Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
What Your Treatment Will Involve
Your healthcare professionals recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your incontinence. An underlying medical condition may require medication, surgery, or other treatments.
In certain situations, they may not be able to cure your bladder incontinence. In these cases, they will likely provide steps you can take to manage your condition.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence may include:
You cant prevent all cases of urinary incontinence, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it.
For example, try to:
How To Deal With Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can be painful, embarrassing, and even debilitating. Whether it is you, a member of your family, or even a close friend, this is an issue many will have to deal with.
Often people assume that urinary incontinence will only affect the elderly, but in fact, individuals of any age can suffer. Due to the diversity of people affected, potential causes and their treatments are highly varied.
Care and nursing at home specialists, Helping Hands says, No two people are going to have exactly the same need, which is why its extremely important the care you or your loved one receive is tailored to the individual. If the symptoms listed below seem familiar, it may be time to see your doctor.
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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.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
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Take These 4 Steps To Keep Healthy
For anyone experiencing symptoms related to urinary incontinence, there are some simple steps you can take to try and keep your bladder healthy.
What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
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Am I At A Higher Risk Of Incontinence At An Older Age
Your body constantly changes throughout your life. As you age, the muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken. This means that your bladder and urethra have less support often leading to urine leakage. Your risk for developing incontinence as you age might be higher if you have a chronic health condition, have given birth to children, went through menopause, have an enlarged prostate or have had prostate cancer surgery. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider over time about the risks of incontinence and ways you can manage it without interference to your daily life.
When Should I See A Health Care Professional
See a health care professional if you have symptoms of a bladder problem, such as trouble urinating, a loss of bladder control, waking to use the bathroom, pelvic pain, or leaking urine.
Bladder problems can affect your quality of life and cause other health problems. Your health care professional may be able to treat your UI by recommending lifestyle changes or a change in medicine.
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Who Is At Risk For Urinary Incontinence
In adults, you are at higher risk of developing UI if you:
- Are female, especially after going through pregnancy, childbirth, and/or menopause
- Are older. As you age, your urinary tract muscles weaken, making it harder to hold in urine.
- Are a man with prostate problems
- Have certain health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, or long-lasting constipation
- Have a birth defect that affects the structure of your urinary tract
In children, bedwetting is more common in younger children, boys, and those whose parents wet the bed when they were children.
Other Symptoms Of Utis
If the person has a sudden and unexplained change in their behaviour, such as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, this may be because of a UTI.
These pages explain what a UTI is, the different types of UTIs, their symptoms and treatments, and gives tips on how they may be prevented.
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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.
What Are The Most Common Uti Symptoms
Any symptoms should be checked out straight away, talk to your GP or pharmacist for medication and advice.
Painful or a burning sensation when urinating
Frequent urination and constant urge to urinate
Small amounts of urine each time
Traces of blood in the urine
Dark, cloudy or strong-smelling urine
Feeling cold, but not usually with a fever
Sudden urinary incontinence
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The Physical Impact Of Incontinence
While many people see incontinence as embarrassing, until youve experienced it yourself you may not realize the true physical impact that it can have on your life.
Of course theres the obvious problem of having to change clothes or bedding often, or running to the bathroom, but incontinence can impact your physical health in other ways too. Many people with regular incontinence suffer from skin infections, due to over-exposure to moisture.
Additionally, many people report reducing their physical activity when they have incontinence. For those who were once active, activities such as running or other high impact exercises are often avoided or stopped completely as the practice may lead to unexpected and involuntary leakage of urine.
Finally, incontinence presents a much greater risk for falls and fractures, especially in older adults.
An elderly person who is focused on getting to the restroom quickly may become unaware of the potential hazards that lie in their path to get to the bathroom , or may become inattentive to controlling their posture or body movements, which increases the risk of falling.
How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are a simple way to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are done by lifting, holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while youre urinating. Only do this until you learn how to find the muscles stopping the flow of urine mid-stream isnt healthy over a long period of time.
When youre doing Kegel exercises, start small. Only hold it for a few second. Over time you can slowly work your way up to longer and longer stretches of holding the muscles tight.
Unlike other types of workouts, no one can tell when youre doing Kegel exercises. Aim to do several sets of Kegel exercises twice a day.
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How Soon After Starting Kegel Exercises Will Urinary Incontinence Get Better
It may take 4 to 6 weeks before you notice any improvement in your symptoms.10
Kegel exercises work differently for each person. Your symptoms may go away totally, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms but still have some leakage, or you may not see any improvement at all. But even if your symptoms dont get better, Kegel exercises can help prevent your incontinence from getting worse.
You may need to continue doing Kegel exercises for the rest of your life. Even if your symptoms improve, urinary incontinence can come back if you stop doing the exercises.
What Is A Uti
UTI causes include poor hygiene, sexual activities, diabetes, difficulty emptying the bladder, catheter usage, kidney stones, blocked urine flow, urinary incontinence, scented feminine products, and compromised immune systems.
It is critical for caregivers to assist with changes into clean incontinence products as well as properly cleaning the skin if an accident occurs. Keeping the skin clean and dry will prevent the spread of bacteria while preventing skin irritation.
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Duration Of Urinary Incontinence
Most cases of UI are chronic, and will remain so until treated. Depending on the cause, however, not all UI cases are chronic. If the cause is temporary, such as a vaginal infection or a urinary tract infection, the UI will stop once the issue is addressed.
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According to the Urology Care Foundation, women are at greater risk for UI than men because they have a shorter urethra than men. As a result, any weakness or damage to the urethra in a woman is more likely to cause urinary incontinence. This is because there is less muscle keeping the urine in your bladder until you are ready to urinate.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Incontinence
The main symptom of incontinence is a leakage of urine. This could be a constant dripping of urine or an occasional experience of leakage. If you have incontinence, you might have large amounts or small amounts of leaked urine. You might experience leakage for a wide variety of reasons often depending on the type of incontinence you have.
You might leak urine when you:
- Have an urge to urinate, but cant make it to the toilet on time.
- Have to get up in the middle of night to urinate .
Urinary Tract Infections In The Elderly
Because the elderly often do not experience or report obvious symptoms that younger people have, urinary tract infections can be easily overlooked. Confusion, feelings of general discomfort, disorientation, fatigue, weakness, behavior changes, falling, or a new, acute incontinence are reported as common complaints. Because these symptoms are so general, this often results in a delaying treatment, inviting the complication of sepsis to occur.
UTIs can cause a change in behavior in older people and people with dementia. Masquerading as confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, UTI may actually be the cause of behavioral shifts. The person may not be able to communicate how they feel, therefore it is very important to be familiar with the symptoms of UTI and seek medical help to enable appropriate treatment.
It is also important to be aware that any infection could speed up the progression of dementia and so all infections should be quickly identified and treated.
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The Mental Impact Of Urinary Incontinence
While the physical impact of incontinence is substantial, the effect of incontinence on a persons mental health can be truly devastating. Many people with incontinence carry an emotional burden of shame and embarrassment in addition to the physical disruption on their lives.
They learn to hide their problem from close friends and family, and even significant others for years. They shy away from social activities for fear they will have an accident in public, and stop doing things they once took joy in. Slowly, their isolation and shame may lead to depression and anxiety.
And, the impact doesnt stop there sexual function also takes a hit as many females are nervous of leaking during intercourse.
When you think about the anxiety that many feel in relation to possible incontinence during sex, its easy to see why many females with incontinence may avoid the act altogether.
How Long Does It Take To Flush Out A Uti
Most UTIs are curable. Symptoms of a bladder infection generally disappear after 24 to 48 hours following the commencement of treatment. If you have a kidney infection, symptoms may take anywhere from one week to one month to cease.
Kidney infections are more serious and can lead to severe complications.
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Finding The Cause Of Cystitis
It is important for doctors to find the cause of cystitis in several different groups. The cause should be found in
Analgesics as needed
Cystitis is usually treated with antibiotics. Before prescribing antibiotics, the doctor determines whether the person has a condition that would make cystitis more severe, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system , or more difficult to eliminate, such as a structural abnormality. Such conditions may require more potent antibiotics taken for a longer period of time, particularly because the infection is likely to return as soon as the person stops taking antibiotics. People with such conditions may also have infections caused by fungi or unusual bacteria and may thus require something other than the most commonly used antibiotics.
For women, taking an antibiotic by mouth for 3 days is usually effective if the infection has not led to any complications, although some doctors prefer to give a single dose. For more stubborn infections, an antibiotic is usually taken for 7 to 10 days. For men, cystitis usually is caused by prostatitis, and antibiotic treatment is usually required for weeks.
The Financial Impact Of Incontinence
As if the cost to a persons mental and physical health werent enough the economic impact that incontinence has also weighs heavily on patients and caregivers.
Incontinence presents a significant financial burden to the individual and to society. Expenses for things like absorbent products, medications, doctor visits, and dry cleaning or laundry can add up over time. Unfortunately, incontinence gets worse with time if left untreated, and costs only go up as we age.
Its not just the direct costs that contribute to the financial stress of incontinence. The combination of lost work, plus the funds needed to actually treat the condition can really add up to a financial drain on the pocketbook.
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What Tests Are Commonly Performed
The tests you may have will depend on your symptoms.
Your doctor may want to examine your tummy . A vaginal examination may be suggested.
The most common tests performed include:
- A urine dipstick test for infection, sugar and blood.
- A urine test to send to the hospital to confirm the dipstick findings.
- A blood test for glucose to rule out diabetes.
You may have an ultrasound scan on your bladder and urinary tract. You may be referred to a specialist for tests on your urinary system . Urodynamic studies test the working of the bladder and are used to see how the urinary system and pelvic floor work. You may be asked to keep a diary. In your diary make a note of the times you pass urine and the amount that you pass each time. Also, make a note of the times you leak urine . Your doctor or nurse may have some pre-printed diary charts to give you for this purpose. Keep an old measuring jug by the toilet so that you can measure the amount of urine you produce each time you go to the toilet.
If you have unexplained blood in your urine, you will be referred urgently to a urologist for further tests.