discuss some of the most important distinctions and other relevant details below.
What Is UTI?
As its name suggests, UTI is an infection in the urinary tract. Most cases of UTI are caused by a bacteria called E. coli. Most strains of this bacteria are generally harmless. In fact, humans have naturally occurring E. coli in our intestines and stomach. But when the bacteria get into the urinary tract, it is then that the infection occurs. There are two common types of UTI: cystitis, which occurs in the bladder, and urethritis, which occurs in the urethra.
What Is Gonorrhea?
How Are UTI and Gonorrhea Different?
Another difference is that more women suffer from worse and recurring cases of UTI. This is because their urinary tracts are so much closer to their rectum, where some of the bacteria can come from. On the other hand, men tend to experience more serious symptoms of gonorrhea.
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