What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
Normal urine is sterile and contains fluids, salts, and waste products. It does not contain bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A UTI occurs when germs, most often bacteria from the digestive tract, get into the opening of the urethra and start to multiply.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
Are There Any Home Remedies For A Urinary Tract Infection
The best “home remedy” for a UTI is prevention . However, although there are many “home remedies” available from web sites, holistic medicine publications, and from friends and familymembers there is controversy about them in the medical literature as few have been adequately studied. However, a few remedies will be mentioned because there may be some positive effect from these home remedies. The reader should be aware that while reading about these remedies , they should not to overlook the frequent admonition that UTIs can be dangerous. If the person does not experience relief or if his or her symptoms worsen over 1 to 2 days, the person should seek medical care. In fact, many of the articles about UTI remedies actually describe ways to reduce or prevent UTIs. Examples of home treatments that may help to prevent UTIs, that may have some impact on an ongoing infection, and that are unlikely to harm people are as follows:
There are over-the-counter tests available for detecting presumptive evidence for a UTI . These tests are easy to use and can provide a presumptive diagnosis if the test instructions are carefully followed a positive test should encourage the person to seek medical care.
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, youll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable youll be. Call your doctors office or clinic. If you cant 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.
Don’t Miss: Estrogen Cream For Urinary Incontinence
Can Men Get Utis From Women
Men can get UTIs from women during sex, by getting the bacteria from a woman with the infection. However, this is unlikely.
Typically, the infection arises from bacteria that are already present in the mans body.
A doctor can diagnose a UTI by carrying out a physical examination, taking a medical history, and through laboratory tests.
The doctor may perform a physical examination that includes:
- checking the vital signs
- checking the abdomen, bladder area, sides, and back for pain or swelling
- examining the genitals
The doctor may ask if the person has had other UTIs in the past, or a family history of UTIs.
They may also question the person about their symptoms.
Laboratory tests are required to diagnose the infection as the symptoms of a UTI can be common to other diseases.
A urine sample is usually needed to look for the presence of pus and the bacteria causing the infection.
Men may be asked to give a urine sample. A man will need to start the urine stream to clean the urethra, and then collect a midstream sample in a cup. As bacteria multiply quickly at room temperature, this urine sample is either sent to the laboratory immediately or kept refrigerated until later.
The doctor may also ask for a urine test strip, also known as a urine dipstick test. This is a quick test in which a plastic or paper ribbon is dipped into the urine sample and then removed. If the person has a UTI, the ribbon will turn a particular color.
Can A Urinary Tract Infection Be Prevented
Many methods have been suggested to reduce or prevent UTIs. The single most important prevention measure is increased fluid intake. Many people develop UTIs simply because they do not drink enough fluids. Some of these are considered home remedies and have been discussed . There are other suggestions that may help prevent UTIs. Good hygiene for males and females is useful. For females, wiping from front to back helps keep pathogens that may reside or pass through the anal opening away from the urethra. For males, retracting the foreskin before urinating reduces the chance of urine lingering at the urethral opening and acting as a culture media for pathogens. Incomplete bladder emptying and resisting the normal urge to urinate can allow pathogens to survive and replicate easier in a non-flowing system. Some clinicians recommend washing before and urinating soon after sex to reduce the chance of urethritis and cystitis. Many clinicians suggest that anything that causes a person irritation in the genital area may encourage UTI development. Wearing underwear that is somewhat adsorptive may help wick away urine drops that otherwise may be areas for pathogen growth.
Avoid Using Feminine Hygiene Sprays Scented Powders Scented Feminine Products And Deodorant Sprays In That Area
Lactobacilli bacteria are found in the vagina and help to maintain it healthy. Scented products may let harmful bacteria grow and cause UTIs, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
Use less scented powders, scented sprays, and scented pads and tampons. Scented bubble baths and soaps can irritate and cause an imbalance in the vaginal bacteria. This is one of the good ways how to prevent urinary tract infection.
Why Do Utis Cause Confusion In The Elderly
Sounds odd, but the human body is a complex machine. Basically, there are two schools of thought as to the reason behavioral changes or confusion may occur. First is that the immune system of an older adult reacts differently to an infection than younger people, one of the perks of aging. A UTI places stress on the body and fighting it off can cause an older adult to become confused or agitated. The other theory is that the blood vessels that supply the brain are weaker and may be more likely to allow the infection to pass to the nervous system. Either way, these symptoms are important to know and recognize for a speedy diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
Also Check: Lower Back Pain Causing Urinary Problems
How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctors office, youll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Infections In Men
Bladder infections are a common problem in men that is highly misunderstood. There are many varieties of bladder infections, and each one has a different cause and effect. The most common variety is due to acute bacterial infection which occurs when there is an imbalance of bacteria in the urinary tract. Once the balance of healthy bacteria is disturbed, it allows for the multiplication of the infection-causing bacteria. Below are some of the common symptoms of bladder infections:
- Frequent urination.
- Cloudy urine with a strong odor.
- Blood in the urine .
- Trouble urinating, especially if you have a problem with your prostate.
Don’t Miss: What Food Is Good For Urinary Tract Infection
Risk Factors For Developing Utis
Some people are at greater risk than others of developing UTIs. These include:
- women sexually active women are vulnerable, in part because the urethra is only four centimetres long and bacteria have only this short distance to travel from the outside to the inside of the bladder
- people with urinary catheters such as people who are critically ill, who cant empty their own bladder
- people with diabetes changes to the immune system make a person with diabetes more vulnerable to infection
- men with prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate gland that can cause the bladder to only partially empty
- babies especially those born with physical problems of the urinary system.
How Can Urinary Tract Infection In Men Be Prevented
The following factors may help prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Men or reduce the risk for an infection:
- Drinking large amounts of water to increase urination, which can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract
- Emptying the bladder after intercourse
- Maintain cleanliness and hygiene, especially before and after sexual activities
- Having safe sex, such as by using condoms and avoiding multiple partners
- Avoiding holding-in of the urine regularly: Postponing urination when there is an urge to urinate can cause pooling of urine within the bladder. Such pooling over a prolonged period of time can create an environment for favorable bacterial growth
- Keeping diabetes under control
- Sexual partners may also have to be treated for infections
- Individuals with poor immune system have to be additionally careful as they are higher prone to infections
Read Also: Azo Urinary Tract Defense Instructions
Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
How Do You Diagnose And Treat A Uti
To diagnose a UTI, your doctor may ask for a sample of your urine. Theyll use this for a urine culture to determine the levels of germs and bacteria in your urine. In rare cases, your doctor may also do an X-ray or ultrasound to get a more comprehensive look at your urinary tract.
If a UTI is confirmed, depending on the location and severity of the infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
For an uncomplicated lower tract infection, your doctor will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to be taken over five to seven days.
If you have an upper tract infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for three weeks or longer.
In the rare case of a severe infection, your doctor may recommend hospital treatment and a course of intravenous antibiotics.
You May Like: Z Pack Urinary Tract Infection
Read Also: Urinary Tract Infection Strip Test
How Does A Male Get A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections, bacterial in nature are quite common in men and cause a lot of discomforts. The infection can be anywhere in the urinary tract system which consists of urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidney. UTIs are more common in females as compared to males. But that does not mean males dont need to take precautionary measures or be aware of the causes of urinary tract infections.
Urinary Tract Infection Diet
There is no specific diet that will treat a UTI, but there are certain foods you can add to your diet to reduce the risk of UTIs.
Berries are full of antioxidants and ideal for keeping bacteria at bay. Cranberries are known to help with UTIs, but other berries like blueberries are also beneficial. You also want to eat plenty of yogurt because its beneficial probiotics prevent bacteria from living in your urinary tract.
In addition to this, there are certain things to avoid when you want to prevent UTIs. If you have a UTI, you need to avoid caffeine and alcohol until the infection is cleared because these drinks can irritate your bladder. You also want to avoid acidic and spicy foods during an infection.
Citrus fruit after an infection is great for preventing future problems because of the high vitamin C content.
Also Check: Side Effects Of Azo Urinary Tract Defense
Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, you may have a urine test and be prescribed different antibiotics.
Your doctor or nurse will also offer advice on how to prevent UTIs.
If you keep getting UTIs and regularly need treatment, a GP may give you a repeat prescription for antibiotics.
If you have been through the menopause, you may be offered a vaginal cream containing oestrogen.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI is caused by bacteria that get inside your urinary tract. Most bacteria that enter your urinary tract come out when you urinate. If the bacteria stay in your urinary tract, you may get an infection. Your urinary tract includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urine is made in your kidneys, and it flows from the ureters to the bladder. Urine leaves the bladder through the urethra. A UTI is more common in your lower urinary tract, which includes your bladder and urethra.
Recommended Reading: Medicine To Stop Urinary Burning
Older Adults Dont Need Powerful Antibiotics For Utis
Treatment for UTIs should begin with narrow-spectrum antibiotics, say Dr. Lathia and Dr. Goldman.
These drugs are less likely to lead to antibiotic resistance and problematic side effects than broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Today, amoxicillin is commonly prescribed as first-line treatment for UTIs in older adults.
Other common narrow-spectrum must be used with caution when patients have chronic kidney disease or take blood pressure medication, as many older adults do or because their side effects can be serious in older adults.
Is It Possible To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections With Diet And Supplements
It is possible to reduce the chance that a UTI will develop with dietary methods and some supplements but prevention of all UTIs is unlikely with these methods. Supplements such as eating cranberries, taking vitamin C tablets, and eating yogurt and other substances also may reduce the chance that a UTI will develop . However, as stated in the prevention section, changes in a person’s lifestyle may reduce the chance getting a UTI as good as, if not better than, any diet or supplement.
Don’t Miss: Bard Latex Free Urinary Drainage Bag
What Is Urinary Tract Infection In Men
- A Urinary Tract Infection in Men is an infection that occurs within the urinary tract system, which consists of the urethra, bladder, ureter, and kidneys, as well as the prostate and testicles
- The infection is named after the location in the urinary tract, where it occurs:
- Infection of the ureter is urethritis
- Infection of the bladder is cystitis
- Infection of the prostate is prostatitis
- Infection of the testicles is orchitis
- Infection of the epididymis is epididymitis
- Infection of the kidneys is pyelonephritis
Testing For Recurrent Utis Includes:
Ultrasounds or CT scans: detailed images of the urinary tract to reveal structural abnormalities or blockage.
Cystoscopy: removal of bladder tissue to look for inflammation and cancerTreatment for Urinary Tract Infection
Treatment for a UTI will depend on the cause. Viral infections are treated with antiviral medications, and fungal infections are treated with antifungal medications. Bacteria are the most common cause, so antibiotics are the most common treatment for UTIs.
Lower tract infections can be treated with oral antibiotics, while upper tract infections need intravenous antibiotics. In some cases, bacteria can develop resistance to medications, but your doctor can evaluate which medication will by taking a urine culture.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Feline Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Infections In Children
A urinary infection in a child needs to be investigated as it may indicate a more serious condition.
The most common urinary system condition is urinary reflux. With this condition, the bladder valve isnt working properly and allows urine to flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of a kidney infection.
Urinary reflux and the associated infections can scar or permanently damage the kidney, and can also lead to:
- high blood pressure
- toxaemia in pregnancy
- kidney failure.
Urinary reflux tends to run in families, so its important to screen children as early as possible if a close relative is known to have the problem.
What Is A Uti
Urinary Tract Infections are infections caused by the bacterium called Escherichia coli .
While this bacteria is present in your body naturally, when it gets into the urinary tract, it causes an infection.
In men, the bacteria enter your urinary tract through your urethra. This is the tube that runs from your bladder through your penis to drain urine.
Women are much more likely to get UTIs than men. This is simply because women have a shorter urethra, meaning bacteria dont have to travel as far to reach their bladder.
Men do not usually catch UTIs from having sex with women. In fact, an infection is usually caused by bacteria already present in a mans urinary tract.
UTIs are more common in older men because they tend to experience an enlarged prostate. The prostate can wrap around your bladder and restrict the free flow of urine.
When this happens, your bladder doesnt empty completely and bacteria are not flushed out. The remaining bacteria can cause a UTI.
Other factors for UTIs in men include:
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Recent surgery on the urinary tract
- Being immobile for a long time
- Fecal incontinence
- Engagement in anal intercourse
If you have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about what you can do to prevent UTIs.