A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder and kidneys as well as other urinary tract-related organs. The damaged area of the urinary system determines the symptoms.
When bacteria invade the urinary tract through the urethra, they commonly trigger conditions known as UTIs. These bacteria are usually found in the rectum or on the skin. Although many parts of the urinary tract might be affected by the illnesses, bladder infections (cystitis) are the most common.
Kidney infection, often known as pyelonephritis, is another type of UTI. They are more severe but less common than bladder infections.
Women are more likely to get a UTI than males. According to some experts, the lifetime risk of contracting one is as high as 1 in 2, with many women experiencing persistent infections for extended periods of time. In the course of their lifetimes, one in ten men will experience a UTI.
CAUSES OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION:
Microorganisms, mostly bacteria, that invade the urethra and bladder and produce inflammation and infection are what cause urinary tract infections. Although urethral and bladder infections are the most frequent locations for UTIs, germs can also move up the ureters and destroy your kidneys.
Women are more likely to get a UTI than males, even though both genders are susceptible to it. The urethras of women are shorter than those of men, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. An enlarged prostate that restricts urine flow and makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract is a common cause of UTIs in males.
A UTI is typically caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). Because of its proximity to the anus, the urethra makes it simple for bacteria from the large intestine to enter. If left untreated, the germs can then go up to your bladder and eventually harm your kidneys.
Sexual activity exposes a woman’s urethra to bacteria from the anal area, which is another major cause of a UTI in women. Bacteria can quickly enter the urinary system after making contact and infect the patient.
The following elements could also promote bacterial growth:
- Inadequate fluid intake
- Intentionally holding pee in the bladder for a long time
- Injury to the spinal cord or any damage to the nerves that makes it challenging to consistently and fully empty the bladder
- Conditions or circumstances that prevent urine from flowing, include a tumour, kidney stone, an enlarged prostate, or sexual activity
- Diabetes and other ailments that weaken the body’s immunological defences against infection
- Pregnancy-related hormonal changes in the urinary tract that make it simpler for bacteria to pass past the ureters and reach the kidneys
SYMPTOMS OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION:
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection differ depending on where the infection is located in the urinary system.
The urethra and bladder are specifically impacted by lower tract UTIs. UTI symptoms include the following:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Having a strong urge to use the restroom yet only peeing a tiny amount
- A burning feeling when urinating
- Decrease in urinary control
- Rectal discomfort (in men) and pelvic pain( in women)
- Hazy or dark urine
- Urine that smells foul
- Blood in the urine
Upper body UTIs harm the kidneys and may even be fatal if the bacterium spreads into the blood from the kidneys. UTI symptoms include the following:
- Upper back and side pain and sensitivity
If you have symptoms that might suggest you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you should contact your doctor. In addition to reviewing your symptoms, your healthcare provider will also do a physical assessment. To confirm a diagnosis, your doctor will need to test your urine for microbes. A “clean-catch” urine sample should be collected at the middle of your urinary stream, rather than at the beginning, to avoid collecting bacteria or yeast from your skin. In order to check for germs or fungi, your doctor will also perform a urine culture. It may be necessary to undergo extra testing if your doctor feels the UTI is viral. Although viruses are a relatively uncommon cause of UTIs, they can occur in patients who have undergone organ transplantation or who have other immune-system-damaging conditions.
Why are females more likely to develop UTIs?
Due to their anatomy, people with feminine reproductive organs are more susceptible to UTIs. The tube that removes urine from your bladder from your body is called the urethra, and it is shorter in women than it is in men.
The female ureter is situated not too far from the female reproductive system. This means that the urethra and bladder may come into direct touch with bacteria from sexual activity as well as from items like spermicide.
Females also go through menopause and childbearing. These two biological processes alter the flora in your digestive and reproductive systems, increasing the likelihood of UTIs.
After discussing your symptoms and testing a urine sample, a urologist can typically diagnose a UTI. The most typical therapy for urinary tract infections after a diagnosis is antibiotics, and symptoms frequently go away within a few days. But even after you start to feel better, it’s crucial to follow the recommended course of therapy, as is the case with all antibiotics.
A urologist may also recommend painkillers to take while the illness is being treated in addition to antibiotics. Of course, drinking a lot of fluids—especially water—will also be beneficial for flushing out infection-causing bacteria. A heating pad could also be helpful for relieving the pain. When there are three or more.
DAILY TREATMENT FOR UTI:
- Boost your consumption of vitamin C.
According to some research, increasing your vitamin C consumption may help prevent UTIs.
Vitamin C works by making urine more acidic, which kills the infection-causing germs.
Vitamin C is particularly abundant in fruits and veggies, so increasing your intake through these foods is a good idea.
One serving of red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit each has the entire suggested daily intake of vitamin C.
- Consume unsweetened cranberry juice
One of the most popular all-natural treatments for UTIs is drinking unfiltered cranberry juice. You can also take cranberry juice in capsule form if drinking unsweetened juice isn’t your style.
Cranberries function by assisting in the reduction of bacterial adherence to the urinary system.
Remember that this home remedy only works with unsweetened cranberry juice; sweetened versions will not benefit you in any way. Sugar-sweetened cranberry juice is ineffective for treating acute UTIs.
- Consume Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that are taken orally or as dietary additives. They might help keep the bacteria in your intestines in a balanced state.
In addition to being found in cultured foods like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and probiotic yogurt, probiotics are also sold as supplements.
Probiotic consumption has been related to a variety of benefits, including better immune system performance and improved digestive health.
The primary line of defence against UTIs, antibiotics, can disrupt the balance of gut flora. After receiving antibiotic therapy, probiotics might help to rebuild the gut’s bacterial population.
- Drink a lot of water.
A higher chance of UTIs is associated with dehydration.
This is due to the fact that frequent urination can aid in clearing bacteria from the urinary system to ward off infection. Because you don’t urinate as frequently when you’re dehydrated, germs can grow more easily.
It’s best to consume water frequently throughout the day and whenever you feel thirsty in order to remain hydrated and fulfil your fluid requirements.
UTIs are a prevalent and annoying issue, especially if they keep happening.
Home remedies and over-the-counter medications can aid in UTI prevention, but they can’t always get rid of the bacteria that’s causing your illness. To prevent any complications, speak with a healthcare professional if you’ve tried home remedies but are still experiencing symptoms.
You can reduce your chance of getting a UTI by drinking plenty of water, engaging in healthy behaviours, and including UTI-fighting foods in your diet.