All About Urinary Tract Infection
These types of infections are gotten from microbes. Microbes are tiny organisms that can only be seen with the help of a microscope. UTIs are fast becoming one of the most frequently occurring infections in humans. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are primarily as a result of bacteria, however some are caused by fungi and in rare cases, viruses.
The urinary tract consists of the bladders, kidneys, urethra and ureters. The infection can be found around the urinary tract. In the lower urinary tract, the UTIs usually attack only the bladder and urethra. While in the upper tract, they can attack the kidneys and ureters. However, UTIs in the upper tract are less common and more severe than in the lower tract.
Symptoms of UTI
The symptoms of UTI are dependent on the particular part of the tract that is infected.In the lower tract, some of the symptoms you can notice include;
- Bloody urine
- Burning sensation while urinating.
- Dark coloured urine
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Rectal pain in men
- Pelvic pain in women.
- For upper tract UTIs, some of the symptoms include;
- Tenderness in the upper back
- Pain in the sides and back
If you are ever experiencing any of the above-listed symptoms, ensure that you carry out a private medical check-up early.
Treatment For UTI
The treatment for UTI differs depending on the particular cause. After a test, the doctor should be able to determine from the result of the test the particular organism that is responsible for this infection. UTIs that are caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiostics. For fungal UTIs, antifungals are used to treat the infection. In a case where viruses are responsible for the infection, antivirals, usually, antiviral cidofovir are used to treat it.
Antibiotics For Treating a UTI
The particular antibiotic used to treat a UTI depends on the part of the tract where the infection occurs. Usually, lower tract UTIs are treated with oral antibiotics while upper tract UTIs are treated with intravenous antibiotics which are inserted directly into the veins. Bacteria can sometimes resist antibiotics; this is why a urine culture is done to determine the antibiotic treatment that is best for the bacteria causing your infection.
Home Treatments For a UTI
After a private medical check-up in London, and you have been diagnosed with UTI, there are some things that you can do at home to make your medication work better. There is a chemical in cranberry that can help prevent certain types of bacteria that can cause UTI.
UTIs should be treated early. When you leave a UTI untreated, it spreads easily and causes more havoc to the body. UTIs located at the lower urinary tracts are easier to treat than those located in the upper urinary tracts. If you notice any symptom of a UTI, contact a doctor. You should visit a reliable clinicto get the best private medical check up in London to confirm your UTI status, to start treatment early. Early treatment can prevent life-threatening damage.
The first step is to test the urine to enable the doctor test for microbes. This urine sample should be collected at the middle of the urinary stream instead of at the beginning, to ensure that the sample is not contaminated with the bacteria from your skin. When the sample is being tested, the doctor will look for a large number of white blood cells in your urine. A large sample can indicate the presence of infection. After the sample, a urine culture is done to test for bacteria or fungi. After the culture, the doctor will be able to choose what treatment is right for you. Viruses are rare, but if a virus is suspected, then special tests will have to be done.
UTI In Upper Tracts
If you have a UTI in your upper tract, then a complete blood count (CBC) and urine culture will be done alongside the urine test.
Usually, when UTIs are recurrent, there may be obstructions in the urinary tract. Some of the tests that are carried out for this case include;
- A computerised tomography scan to get a clearer and more detailed image of the urinary system.
- An ultrasound
- An intravenous pyelogram
- A cystoscopy.
Causes of A UTI
Urinary Tract Infections can be caused when there is an irritation of the tract. Also, some factors can increase the risk of getting a UTI. These factors include;
- Presence of kidney stones
- A previous UTI
- Old age
- A weak immune system
- Enlarged prostate and some kinds of cancer.
For men, having an enlarged prostate is a unique risk factor. For women, poor bathroom hygiene was once believed to be a cause for UTI. Some of the factors that can reduce the risk in women include,
- Sexual intercourse: Most women have bacteria present in their urine after sex. The pressure during sex on the urinary tract of a woman can cause bacteria to move from the anus to the bladder. However, the body gets rid of these bacteria in the bladder within 24 hours.
- Diaphragms on a woman’s urethra: This can put pressure, thereby decreasing bladder emptying.
- Shorter urethra: Since the urethra in women is close to both the anus and the vagina, bacteria that can be found around the anus and vagina can find its way to the urethra, causing infections.
- Use of condoms during sex: Using a non-lubricated condom can irritate the skin of a woman during sex. Irritated skin can, in turn, lead to the risk of a UTI.
Prevention of UTI
- Avoid holding urine for a long time.
- Drinking 6 – 8 glasses of water daily is highly beneficial.
- For postmenopausal women: take preventive antibiotics after intercourse, as prescribed and recommended by your doctor.
- Use topical estrogens prescribed by your doctor.
- Daily intake of cranberry supplements may help reduce the risk of UTIs.
This kind of UTIs keeps recurring even after treatment. Chronic UTIs are more common with women. Most causes of recurrent UTIs are as a result of being re-infected with the same kind of bacteria.
UTIs During Pregnancy
UTIs during pregnancy can be very risky. It can cause high blood pressure which can lead to premature birth of the baby. If you have symptoms of UTI during pregnancy, quickly book a private medical check up in London, to avoid complications.