What Kinds Of Doctors Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Most urinary tract infections can be treated by your primary care doctor or your child’s pediatrician. They are usually the best provider to treat you as they are most familiar with your medical history, medications you are taking, and other factors that might affect your treatment. If you seek treatment in an urgent care facility, a specialist in emergency medicine may be involved in your care.
If there are frequent reoccurrences of UTIs or if complicating circumstances are present, your primary care doctor might refer you to a urologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the urinary system.
Eat Healthy And Exercise
A healthy diet and exercise are two of the best ways for most everyone with SCI to boost their immune system. A healthy immune system helps you to fight off infections.
- Ask your health professional for advice before starting an exercise program or changing your diet.
- Consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E may help to boost your immune system. Ask your health professional for advice before taking any supplements.
How Does A Woman Get A Urinary Tract Infection Uti Risk Factors
Urinary tract infections occur more frequently in women because they have a shorter urethra than men, making it easier for bacteria from the anus to travel to the urethra. Aside from the female anatomy, sexual activity can also introduce bacteria into a womans urinary tract.
Women with the following conditions are at a higher risk of a UTI:
Factors that may promote bacterial growth in women include:
- Dehydration, which causes urine to be concentrated and helps bacteria thrive
- Holding in urine for a long period of time
- Nerve damage that makes regular and complete bladder emptying difficult
- Conditions that obstruct urine flow, such as a tumor, kidney stone
- Diabetes and other conditions that weaken the immune system to fight off infection
- Catheter use
- Hormonal changes, which can encourage bacteria to spread
- Use of certain birth control methods such as a diaphragm and spermicidal agents
- Urinary surgery or an examination of the urinary tract involving medical instruments
- Sexual activity, which can cause bacteria to move from the vagina to the urethra
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Confusion Alone Does Not Signal A Urinary Tract Infection
When an older adult becomes confused, many people both medical and non-medical assume that a UTI is responsible.
But aging increases the incidence of confusion and delirium, especially among those who are cognitively impaired, depressed, malnourished or completely dependent.
Delirium can be caused by various factors, the most common one being dehydration, notes Dr. Lathia.
Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
But there are many reasons to use condoms. Theyre important for reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections and preventing unwanted pregnancy.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms coated with spermicide.
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Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
Burning Or Painful Urination
People with UTI often feel a burning sensation when they urinate. This symptom is one of the key signs that a person may have a urinary tract infection.
Burning urination or painful urination is medically known as dysuria. It can be caused by infectious and noninfectious conditions.
A urinary tract infection makes the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated.
In addition to the burning sensation, there is also an itchy or stinging feeling as the urine comes out. The pain can be felt at the start of urination or after urination.
Pain is often felt in the urethra. These are the tubes that carry urine to the bladder. The pain can also extend to the area around the genitals.
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Ok So How Do I Make Sure I Never Get A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
As they say, prevention is the best cure! And there are many things you can do to ensure that youre reducing your risk for an infection, and preventing build up from occurring in the kidneys.
Practice good hygiene. Always wipe from front to back, keep your genital area clean, wash before and after sex. Basically, do your best to keep bacteria from even having a chance of getting into the urinary system in the first place.
Drink lots of water. If youre dehydrated, youre not only increasing your chance of a UTI, but youre also decreasing your urine output, meaning that more minerals have a chance to build up and settle in the urinary tract or kidneys.
Make sure to urinate whenever you feel you have to go. Dont hold it in. This concentrates the urine allowing bacteria to build up and spread.
Alter your diet if you find youre prone to kidney stones. Cut down on certain meats and shellfish and opting instead for more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid consuming too much sugar. Cut back on sodium, and eat more oxalate-rich foods .
And if you do start experiencing any of the symptoms above, be sure to see a doctor right away. UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones can usually be treated fairly easily, but its important to seek medical attention before any complications develop.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
A UTI is caused by a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. The urinary tract is where our bodies make and expel urine and is made up of the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra. You can get an infection in the lower or upper part of the urinary tract. Upper UTIs are potentially more serious because there is a risk of kidney damage and in acute cases can cause kidney failure or blood poisoning. Urinary tract infection is a term used to cover a variety of infections.
The three main causes of UTIs are:
- Cystitis infection in the bladder
- Urethritis infection in the urethra
- Pyelonephritis infection in the kidney
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How Long Does A Uti Last
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If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.
How Centric Healthcare Can Help
It has been well-established by medical researchers that older adults have a greater risk of getting UTI than the rest of the population. At the same time, demographers are projecting that the population of our state and our country continues to age dramatically. Therefore, the impact of UTI on our health will continue to grow.
Listed below are some of the services offered by Centric Healthcare that can help you and your loved one prevent and manage UTI.
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Complications Of Uti In The Elderly: What You Need To Know
Urinary Tract Infection is one of the most common infections affecting older adults. When promptly and properly treated, UTI is easily managed and rarely develops complications. But, when left untreated, UTI can lead to serious health consequences which can include permanent kidney damage. In rare instances, an infection can enter the bloodstream through the kidneys and lead to a life-threatening condition called . Therefore, early recognition of symptoms, testing, diagnosis, and treatment of UTI is important.
Key Points About A Uti In Children
- A urinary tract infection is inflammation of part of the system that takes urine out of the body.
- Most infections are caused by bacteria from the digestive tract. The most common is Escherichia coli bacteria. These normally live in the colon.
- A UTI is not common in children younger than age 5. A UTI is much more common in girls because they have a shorter urethra.
- A UTI is unlikely in boys of any age, unless part of the urinary tract is blocked. Uncircumcised boys are more at risk for a UTI than circumcised boys.
- Symptoms vary by age, and can include fever, need to urinate often, pain, and crying.
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Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you, your child or someone you care for may have a urinary tract infection and:
- a very high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
- are confused, drowsy or have difficulty speaking
- have not been for a pee all day
- have pain in the lower tummy or in the back, just under the ribs
- can see blood in their pee
These symptoms could mean you have a kidney infection, which can be serious if it’s not treated as it could cause .
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI.
A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
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Acute Urinary Tract Infection In Infants And Young Children
A nine-month-old girl is brought to the family physicians office with a temperature of 39.5°C for two days. She has been slightly fussier than usual but has been eating well and acting appropriately. Her vaccinations are up to date. There are no other reported symptoms, and her medical history is clear. On examination, she appears well, and there is no identifiable source of the fever.
When To Seek Medical Attention
If you experience any symptoms of a kidney infection or a UTI more generally, its important to see a health professional to have them evaluated right away.
This is true especially if certain symptoms seem to appear suddenly, indicating that your UTI is spreading or growing more severe.
A kidney infection that isnt treated effectively can become chronic , potentially causing permanent damage to your kidneys that impairs their function.
An untreated kidney infection can also lead to dangerous complications in the short term, such as a blood infection . Symptoms of sepsis include:
- Fever and chills
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Can Utis Be Prevented
These tips can help prevent UTIs:
- In infants and toddlers, change diapers often to help prevent the spread of bacteria that cause UTIs. When kids are potty trained, it’s important to teach them good hygiene. Girls should know to wipe from front to rear not rear to front to prevent germs from spreading from the anus to the urethra.
- School-age girls should avoid bubble baths and strong soaps that might cause irritation. They also should wear cotton underwear instead of nylon because it’s less likely to encourage bacterial growth.
- All kids should be taught not to “hold it” when they have to go. Pee that stays in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.
- Kids should drink plenty of fluids but avoid those with caffeine.
Increased Frequency Of Urination
Urinary tract infection is one of the most common causes of frequent urination.
Frequent urination is defined as the need to urinate more than usual. This symptom is often confused with urinary urgency. It is an inconvenient symptom that can greatly disrupt daily life for a person with UTI.
The byproducts of the infection will create inflammation and irritation in the linings of the urethra and bladder. As a result, the irritation of the bladder wall creates the urge to empty the bladder frequently.
Furthermore, the bladder also often feels full. During each trip to the bathroom, the amount of urine is often less than the usual amount.
The bladder also sends confusing signals to the brain. The body would feel the need to pee even when the bladder might not be full.
Typically, the bladder can often hold as much as 600 ml of urine . The urge to urinate is usually felt when the bladder contains about 150 ml of urine .
Most people urinate between 4 to 8 times, depending on fluid intake, over a 24-hour period.
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Symptoms In Children And Elderly People
While the typical range of symptoms for a kidney infection applies to most adults, older adults and young children may have different symptoms.
If youre over age 65, you may experience none of the typical symptoms of a kidney infection summarized above. Instead, you may only experience problems with your thinking, such as:
- Difficulty speaking
Children under 2 years old with a kidney infection may only have a high fever.
Caregivers of very old and very young individuals should know to seek help when these signs or symptoms occur.
How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
These are the most common symptoms of a UTI:
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Urine looks dark, cloudy, or reddish in color
- Urine smells bad
- Feeling pain even when not urinating
- Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Despite an strong urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone
The symptoms of UTI may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a lower UTI include
- Pain or discomfort when urinating
- The feeling of being unable to empty your bladder fully
- Cloudy and/or foul-smelling urine that may contain blood
- Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis
- Feeling achy, tired and generally under-the-weather
Symptoms of an upper UTI include
- A high temperature of 38°C
- Pain in your sides or back
- Shivering or chills
- Agitation or restlessness
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Private Duty Nursing Services
Sometimes, seniors need help with more than daily living tasks and require a licensed medical professional. Centric Healthcare offers the services of private duty nurses who attend to your or your loved ones medical needs in your home. Examples of our services that can assist in the treatment and prevention of UTI include assistance with catheter care, medication administration, and a trained eye that can help identify self-care needs and watch for classic and non-classic UTI symptoms.
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.
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Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
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.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025