Urinary tract infections: symptoms, causes and treatment

A urinary tract infection is an inflammation that can occur in the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. It can be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection and can produce symptoms such as a sudden need to urinate, pain or burning during urination, pressure in the bladder, or discomfort. fever.

Urinary tract infections are more common in women but can also occur in men and are primarily caused by naturally occurring bacteria in the body that multiply due to an imbalance in the microbiome in the genital area.

Treatment of urinary tract infections is carried out by a general practitioner, urologist or gynecologist, who may recommend antibiotics or even hospitalization to receive medication through a vein.

Learn more about urinary tract infections in the video below:

youtube image - Urinary Tract Infection | What to Eat to Cure and Avoid It

Symptoms of urinary tract infection

The main symptoms of urinary tract infection are:

  • Need to urinate several times a day;
  • sudden need to urinate;
  • pain and burning when urinating;
  • Pressure or pain in the bladder;
  • discomfort;
  • Leaking urine on clothes;
  • The urine smells bad.

However, these symptoms may not occur if the infection primarily affects the kidneys, which are usually more serious and may cause fever, chills, back pain, nausea, and vomiting. Look for other symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Therefore, if symptoms of a urinary tract infection occur, consult your family doctor, urologist or gynecologist as soon as possible so that he or she can indicate the most appropriate treatment and prevent complications from occurring.

Also read: Urinary tract infections during pregnancy: symptoms, diagnosis and risks


Online symptom test

To assess your risk for a UTI, choose the symptoms you experience on the following tests:

Symptom testing is only a tool and should only be used as a guide and does not replace a consultation with a urologist, gynecologist or family doctor.

How to make a diagnosis

The diagnosis of urinary tract infection is made by a urologist, gynecologist, or general practitioner by evaluating symptoms, medical history, and urine and blood analyses.

Tests to detect urinary tract infections

The main tests to detect urinary tract infections are:

  • General urine testto evaluate the physical and chemical properties of urine and the presence of blood, pus, white blood cells, or microorganisms;
  • Urine culture and antimicrobial spectrum Identify the microorganism causing symptoms;
  • Ultrasound or CT scanto detect obstructive pyelonephritis, hydronephrosis, or abscess.

Additionally, if a person develops sepsis, or sepsis, which is when an infection reaches the bloodstream, doctors may order blood tests and blood cultures. Learn how to perform blood cultures.

possible reason

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that normally live in the intestines, especially E. coliDue to an imbalance in the microbiome in the genital area, bacteria rise from the anus and perineum into the periurethral area and reach the urinary system, causing inflammation.

Additionally, urinary tract infections can also be caused by other bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae anyone Proteus mirabilissome viruses or fungi, e.g. Candida Candida albicans.

Who is at greater risk?

Some factors increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection:

  • Gender, more common in women due to the shorter urethra and proximity of the urethra to the anus;
  • Poor vaginal hygiene, wipe the anus from back to front;
  • Pregnancy or menopause;
  • Sexual relations without the use of condoms or spermicides;
  • benign prostatic hyperplasia in men;
  • use of urinary catheter;
  • Neurogenic bladder, renal failure, kidney stones, or urinary tract malformations;
  • Diarrhea or dehydration.

Additionally, urinary tract infections are more common in older adults, people with medical conditions such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS, or people who take immunosuppressive medications. Learn more about the causes of urinary tract infections.

Types of urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections can be classified based on where the infection occurs in the urinary tract:

  • urethritis: Infections affecting only the urinary tract;
  • Cystitis: When the infection primarily affects the bladder;
  • Pyelonephritis: When the infection primarily affects the kidneys.

Identification of the type of infection is usually done by a doctor assessing the signs and symptoms, which is important in deciding the most appropriate treatment.

Also read: 10 diseases of the urinary system (and how to treat them)


Urinary tract infection treatment

Treatment for a urinary tract infection should be recommended by a urologist, gynecologist, or family doctor and usually involves the use of medications to eliminate the bacteria and/or relieve symptoms.

The main treatments your doctor can recommend are:

1. Antibiotics

The main medications doctors recommend for treating urinary tract infections are antibiotics such as fosfomycin, nitrofurantoin, or ciprofloxacin because they eliminate the bacteria that cause the infection. Review the main antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections.

2. Analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs

Your doctor may also prescribe other medications, such as pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or antispasmodics, to help relieve pain or burning during urination caused by a UTI. Review the main medications for treating urinary tract infections.

2. Personal care

During the treatment of a urinary tract infection, your doctor may recommend some personal care, such as urinating frequently, urinating whenever you feel the urge, not retaining urine, and maintaining adequate private hygiene.

Additionally, close contact should be avoided during UTI treatment to prevent symptoms from worsening, as this may cause pain or discomfort.

3. Be careful with your diet

Your diet while treating a urinary tract infection should include foods that are rich in water or have diuretic properties, such as watermelon, soursop, cucumbers, and carrots. Find out what to eat for a urinary tract infection.

In addition, you should drink more water, tea or juice to promote the elimination of urine and urinary system bacteria.

Also read: 8 Teas for Urinary Tract Infections or Poor Urination (Proven!)


6. Hospital isolation

For pyelonephritis or severe urinary tract infection, treatment includes hospitalization and intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Hospitalization is important due to the severity or risk of worsening of the condition, such as in pregnant women, kidney transplant patients, or kidney stone patients. I know about the treatment of urinary tract infections.

7. Urinary tract infection vaccine

Vaccine for urinary tract infections called Uro-Vaxom contains ingredients derived from bacteria E. coli and may be recommended by a physician to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections.

Additionally, the vaccine can be used with other medications to treat acute urinary tract infections. Learn what Uro-Vaxom is and how to use it.

natural treatment options

Some teas and home remedies, such as horsetail or dandelion tea, can relieve symptoms of UTIs because they have antibacterial and diuretic properties.

However, treating UTIs with tea and home remedies does not replace antibiotic treatment and should never be used alone due to the risk of worsening the infection. Learn about home remedies that can complement your urinary tract infection treatment.

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