This post was last edited by TECNO SPOT HEALTH at 2020-11-10 15:30
Today, we will be talking about a very common but largely ignored health issue. UTIs. So common is it, that over 8 million people go to see the doctor to treat a UTI yearly. But the good this is that, it can easily be prevented.
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS
A UTI is an infection that occurs in any part of the Urinary system/tract. This system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, ladder and urethra. These infections are usually caused by microbes, majorly bacteria, sometimes by fungi and in a few cases, by viruses.
What is the Urinary Tract?
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, which is 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.
Most UTIs only involve the urethra and ladder i.e. the lower tract. UTIs in the upper tract, the kidneys and ureters are rare and usually more severe. Infections in the various parts of the ordinary tract are usually given specific names as seen below.
UTIs are among the most common infections in humans. Women are more likely to have a UTI in their lifetime with a woman sometimes having repeated cases. This is because the urethra is shorter and closer to the anus in females. And so, the chances of bacteria such as Esherichia coli (E. coli, found in digestive system) migrating into the urethra are much higher.
This is the reason why doctors tell women to wipe from front to back after using the restroom. That way, bacteria don’t get transported into the urethra.
The vast majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), usually found in the digestive system. Chlamydia and mycoplasma bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder.
sexual intercourse, especially if more frequent, intense, and with multiple or new partners;
✓ Poor personal hygiene
✓ Problems emptying the bladder completely
✓ Having a urinary catheter
✓ Bowel incontinence
✓ Blocked flow of urine
✓ Kidney stones
✓ Procedures involving the urinary tract
✓ Suppressed immune system
✓ Immobility for a long period
✓ Use of spermicides and tampons
✓ heavy use of antibiotics, which can disrupt the natural flora of the bowel and urinary tract
✓ Burning with urination
✓ Increased frequency of urination without passing much urine.
✓ Increased urgency of urination
✓ Bloody urine
✓ Cloudy urine
✓ Uine that looks like cola or tea
✓ Urine that has a strong odor
✓ Pelvic pain in women
✓ Rectal pain in men
Symptoms of an upper tract UTI include:
✓ Pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
Most UTIs are not serious, but some can lead to serious problems, particularly with upper UTIs. Recurrent or long-lasting kidney infections can cause permanent damage, and some sudden kidney infections can be life-threatening, particularly if bacteria enter the bloodstream in a condition known as septicemia.
They can also increase the risk of women delivering infants that are premature or have a low birth weight.
There are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing a UTI:
✓ Drink lots of water and urinate frequently.
✓ Avoid fluids such as alcohol and caffeine that can irritate the bladder.
✓ Urinate shortly after sex.
✓ Wipe from front to back after urinating and bowel movement.
✓ Keep the genital area clean.
✓ Showers are preferred to baths and avoid using oils.
✓ Sanitary pads or menstrual cups are preferred to tampons.
✓ Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control.
✓ Avoid using any perfumed products in the genital area.
✓ Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing to keep the area around the urethra dry.
Individuals are advised to contact a doctor if they develop the symptoms of a UTI, especially if they have developed the symptoms of a potential kidney infection.
Treatment of UTIs depends on the cause. Your doctor will be able to determine which organism is causing the infection from the test results used to confirm the diagnosis. In most cases, the cause is bacteria.
UTIs caused by bacteria are treated with antibiotics. In some cases, viruses or fungi are the causes. Viral UTIs are treated with medications called antivirals. Often, the antiviral cidofovir is the choice to treat viral UTIs. Fungal UTIs are treated with medications called antifungals.
Antibiotics For UTIs
The form of antibiotic used to treat a bacterial UTI usually depends on what part of the tract is involved. Lower tract UTIs can usually be treated with oral antibiotics. Upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics. These antibiotics are put directly into your veins.
Sometimes, bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. To reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance, your doctor will likely put you on the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than one (1) week.
Home Remedies For UTI
There are no home remedies that can cure a UTI, but there are some things that you can do that can help your medication work better. These home remedies, like drinking more water, may help your body clear the infection faster.
While cranberries are a popular remedy, the research on their effect on UTIs is mixed. More conclusive studies are needed.Cranberry juice or cranberries don’t treat a UTI once it’s started. However, a chemical in cranberries may help prevent certain types of bacteria that can cause a bacterial UTI from attaching to the lining of your bladder. This may be helpful in preventing future UTIs.
It’s important to treat a UTI - the earlier, the better. Untreated UTIs become more and more severe the further they spread. A UTI is usually easiest to treat in the lower urinary tract. An infection that spreads to the upper urinary tract is much more difficult to treat and is more likely to spread into your blood, causing sepsis. This is a life-threatening event.
If you suspect that you have a UTI, contact your doctor as soon as possible. A simple examination and urine or blood test could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
I hope you have learnt something new from this thread. Thanks for reading this far.