A Urinary Tract Infection Can Spread To Other Parts Of The Body
First, a little primer on how UTIs happen: Bacteria gets into the urinary system, which includes the kidneys and the bladder. This typically happens through the urethra . The bacteria then begins to multiply once in the system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The infection is most often seen or located in the bladder, but it can happen in any part of the urinary tract.
In some cases particularly if left untreated the infection can spread to the kidneys or other parts of the body, and sometimes make its way into the bloodstream. Complications from this can include permanent kidney damage. It can also lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication. As part of the process of responding to an infection, the body releases chemicals into the blood stream to fight it off. Sepsis can occur when the bodys response to those chemicals becomes out of balance, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can result in damage to your organs.
Urinary Tract Infections May Be More Than The Eye Of The Storm
Cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder, is one of the most common types of urinary tract infection and affects more than 90% of women.
It is typically caused by bacteria invading the bladder wall. Pain when urinating or passing frequent, small amounts of urine are also signs of cystitis. So is blood in the urine, which can make it pink and cloudy but it can indicate other problems such as bladder cancer, too. Therefore, the finding of blood in the urine should be called to the attention of your doctor immediately.
Why is it more common in women than in men? The anus is closer to the urethra in women and the urethra is shorter, which makes it more likely that bacteria will gain access from the outside of the body to the inside of the bladder.
UTIs should not be ignored since they can lead to more serious complications such as kidney infection as the bacteria travel up from the bladder.
The diagnosis is easily made by a urinalysis. If there is evidence of an infection, a urine culture is obtained which identifies the best antibiotic to treat the infection.
For mild cystitis, drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria. Although many people believe that cranberry juice can help, recent research found no evidence that the fruit, taken as capsules, made any difference to decrease the bacteria in urine.
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How Serious Are Urinary Tract Infections
Some people may find themselves particularly prone to UTIs. Upper urinary tract infections are the more serious of the two. In this case the bacteria have managed to reach the tubes connecting the bladder to the kidneys. If the bacterial infection reaches the kidneys the problem becomes serious and hospital treatment may be needed.
Lower urinary tract infections affect bladder and the pipe from the bladder to the penis or vagina . Whilst less dangerous than upper UTIs, lower UTIs should be treated early to prevent the infection from reaching the ureters.
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Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are an extremely common condition, and most people recover quickly with antibiotic treatment. However, if left untreated the infection can spread throughout the urinary tract system, increasing in severity and causing complications.
In some cases, the infection can reach the kidneys in the upper urinary tract, an infection known as pyelonephritis. Without medical intervention, this can lead to permanent kidney damage. Possible complications from untreated UTIs include:
- Formation of abscesses within or around the kidneys
- Swelling of the kidneys, also known as hydronephrosis
- , also known as blood poisoning
All of these complications are serious and require immediate medical attention.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
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Are Urinary Tract Infections Contagious
No. Urinary tract infections are not contagious.
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pressure or pain
- Mild fever , chills, and “just not feeling well”
- Urethra : Burning with urination
Upper urinary tract infection
Symptoms develop rapidly and may or may not include the symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection.
- Fairly high fever
- Shaking chills
- Flank pain: pain in the back or side, usually on only one side at about waist level
In newborns, infants, children, and elderly people, the classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection may not be present. Other symptoms may indicate a urinary tract infection.
- Newborns: fever or hypothermia , poor feeding, jaundice
- Infants: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, poor feeding, not thriving
- Children: irritability, eating poorly, unexplained fever that doesn’t go away, loss of bowel control, loose bowels, change in urination pattern
- Elderly people: fever or hypothermia, poor appetite, lethargy, change in mental status
Pregnant women are at increased risk for a UTI. Typically, pregnant women do not have unusual or unique symptoms. If a woman is pregnant, her urine should be checked during prenatal visits because an unrecognized infection can cause pregnancy health complications.
Although most people have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, some do not.
Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If youre especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
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What Puts My Child At Risk Of Getting A Uti
UTIs are common. They are most common in babies under the age of 12 months but can affect children of any age.
There are some conditions which put babies and children at higher risk of UTIs:
- an abnormality of the urinary tract
- neurological conditions where the bladder doesn’t empty properly
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis
UTIs can cause such signs as:
- pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
- an increased urge or more frequent need to pee
- waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
- belly pain in the area of the bladder
- foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood
If you have any symptoms of a UTI, you’ll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable you’ll be. Call your doctor’s office or clinic. If you can’t reach your doctor, you can visit an urgent care center or hospital emergency room. The most important thing is to take action as soon as possible.
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Cranberry Is An Excellent Remedy
Cranberry has long been used to address UTIs and is recommended by many doctors. Multiple studies have found that cranberry was as effective as antibiotics, and produced no side effects. One randomized, placebo-controlled study reported that, over a 24-week period, women who consumed cranberry juice did not experience a recurrence of infection. Cranberry juice with high concentrations of antioxidants, specifically proanthocyanidins, appears to be a helpful defense for UTIs in children.
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Who Is Most At Risk
In addition to the causes mentioned above, there are some things that can increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence without directly being the cause of the problem. These are known as risk factors.
Some of the main risk factors for urinary incontinence include:
- family history there may be a genetic link to urinary incontinence, so you may be more at risk if other people in your family have experienced the problem
- increasing age urinary incontinence becomes more common as you reach middle age and is particularly common in people over 80
- having lower urinary tract symptoms a range of symptoms that affect the bladder and urethra
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All About Urinary Tract Infections
This site is dedicated to providing you with the best information regarding urinary tract infections , an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. We aim to provide the most comprehensive resource available about UTIs and how to properly address them.
We provide you with impartial, up-to-the-minute information regarding this very common infection, which affects many individuals. UTIs are quite common, so understanding causes, symptoms and which measures can be taken to help eradicate this uncomfortable condition, once and for all.
What Are The Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection In Men
- Urinary Tract Infections in Men are usually caused due to infection by bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, or Staphylococcus
- The infection can spread from the urethra through the urinary tract and reach the bloodstream from the kidneys
- Rarely, fungus and other parasites can also cause UTI in Men
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How To Prevent Uti Re
Following some tips can help you avoid getting another UTI:
- Empty your bladder often as soon as you feel the need to pee don’t rush, and be sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.
- Wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
- Drink lots of water.
- Choose showers over baths.
- Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products they’ll only increase irritation.
- Cleanse your genital area before sex.
- Pee after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
- If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control, you may want to switch to another method. Diaphragms can increase bacteria growth, while unlubricated condoms and spermicides can irritate your urinary tract. All can make UTI symptoms more likely.
- Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.
A Uti That The Test Isnt Detecting
One possibility is that you really do have a UTI thats flying under the radar. One 2017 study in Clinical Microbiology and Infectionfound that one in five women with UTI symptoms had negative results on the standard tests, but almost all these women had UTIs according to the more sensitive quantitative polymerase chain reaction test.
Standard urine cultures test for specific types of bacteria, but many women will have infections that are not able to be grown in these cultures, Rice says. Another possible reason for a false negative test is that often, the test requires a certain number of bacteria to be grown in culture. For instance, if someone has just urinated prior to leaving a sample and there is not a sufficient quantity of urine built up in the next voided sample, it is possible for a standard urine culture to report negative findings. A false negative can also occur if youve already taken antibiotics, so make sure not to do that.
If you think you might have a UTI thats not being detected, your doctor may be able to do a PCR laboratory test, Rice says. Dr. Jennifer Linehan, M.D, urologist and associate professor of urology and urologic oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint Johnâs Health Center in Santa Monica, tells Bustle that another type of test called Next-Generation Sequencing is even more accurate.
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How Do I Know If My Child Has A Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs are sometimes hard to diagnose in babies and young children, because they can’t tell us how they’re feeling. Therefore, urine should be tested in a baby or a young child who has an unexplained fever for three days. A UTI may be the cause of the fever. Fever might be the only symptom in a baby with pyelonephritis.
An older child might be able to tell you that it hurts to urinate. Children who have a sudden need to urinate and who hold themselves or squat to keep from urinating might have a UTI. If your child has a kidney infection, you may be able to tell that he or she is sick. Your child may act tired, or have a fever, or have nausea and vomiting.
Of course, babies and children can get a fever from many other illnesses, such as colds, ear infections and the flu. Also, other things can cause pain with urination or loss of urine control. Irritation at the opening of the urethra may cause pain with urination. Bubble baths can irritate the tender skin around the urethra and make urination hurt. Dirty diapers or underpants can irritate the skin around the genital area and cause pain. .
If you think your child has a UTI, call your doctor.
Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
It’s important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
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Treatment Of Diarrhea And Uti
If diarrhea and a urinary tract infection are due to a single cause then the same treatment may be prescribe for both conditions. However, this is usually not the case. Instead diarrhea and a UTI may be treated separately but at the same time. Diarrhea is usually acute and often requires little to no treatment apart from supportive measures. Bed rest, hydration and a bland diet are sufficient until the diarrhea resolves.
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed urinary tract infections as most UTIs are bacterial. Similarly antibiotics may also be helpful for diarrhea due to a bacterial infection. However, antibiotics may be the cause of diarrhea in conditions like pseudomembranous colitis, which is commonly referred to as antibotic-associated diarrhea. Probiotics may be necessary to help restore the normal intestinal flora .
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The loss of fluid and electrolytes with diarrhea and excessive urination in UTIs may lead to dehydration. Proper oral hydration is therefore necessary. This includes the use of oral rehydrating solutions . However, when oral hydration is not an option then intravenous fluid administration is then required. Always consult with a doctor when diarrhea and a UTI occur for proper treatement and management. This can help prevent complications.
Signs Of A Kidney Infection
What does a kidney infection feel like? According to the NIDDK, the most common kidney infections symptoms are:
But depending on a persons age, they may not experience all of these kidney infection symptoms. Children younger than two may only experience high fever as a sign of kidney infections, the NIDDK says, and people older than 65 might only present with cognitive issues, like confusion, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.
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The Uti Test Was Never Meant To Be Used For Everyday Utis
In the 1950s a scientist named Kass conducted two small studies on two groups of females with acute kidney infections. One group of participants were pregnant females, the other non-pregnant females.
Kass discovered that a certain concentration of bacteria in a cultured urine sample was enough to indicate a kidney infection with 80% accuracy.
Kass suggested that a kidney infection was present when a certain amount of bacteria was found in the urine. This is called the Kass threshold, and you may have seen reference to it on your UTI test results.
|The Kass threshold means a concentration of 100,000 colony forming units of bacteria per milliliter of cultured urine must be present to indicate an infection. It is a very specific threshold without much room for interpretation.|
The key point here is that the Kass test was already only 80% accurate for acute kidney infections. It was never validated for use in lower urinary tract infections, like bladder or urethral infections.
Yet, this test was embraced by the medical community and has been the global standard UTI test for more than 60 years.
The Kass threshold has since been found to be far too high to detect many lower urinary tract infections. That is, much lower counts of bacteria in the urine can indicate a UTI.
Because modern urine culture tests are based on the Kass test, any bacteria count that is below the Kass threshold will not be considered an infection, and antibiotic susceptibility testing will not be done.