Some important facts regarding Urinary Tract Infection
- Compared to men, women are more likely to develop Urinary Tract Infections as they have shorter urethra which makes it easy for the bacteria to get into contact with the bladder.
- Men having prostate glands in enlarge state and people who are diabetic are more likely to suffer from urinary infections.
- If UTI is not treated properly in its initial stage, the infection can spread to the kidney resulting in several other health issues.
- Drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding using the washroom for long hours and emptying the bladder before going to bed is a great way of preventing UTI.
- To prevent bacteria from spreading in the urinary tract and bowels, women should clean their genitals proper after visiting the washroom and even before having sex.
- Urinalysis is a test carried out by the doctors to test the blood cells and bacteria in your urine.
- Urinary Tract Infections can be treated with regular intake of antibiotics which need to be taken as per the instructions of the doctor. Some antibiotics may also push you towards drinking water along with other fluids to clear the urine and empty the bladder at regular intervals.
What is UTI?
UTI, also known as Urinary Tract Infections, is a kind of infection in the urinary tract which is caused due to microbes. This is a common infection that is caused by the microbes that are too small to see using a microscope. The microbes can be in the form of bacteria, fungi or even viruses in some cases. The microbes attack any part of the urinary tract along with the bladder, urethra, and kidneys too. The two common bacteria resulting in 80% chances of UTI include Staphylococcus and Escherichia.
The bacteria enter the body through the urethra, a tube that helps in urinating. Once they enter the tube or urethra, they get attached to the bladder walls and multiply rapidly. This causes an infection resulting in some symptoms that are uncomfortable like frequent and sudden urinating, pain during urinating, abdominal pain or cramps, etc.
Hence, it is important to look for medical help as soon as the symptoms of urinary tract infections are observed for avoiding other serious complications.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
The symptoms of UTI basically depends on the urinary tract area that is infected with the bacteria. The urinary tract is divided into two parts, the upper and the lower urinary tract. The upper part includes the ureters and the kidneys, while the lower part includes the urethra and the bladder.
Hence the symptoms of the lower urinary tract include:
- Increase in the regularity of urinating without passing more urine
- The sensation of burning while urinating
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Increase in the urgency of urinating
- Urine appearing similar to tea or cola
- Pain in the pelvic area in case of women
- Pain in the rectal in case of men
- Urine with a strong odor
When the UTI is found in the upper tract, this can be more threatening as the bacteria can move from the kidney that is infected to the blood. This is a condition known as urosepsis which can result in a harmful reduction in the blood pressure levels, shock, and also death.
Some of the symptoms of having an infection in the upper tract include:
- Tenderness and pain in the sides of the upper back
The UTI symptoms in men are much similar to the ones in women when it comes to infection in the upper tract. But the symptoms for lower tract include pain in the rectal area while other symptoms remain common for both. Again, women having a urinary infection in the lower tract suffer from pain in the pelvic area.
What are the causes of UTI in men and women?
When it comes to the causes of UTI in men and women, any reason which reduces your urination, emptying the bladder, or even irritates the tract, can result in UTI. Yet, some of the causes in the list include:
- Older or people with more age are likely to face UTI
- Reduction in mobility after any surgery
- Long-term bed rest
- Kidney stones
- Any previous history of any urinary tract infections
- Blockages in the urinary tract
- Long-term usage of urinary catheters
- Abnormal development of urinary structures since birth
- Weak immune system
Apart from all these, an enlarged prostate in men is also another reason for UTI. For women, an additional reason for women developing UTI is improper bathroom hygiene. Again, changes in the lifestyle of both men and women can also increase the risk of facing any UTI. Some other reasons leading to UTI include the shorter urethra, unhygienic sexual intercourse, spermicides, using non-lubricated condoms made out of latex, reduction in estrogen levels, and diaphragms are other reasons that might lead to infection in the urinary tract.
How to prevent UTI?
When it comes to the prevention of Urinary tract infections, there are various measures that can be worked out on a daily basis for reducing the risk of developing UTI. Some of the common ones include:
- Drinking required water and urinating frequently
- Avoiding some fluids that can be irritating to the bladder like caffeine and alcohol
- Urinating after some time of having sex
- Cleaning from the front to the back after urinating along with bowel movement
- Keeping the genitals clean and healthy
- Using showers for bathing
- Avoiding oils
- Replacing tampons with menstrual cups or sanitary pads
- Saying no to spermicide or diaphragm
- Avoiding any products containing perfume in cleaning genitals
- Wearing cotton underwear that is loose in fitting to keep the surrounding of the urethra clean and dry
When any of the symptoms are observed regarding UTI, it is highly advisable to visit the doctor to avoid any symptoms like kidney infection.
Few Home Remedies to treat UTI
Here are some of the home remedies that are effective to reduce the impact of UTI.
1. Focus on water
When it comes to flushing the bacteria from the body, water is the best way to clear your bladder. This is the best way to remove the bacteria or infection through urinating. Urine basically includes all the impurities of the body and hence, when more urine passes from the body, it also works in removing the bacteria along. During bladder infection, if the urine is dark and concentrated, it can be painful and irritating. The diluted form would be light in color and wouldn’t also be irritating. So, drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day and limit the intake of drinks having caffeine like soda, tea, and coffee as this can worsen the irritation in the bladder.
2. Add Vitamin C in your body
According to some studies, Vitamin C is found to be helpful in dealing with Urinary tract infections to a great extent. When the Vitamin C levels increase in the body, it increases the acidity levels in the urine which is much effective for killing various bacteria in the urine that lead to infections. So, look for ingredients that are rich in Vitamin C like grapefruit, kiwifruit, oranges, red peppers, and many more as the servings contain required levels of Vitamin C which is helpful in killing various infections caused due to bacteria in the urinary tract.
3. Urinating when required
Urinating frequently helps in eliminating all the unwanted bacteria from the bladder. Holding urine for long hours or avoiding using the bathroom when required would provide the bacteria with sufficient time for continuously multiplying. Emptying the bladder at regular intervals or when required would remove the bacteria along with other unwanted elements that increase the risk of infections. Similarly, after having sex, urinating would be helpful it pushes the bacteria in the urethra. This also prevents the germs from causing infection by settling in the urinary tract. So, make sure you visit the bathroom whenever you require.
4. Cranberry Juice
If you are looking for any natural remedy for urinary tract infections, cranberry juice is the best solution adopted for generations. For the women suffering from UTI, cranberry juice or even tablets made from the same are helpful in working on the pain it provides with. However, it should be well understood that the cranberry juice should not be sweetened. Avoid cranberry juice in its natural state and avoid the ones available in the market. It also helps in reducing the chances of developing UTI.
5. Appropriate dressings
Surprisingly, your dressing also plays an essential role in prevention from UTI as well as its remedies. The bacterial infection is more likely to develop in a moist and warm environment. Wearing tight jeans, underwear, or any other clothes would keep the moisture locked in the genitals. And this increases the chances of bacteria breeding in the vaginal areas. So, look for loose underwear skirts, pants, jeans, etc. that allow your skin to breathe and reducing the chances of the growth of any kind of bacteria or other infections down there.
6. Take probiotics
Probiotics are tiny microorganisms that are beneficial for promoting a healthy and balanced gut. They are available in both fermented foods and supplements like kombucha, kefir, probiotic yogurt, etc. The probiotics are helpful in improving the digestive system and the immune system also. Along with all these, the probiotics reduce the risk of developing any UTIs. Whether you have the probiotics alone or with any kind of antibiotics, they are quite effective in reducing the chances of any UTI.
7. Herbal Remedies
There are some herbal remedies also that are helpful in dealing with UTI. Herbs like bearberry leaf, goldenseal, etc. have proved to be effective in reducing the pain caused due to the urinary tract infections. However, the time period of taking the herbs need to be watched as using the herbs for a long time may come with an adverse effect on the liver and damage it. It is henceforth, recommended to see the doctors and consult them before starting with the herbs.
Apart from all these, some other options that would work in reducing the impact of UTIs as well as prevent from it include a healthy diet, using heat pads, particular pain killers and antibiotics, etc. However, during certain situations, it is better to look for a doctor to prevent any dangerous situation. For example, the pregnant women suffering from UTI, it is highly recommended to visit the doctors and not experimenting on other solutions to deal with it as it can increase the blood pressure levels as well as increase the chances of having premature delivery too.
No doubt, the urinary tract infections are quite common, they still can be much irritating and frustrating too when it comes to healing. Instead of looking for doctors after being diagnosed with any of the UTIs, it is better to look for a healthy lifestyle to avoid the infection.
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