Urinary tract infection

Published: June 29, 2020

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common condition which develops when bacteria enters the urinary tract and causes inflammation. The organs affected include the kidneys, bladder, ureters (connecting the kidneys and the bladder) and the urethra.

What causes it?

It is thought that a UTI can develop as a result of bacteria entering the tract through the urethra. The infection can be a mild form of cystitis, affecting the bladder and urethra (this is called a Lower UTI) or, more seriously, the kidneys (this is called Upper UTI).

It is 50 times more likely to occur in women than in men, according to Net Doctor, although men become more at risk over the age of 60.

There are a number of factors that make a UTI more likely, Net Doctor points out:

  • enlarged prostate
  • spina bifida
  • multiple sclerosis
  • tumours
  • horseshoe kidney
  • obstruction by kidney stones or bladder stones
  • diabetes
  • steroid therapy

What are the symptoms?

There is a difference between the symptoms of Upper and Lower UTI, according to the NHS.

Lower UTI sufferers usually experience pain or discomfort when passing urine, which may have a cloudy appearance, and a need to urinate more frequently and urgently. Sometimes patients find blood in the urine, report back pain and a general sense of feeling unwell.

Upper UTI can lead to serious complications and the symptoms are often more severe. The sufferer can develop a fever, accompanied by shivering, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

How is it diagnosed?

When it comes to Lower UTI, the symptoms often speak for themselves. However, there are a number of circumstances where testing is recommended, the NHS points out:

  • When the patient is a man
  • When there is blood in the urine
  • When the patient suffers from other conditions and has a weakened immune system which may contribute to the development of complications
  • When the woman is pregnant
  • When it is suspected that the sufferer could have Upper UTI, which is much more likely to lead to complications

There are multiple ways of testing, the most popular of which is through a urine sample. A doctor may also inject a dye into the urinary tract and use an X-ray machine to look at how it moves, identifying any possible problems.

Cystoscopy is another test designed to diagnose UTI. This involves the insertion of a small, flexible camera into the urethra and provides a clear picture of what is going on in the bladder. This is aided by an anaesthetic, which comes in jelly form.

How is it treated?

Lower UTI can usually be treated at home with antibiotics and in mild cases even goes away on its own. Most importantly, the sufferer needs to drink plenty of fluids in order to flush out the bacteria. Many women say that drinking cranberry juice helps with the prevention and even treatment of milder UTIs such as interstitial cystitis.

If complications develop or the patient suffers from advanced Upper UTI, there is sometimes a need for hospital treatment.

Images: Wikimedia Commons and GreenFlame09 on Flikr

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Published June 29, 2020 by in Health Conditions
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7 Responses to “Urinary tract infection”

  1. forex robot

    29. Jun, 2010

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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  4. pharmacy tech

    03. Jul, 2010

    found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

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  5. ncarreon

    05. Jul, 2010

    I had UTI when I was still in college. It prevent me from going to school to attend my classes. It’s until about a month before I was fully recuperated. Thanks God, I was able to recover great.

    Reply to this comment
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  7. UTI Treatment

    28. Mar, 2011

    Great article .

    Does anyone hava a view when to use antibiotics and when to use natural remedies for curing UTI?

    Reply to this comment

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