URINARY TRACT INFECTION: Symptoms, Causes and home remedies
Urinary tract infection
UTI is an infection from microbes. These are organisms that are too small to be seen without a microscope. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria, but some are caused by fungi and in rare cases by viruses. UTIs are among the most common infections in humans.
However, UTIs can involve the ureters and kidneys, in the upper tract. Although upper tract UTIs are more rare than lower tract UTIs, they’re also usually more severe. Furthermore, this infection can happen anywhere in your urinary tract. Your urinary tract is made up of your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most UTIs only involve the urethra and bladder, in the lower tract.
Urinary tract infection symptoms
Symptoms of a UTI depend on what part of the urinary tract is infected.
Lower tract UTIs affect the urethra and bladder. Symptoms of a lower tract UTI are
burning with urination, increased frequency of urination without passing much urine, increased urgency of urination, bloody urine, cloudy urine, urine that looks like cola or tea, urine that has a strong odor, pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men.
Upper tract urinary tract infection
Upper tract urinary tract infection affects the kidneys. These can be potentially life threatening if bacteria move from the infected kidney into the blood. This condition, called urosepsis, can cause dangerously low blood pressure, shock, and death.
Symptoms of an upper tract UTI include:
- pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
UTI symptoms in men
Symptoms of an upper tract urinary infection in men are similar to those in women. Symptoms of a lower tract urinary infection in men sometimes includes rectal pain in addition to the common symptoms shared by both men and women.
UTI symptoms in women
Women with a lower tract urinary infection may experience pelvic pain. This is in addition to the other common symptoms. Symptoms of upper tract infections among both men and women are similar.
Urinary tract infection Symptoms
The cause of the major urinary tract infections are the bacterium Escherichia coli usually found in the digestive system. Chlamydia and mycoplasma bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder.
The ureters are very rarely the site of infection.
Over 50 percent of all women will experience at least one UTI during their lifetime, with 20 to 30 percent experiencing recurrent UTIs.
Pregnant women are not more likely to develop a UTI than other women, but if one does occur, it is more likely to travel up to the kidneys. Besides that, this is because changes in the body during pregnancy that affect the urinary tract.
UTI in pregnancy
UTI in pregnancy can also prove dangerous for both maternal and infant health, most pregnant women have bacteria in their urine, even if there are no symptoms, treat them with antibiotics to prevent spread.
Also, heavy use of antibiotics can disrupt the natural flora of the bowel and urinary tract.
The symptoms of a UTI can depend on age, gender, the presence of a catheter, and what part of the urinary tract has an infection.
Common symptoms of a UTI include:
- strong and frequent urge to urinate
- cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling urine
- pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle aches and abdominal pains
People with catheters may only experience fever as a symptom, making diagnosis more difficult.
Acute pyelonephritis is a sudden and severe kidney infection. Furthermore, if an individual develops this condition they could also experience upper back and side pain, high fever, shaking, chills, fatigue, and mental changes. Besides that, you should consider an emergency and evaluation must take place by a doctor immediately if there’s any suspect.
If a person has a bladder infection, they could also experience low fever, and pressure and cramping in the abdomen and lower back.
Most UTIs are not serious, but some can lead to serious problems, particularly with upper UTIs.
Furthermore, 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.
Besides that, they can also increase the risk of women delivering infants that are premature or have a low birth weight.
UTI home remedies
There are a number of suggested remedies that people with a UTI can try at home.
Drinking fluids and urinating frequently can help flush bacteria from the body, and using a heated pad for short periods can help to relieve discomfort. Also, cranberries and their extracts could treat UTI.
This may have a painkilling and anti-inflammatory effect that can help alleviate UTI symptoms.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommend cranberry products to prevent recurrent UTIs, but not for use in active UTIs.
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