What’s The Difference Between A Bladder Infection And Uti
As the name suggest, a urinary tract infection affects your urinary tract, which is made up of two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra, according to the US National Library of Medicine . A UTI happens when bacteria get into the urethra and begin multiplying. Most commonly, it’s a strain of bacteria called Escherichia coli , which normally lives in the intestines and anus .
Once the bacteria makes its way into your urethra, anywhere in your urinary tracts becomes fair game for an infection. If the bacteria infect your urethra, for example, it’s called urethritis if it makes its way to your ureters or kidneys, it’s called pyelonephiritis.
The most common type of a UTI, however, is a bladder infection , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In fact, “a bladder infection is what most people think of when they hear about a UTIthat’s the easiest way to interpret a bladder infection,”Michael Herman, MD, urologist and director of urologic oncology at Mount Sinai South Nassau, tells Health.
What Is Bladder Infection
Bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection that affects the bladder of the concerned person. People are more prone to have this type of infection, especially females. Burning of urine, leaking urine, stomach pain infections are common symptoms. Elderly women should get themselves checked regularly.
A bladder infection that is not so serious may disappear on its own. However, if the symptoms still persist, it is advisable to visit a doctor as early as possible. A number of people try to use home remedies. Even though they prove to be beneficial for some, they may not work for everyone.
The medical term that is used for bladder infections is Cystitis. People who are affected by this suffer from inflammation of the bladder. Moreover, if the infection spreads to the kidneys, the problem will worsen. When doctors identify a bladder infection, they usually suggest antibiotics for the patient.
Apart from bacterial infection, such inflammation may be caused because of reactions to certain drugs, using feminine hygiene spray, or even radiation therapy. Sometimes, cystitis may occur in a patient as a symptom of some other illness. Treatment for this type of disease may also depend on the reason due to which It occurred in the first place.
What Is A Uti And What Is A Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection in your urinary system. Around 50-60% of women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and an unlucky number of them get UTIs frequently. The American Urological Association estimates that 20-40% of women who have had one UTI will get another one, and 25-50% of those women will end up having at least one more after that. Men can also get UTIs, though this happens less frequently than it does in women.
UTIs occur when unwanted bacteria end up in your urinary tract and trigger inflammation. They are caused by a variety of factors, including sexual activity, poor hygiene, genetics, age, and certain types of contraceptives.
The most reliable sign of a UTI is a stinging or burning sensation with urination, though other symptoms may also occur.
A bladder infection is a type of UTI that occurs specifically in your bladder.
Think of it this way: Your urinary tract includes your urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.
Your bladder is the closest organ to your urethra , so its the area of the body most commonly affected by UTIs. Doctors call inflammation in the bladder cystitis and inflammation in the urethra urethritis.
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What Are Other Causes Of Kidney Infection
Although a kidney infection can result from a bladder infection, a kidney infection doesnt always begin with a bladder infection. Anything that changes the bacterial environment in your urinary tract system can increase the risk of infection, including any inflammation of the area, menopause, or the intake of medications altering the hormones in your body.
People with a weakened immune system are also at increased risk of developing infections. This includes people with malfunctioning bladder, urethra, or ureters, and anyone with a condition that suppresses the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or chemotherapy.
Although rare, they can develop a kidney infection through their bloodstream due to their immune systems state. Bacterial or fungal infections on the skin can spread into the blood and end up in the kidney during the blood filtering stage.
Bladder Infections Vs Other Utis
It is possible to have a more serious type of urinary tract infection that affects your upper urinary tract, a.ka. your kidneys. This typically happens as a result of an untreated UTI in your bladder.
A kidney infection causes symptoms like fever, nausea or vomiting, and one-sided back pain. It is serious and requires immediate medical intervention to avoid complications like scarring of the kidney.
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Key Difference Uti Vs Bladder Infection
Urinary tract infections are commonly seen in women, children and elderly men. The occurrence of UTI in men is fairly uncommon and a male getting recurrent UTIs is more likely to have an abnormal urinary tract. These infections in the urinary tract can give rise to acute complications like gram negative septicemia and acute renal failure. Clinically UTIs can be divided into two categories as upper UTI and lower UTI. Bladder infections are a type of lower urinary tract infections. Thus, the key difference between UTI and bladder infection is that UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary tract while bladder infection is an infection in the lower urinary tract. It is also important to note that bladder infection is a subset of UTI.
Diagnosis Of Bladder Cancer
Along with the tests done if a bladder infection is suspected, a medical professional diagnosing bladder cancer will likely order or perform several more tests.
During your visit, they may perform an internal exam of the vagina or rectum to see if they can feel any lumps in your pelvic area.
They may order a set of X-rays called an intravenous pyelogram, which lets them check the kidneys, ureters, and bladder for cancers.
Its also possible the medical professional would order a biopsy of the bladder during the cystoscopy exam. This biopsy removes a sample of the inner lining of the bladder in the area they think might be cancerous. The surgeon may even remove the entire tumor.
A specialist doctor called a pathologist then looks at the cells in the biopsy sample for signs of cancer.
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What Is Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder, on the other hand, is a condition where you feel a sudden and urgent need to urinate. It may be so strong that you arent able to resist it and have an accident with leakage of urine.
Overactive bladder is more common as we age, but it can still occur in younger patients. It may be a result of:
- Neurological disorders associated with strokes or multiple sclerosis
- Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
While a conversation about urine may not be at the top of your to-do list, its important to discuss any issues or symptoms with your doctor. They can recommend lifestyle modifications, medications or surgical treatments that can help improve the situation.
Patients with overactive bladder and urinary tract infections can both have bothersome symptoms, such as urinary frequency, urgency and urinary incontinence, says David Ginsberg, MD, a urologist at USC Urology at Keck Medicine of USC and professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Overactive bladder symptoms are often slowly progressive, and over time, the urgency may become severe enough where it is associated with urinary leakage. Thankfully, both urinary tract infections and overactive bladder are usually easily treated.
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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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What Are The Risk Factors For Getting Bladder Infections And Other Uti Infections
A person is more likely to get a bladder infection if they dont urinate frequently enough. If they hold their urine in, the bacteria can collect in the bladder and lead to infection. Try to go to the bathroom at least every two to three hours to keep this from happening.
Not drinking enough water is another risk factor for bladder infections because your body doesnt move as much urine through the bladder as quickly.
Risk factors for urethritis include having a sexually transmitted infection or from trauma to the urethra, such as due to the insertion of a urinary catheter.
In addition to these specific risk factors for bladder infections, there are general risk factors for all UTI types. These include:
risk factors for uti
- being pregnant
- having diabetes, as a person experiences changes to their immune system that make them more prone to UTIs
- having an enlarged prostate
- having low levels of estrogen, such as when a woman is post-menopausal
- having a history of kidney stones, which can block the flow of urine through the urinary tract
Women are also more likely than men to get UTIs because their urethra is shorter. The bacteria have less distance to go to reach the bladder and can cause infections.
Key Difference Upper Vs Lower Urinary Tract Infection
Let us first look at a brief overview of the urinary tract, before discussing the difference between upper and lower urinary tract infection.The urinary tract is the tubular system which transfers urine from the site of its production, kidneys. The urinary tract consists of bilateral ureters opening into the urinary bladder and the urethra which passes urine from the urinary bladder to the exterior. This tubular system makes a continuous passage for the urine flow. This system is lined by a special type of epithelium called urothelium. The renal pelvis which receives urine from the renal tissue and to the ureters is known as the Upper urinary tract. The urethra and the bladder storage is referred to as The Lower urinary tract. Infections of the urethra and the bladder are referred to as lower urinary tract infections. Involvement of the ureters and the kidneys is referred to as upper urinary tract infections. Therefore, the key difference between lower and upper urinary tract infections isdetermined by the anatomical involvements. However, there could be situations where the whole tract is infected causing pan urinary tract infections. Lower urinary tract infection can easily spread to involve upper tracts causing both upper and lower urinary tract infections together.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
It may feel like all urinary tract infections are the same they all feel pretty uncomfortable! But a UTI can occur anywhere within your urinary system and its important to know what to look for in case it travels to your kidneys. Read on to learn more about UTIs and Kidney Infections, and how to tell the difference between them.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system. This type of infection can involve your urethra , kidneys or bladder, .
Your urine typically doesnt contain bacteria . Urine is a byproduct of our filtration systemthe kidneys. When waste products and excess water is removed from your blood by the kidneys, urine is created. Normally, urine moves through your urinary system without any contamination. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside of the body, causing problems like infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract infection .
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Bladder Infection Vs Uti: Whats The Difference
When it comes to taking care of yourself down there, youre not alone if you have more questions than answers. Many people feel anxious at the mere thought of talking to their doctor about reproductive or sexual health concerns. Things like urinary tract infections and bladder infections happen to a lot of people and are nothing to be ashamed of, but they do need to be addressed ASAP for the sake of your health.
It can be tough to distinguish a UTI from a bladder infection if youve never had one before. Were here to help you out. Well go over the different types of UTIs and bladder infections, what causes each, treatment and prevention strategies, and potential complications to be aware of. Plus, well provide advice on when to seek medical help.
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
When To See A Doctor
Although the body may sometimes fight off a UTI on its own, waiting for this to happen carries risks. UTIs can quickly spread, causing serious kidney infections.
A person should see a doctor for any symptoms of a UTI, particularly if they are pregnant or have an underlying health condition that affects their immune system.
A person with should go to the emergency room for immediate medical care. The symptoms of a kidney infection include:
Types Of Urinary Tract Infections
There are three different types of urinary tract infections. The type of infection depends on which part of the urinary tract is infected.
A urinary tract infection may involve different sections of the urinary tract including the following:
- Urethritis: An infection of the urethra, the hollow tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
- Cystitis: A bacterial infection in the bladder that often has moved up from the urethra.
- Pyelonephritis: An infection of the kidneys that is usually a result of an infection that has spread up the tract, or from an obstruction in the urinary tract. An obstruction in the urinary tract causes urine to back flow into the ureters and kidneys.
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Pathogenesis Of Bladder Infections
UTI causing microbes enter the urinary tract from the perianal region and ascend along the urethra. When these organisms enter the bladder they initiate their pathogenesis inside the bladder resulting in cystitis. Usually, organisms entering the bladder in this manner are flushed out with urine. But depending on the virulence of the pathogen, the strength of the host immune response and the presence of any urinary tract abnormalities, these cystitis causing pathogens can get colonized in the mucosal lining of the bladder.
The commonest causative agent is E. coli. Women are more prone to get bladder infections because of the close proximity of the urethra to the anus.
Figure 02: Bladder Infection
Who Is Most Susceptible To A Bladder Infection
UTIs are more common in women than men. This is partly due to their anatomy in women, the urethra is shorter, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause an infection.
Other risk factors for bladder infection include:
Any medical condition or injury that prevents you from emptying your bladder completely
Any medical condition that weakens your immune system
Being a woman in or after menopause
Having a UTI in the past
Needing to have a bladder catheter
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent UTIs. These include the following:
Drink plenty of water.
Empty your bladder immediately after sex.
Dont hold it when you feel the need to go.
Think about switching to a different method of birth control if you currently use one with spermicide.
Consider vaginal estrogen if youve gone through menopause.
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Urinary Tract Infection Causes & Risk Factors
Your urinary tract can usually protect itself from infection, but certain factors increase your risk of developing a UTI.
- Being female. Women get more UTIs than men because bacteria and other infection-causing organisms can easily reach the urethra. Then they travel quickly to the bladder, which is only a short distance away. A mans urethra runs to the end of his penis so bacteria have to travel further to reach the bladder.
- Menopause and post-menopause, which cause the lining of the urethra to get thinner as estrogen levels decrease.
- Diabetes and other chronic illnesses or medications that affect your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight infections.
- Conditions that make it difficult to completely empty your bladder, such as enlarged prostate and bladder and kidney stones.
- Long-term use of catheters