What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
How Can Utis In The Elderly Be Prevented
Once a UTI infection is gone, prevention should consist of maintaining a more set schedule. Some older people start a urination schedule, setting up alarms to remind themselves to urinate. Implementing better hygiene to keep the midsection area clean and dry is also key. Seniors should regularly wear and change loose, breathable cotton underwear that can be cleaned easily. A ritual of wiping from front to back when using the bathroom is also critical.
Some urologists claim that there is an ingredient in cranberry juice that prevents bacteria, especially E coli, from adhering to the bladder wall. The ingredient is A-type proanthocyanidins or PACs. There is debate in the medical and healthcare communities as to whether there are enough PACs in cranberry juice to actually stop bacteria from grabbing on to the bladder wall. You could say that the theory has caused a healthy, sweet and sour debate! Essentially, all of these preventative measures mentioned boil down to one theme: better care.
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Research And Statistics: Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections
In the United States, UTIs result in about 10 million doctor’s office visits annually. People of any age can get a UTI, though most commonly it affects women. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 40 to 60 percent of women develop a UTI during their lives.
Twelve percent of men will have symptoms of at least one UTI during their lives, per the American Urological Association. While UTIs are uncommon in young men, the risk of infection increases with age, especially in men over 50.
Women are at greater risk of urinary tract infections for anatomical reasons: Women have a shorter urethra than men and their urethra is closer to the anus, which means the bacteria that live there dont have to travel far to infect the bladder.
In children, UTIs are common and also occur more frequently in girls than boys. About 3 percent of girls and 1 percent of boys will have a UTI by the time they’re 11 years old.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You might feel like you need to pee all the time, even if you just went. Other UTI symptoms include:
pain or burning when you pee
bad-smelling or cloudy urine
blood or pus in your urine
soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides
If the infection goes to your kidneys, your UTI symptoms may also include:
pain in your mid-back
You’ve Got Cramps But No Pms
Abdominal cramping and pain are other symptoms of a UTI. However, a lot of women mistake them for PMS cramps, low-back issues, or even muscle soreness from overdoing deadlifts at the gym, Ross says.
Dont fall for it! This is one symptom you should definitely pay attention to, especially if the pain increases over time, is sharp and localized to your lower back, or is accompanied by a fever, she says. This may indicate that the infection has moved up into your kidneys, a potentially serious complication that can land you in the hospital.
You might describe this type of pain might be described as “pressure down there,” Conway notes. Like Ross, Conway says it’s important to seek treatment immediately if this type of pain migrates to your back or you spike a fever.
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You Wipe From Back To Front
Wiping from back to front can transport E. coli, the bacteria thats behind most UTIs, from the rectal region to the urethra. Moral of the story: Always wipe from front to back. Al-Badr A, et al. . Recurrent urinary tract infections management in women: A review.
How To Treat A Uti
The most effective way to treat a UTI is to take antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. If someone is experiencing confusion due to a UTI, they should see a doctor immediately. While antibiotics are effective they can lead to other symptoms such as yeast infections. Therefore, using prevention over treatment is desirable.
Drinking plenty of water is also important when experiencing a UTI. Additionally, consuming probiotics can help restore balance. Yogurt contains probiotics, which are naturally occurring, helpful bacteria. Probiotics help stop the harmful bacteriathat cause UTIs in the first placefrom spreading and multiplying. As a result, yogurt helps balance helpful and harmful bacteria in the urinary tract, and slows the spread of infection.
Preventing UTIs is an important part of keeping your family, patients, and/or yourself safe. In particular, elderly people can experience psychological symptoms as a result of the infections that cause UTIs. These symptoms are not only uncomfortable, they are also dangerous. The psychological symptoms of UTIs include confusion, which can lead to falls, dizziness, and loss of coordination. As a result, it is imperative to treat UTIs quickly.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
do not use condoms or diaphragms with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
What Are Other Possible Causes Of Painful Urination
A painful burning feeling when you urinate is often a sign of a urinary tract infection . However, painful urination can occur even if you dont have an infection. Certain drugs, like some used in cancer chemotherapy, may inflame the bladder. Something pressing against the bladder or a kidney stone stuck near the entrance to the bladder can also cause painful urination.
Painful urination can also be caused by vaginal infection or irritation. You might be sensitive to chemicals in products such as douches, vaginal lubricants, soaps, scented toilet paper, or contraceptive foams or sponges. If it hurts to urinate after youve used these products, youre probably sensitive to them.
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For Those Who Experience Frequent Utis Managing Risk Factors May Help With Prevention
In some people, urinary tract infections come back again and again. Women, especially, are likely to have recurrent UTIs. While recurrences usually develop within three months of the original infection, having more than two within six months is technically considered a recurrence.
Besides precautions and at-home strategies to help prevent UTIs, sometimes antibiotics are used as a preventive measure for those with frequent UTI recurrences.
Managing risk factors by maintaining good hygiene, such as wiping from front to back for women and avoiding spermicides can lower your likelihood of repeat UTIs.
Can A Uti Make You Tired And Weak
Does a UTI make you tired? Actually, it can. Though Id never heard the term before, I found out there was such a thing as a hidden or silent UTI. Looking back, I realized that every time Id suffered a UTI, I always felt fatigue first. It was my bodys way of trying to fight off infection, Mashunkashey said.
After that ER visit, I took the antibiotics the doctor prescribed and headed home. I reclined my seat and relaxed the whole ride, knowing I finally had the information I needed to spot infections early so they wouldnt damage my system and make me miss out on work and family fun.
Sure enough, several months later I started feeling exhausted again. My gut reaction was to power through it, but then I remembered my vacation. Being proactive, I quickly asked my doctor to test my urine. As I suspected, it was another sneaky UTI, she said. I felt empowered knowing I didnt have to suffer for days or weeks before more serious symptoms may have shown up.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, which consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. While any of these parts can become infected, most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and the urethra . A UTI that infects the bladder is called cystitis one that infects the urethra is called urethritis.
The majority of UTIs that affect the bladder and the urethra are caused by E. coli or other bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract, which can travel from the anus to the urethra. UTIs that affect the urethra are also caused by sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma. Most of the time, urinating flushes out lingering bacteria in the urethra before it causes problems, though your body isnt always able to do this.
Less often, UTIs involve the upper urinary tract, which includes the kidneys and the ureters . A UTI infection in the kidneys, called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection, most often begins in the bladder and moves up through the ureters to one or both kidneys. In certain cases, a kidney infection can lead to serious health problems.
How To Get Rid Of A Uti In 24 Hours
Are you experiencing painful urination and a constant need to run to the bathroom? If so, then youre already wondering how to get rid of a UTI in 24 hours. The seven home remedies in this article can help.
If youre still experiencing symptoms after 24 hours, then you need antibiotics. To get your hands on them, youll need to visit the doctor.
The doctors at Oxford Urgent Care will provide you with prompt treatment and relief. Check out our contact information and visit our office as soon as possible to remedy your UTI.
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How To Prevent A Silent Uti
I was so grateful my newfound knowledge was helping me improve my life. But I wasnt satisfied with early detection. I wanted to find a way to prevent UTIs, Mashunkashey added. So, I kept pressing my doctor and I guess I finally asked the right question because I learned that taking vitamin C at bedtime can prevent bacteria from building up in the system. The doctor explained that C allows healthy acid to rest in the bladder overnight so that the harmful acid in urine cant take hold. I started taking 1,000 mg each night and I havent had a single flare-up in years.
Vitamin Cnot only helps ward off UTIs, it can also outsmart stress. So say Canadian researchers in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. They gave 52 people who were deficient in vitamin C a daily dose of 500 mg and tracked their moods for eight days. The results? Study subjects experienced a 71 percent drop in symptoms including fatigue, sadness, and irritability, as well as a 51 percent decrease in anxiety. According to the study authors, vitamin C plays a crucial role in balancing the brain chemicals that rule our emotional response to stress.
How Long Can A Uti Go Untreated
While on vacation, Mashunkasheys fatigue got worse. By the second day, her sneaky symptoms had her frightened enough to visit the emergency room closest to her hotel.
When the doctor told me it was a UTI, I was stunned. I dont believe it, I responded. I dont have any of the symptoms. None whatsoever! Yet there was the proof on my chart, confirmed through a urine test. After my history of UTIs, I felt I was somewhat of an expert. I thought I knew how to recognize them. But this infection completely snuck up on me.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
The symptoms of an infection in your upper urinary tract are different from symptoms of infection in your lower urinary tract .
However, in some cases you may notice the symptoms of both, as one can spread to the other.
Symptoms of a UTI are similar to those of many other conditions and don’t necessarily mean you have an infection.
Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy: Symptoms Treatment And Common Questions
In addition, as the uterus grows throughout pregnancy, it can put pressure on the bladder, making it more difficult to empty completely.
Pregnancy can also make a UTI more difficult to treat, which can have serious consequences, including pyelonephritis preterm labor low birth weight and .
A urinalysis and a urine culture are routinely performed at an initial prenatal visit to screen for UTIs, but if you’re pregnant and suspect you may have an infection, seek medical attention quickly.
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Cotton Underwear For Utis
Synthetic briefs are a big no-no if you are prone to UTIs. Paying extra care to the material of your panties can go a long way in preventing infections. This set of six Hanes womens 100 percent pure cotton brief panties prevent bacterial growth by allowing your vagina to breathe, and wont aggravate any existing UTIs. They have an ultra-soft waistband for extra comfort and dont have those annoying scratchy labels either.
Risk Factors For Developing Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are a very common condition, especially in women, and account for between 1 to 3 percent of all general practice consultations.
Gender is a primary risk factor for urinary tract infections. UTIs are much more common in women than men, and it is believed that roughly half of all women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. Conversely, under the age of 50, only five to eight men out of every 10,000 report experiencing a UTI.
Although there are a number of risk factors specific to either men or women, the majority of risk factors are not gender-specific, including:
- Age. The likelihood of a UTI increases with age. Over the age of 50, incidences of UTIs increase for both genders, with less disparity between the number of cases in men and women
- Urinary catheters can cause bacteria to enter the urinary tract
- Family history of UTIs
- Urinary tract blockages and conditions which may impair urine flow, such as kidney stones, chronic constipation or abnormal urinary function/structure
- Diabetes, specifically diabetes mellitus or type two diabetes, due to high urine glucose levels increasing the risk of infection
- Poor personal hygiene may increase the presence of bacteria in the urinary area
- Reduced mobility may result in longer gaps between urinations, resulting in a higher risk of infection
- A weakened immune system reduces the bodyÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to defend against infection
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When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections
And now a brief note about reproductive parts: Although people with penises do get UTIs, people with vaginas are more at risk. It all boils down to the anatomy, Minkin says.
Bacteria that cause UTIs often make their way from the back door to the front and then up the urethra to wreak havoc on the urinary system.
Because the male reproductive system has a longer urethra than the female reproductive system, the bacteria have farther to travel, which makes it more difficult for a UTI to develop.
But regardless of anatomy, once youve had one UTI, youre more likely to get another, especially if you have a vagina. Hickling DR, et al. . Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women.
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