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Urinary Tract Infection What Causes It

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Urinary Tract Infection Causes

If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:

  • Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
  • Do not share your antibiotics with others.
  • Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.

Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.

How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed

Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.

Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.

Who Experiences Frequent Urination

The need to urinate is something that everyone feels. This shared experience isnt always consistent though. Sometimes you may need to urinate much more often than what is typical for you. This can happen to anyone. Men, women, and children can all have this symptom. However, its more common at certain times in your life or when you have other conditions. Youre more likely to frequently urinate if youre:

  • A middle-age or old adult.
  • Pregnant.

Also Check: Does Cranberry Juice Clean Urinary Tract

About Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.

Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .

UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.

This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.

This page covers:

Home Remedies For Uti

9 Causes of UTI

If you contract a UTI, you will need to see a doctor or the infection could become severe. You can utilize a few home remedies simultaneously to speed up healing and deal with the pain-

  • Drink lots of fluids

Drinking plenty of water, herbal tea, coconut water is a swift and efficient way to deal with UTI. The more fluids you drink, the more youll have to pee. This will flush out all the toxins and harmful microbes in your system. Drinking water also keeps your kidneys healthy and considering the fact that when you get a UTI, your kidneys become vulnerable, give these organs a helping hand by staying hydrated.

  • Consume foods with Vitamin C

Vitamin C can bolster your bodys natural defence system. All you have to do is include Vitamin C rich foods in your diet. Eat plenty of oranges, strawberries, amla, sweet lime, pineapples, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, etc.

  • You need probiotics

Probiotic foods provide your system with an extra dose of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria are crucial for the health of your urinary system. Besides, the bacteria present in these foods also bolster your immune function and will help your body eliminate the bacteria that trigger UTI. Yoghurt/ curd, pickles, cheese, and dhokla are excellent probiotic foods.

  • Heat therapy

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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 Is Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed

In order to ensure a clean urine sample, a physician will likely have you clean your genital area with a special wipe beforehand, and ask that you do a midstream catch of the urine.

If a UTI is diagnosed, youll be treated with antibiotics. Its important to note that false negative results do occur and that almost all women who experience typical UTI symptoms and a negative urine culture actually do have a UTI. 30209-4/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 11)

If youve had a prior UTI, your healthcare provider will look at prior cultures to see which bacteria were found, if any, and which antibiotics were used this often guides therapy in recurrent UTIs.

Read Also: Kidney Disease And Urinary Tract Infections

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.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms And Signs

What causes a urinary tract infection?

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection are similar in men, women, and children.

  • Early symptoms and signs are usually easy to recognize and primarily involve pain, discomfort, or burning when trying to urinate.
  • Accompanying this can be the sense that one needs to urinate urgently or the need for frequent urination . Even when there is a strong urge to urinate, you may pass only a small amount of urine.
  • The urine itself may appear bloody or cloudy. Men may feel pain in the rectum, while women may experience pain around the pubic bone.

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Natural Treatments For Urinary Tract Infection

There are also natural remedies for UTIs that you can try at home, but it is best to check with your doctor first. These remedies should be used in conjunction with medications and not as a replacement.

Remedies such as cranberry juice or cranberries do not treat UTIs, but they can help your body clear infection faster. A chemical in cranberries can also prevent future UTIs by preventing certain bacterial types from attaching to the lining of your bladder.

Other home remedies you can try include:

Staying hydrated because water dilutes urine and speeds up its journey through the body

Use probiotics, specifically lactobacilli. These have been found to prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract.

Get enough vitamin C, which reacts with the nitrate in urine to form nitrogen oxide. This is known to kill bacteria.

What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infections

Normally, bacteria are flushed out by the flow of urine. However, several problems can increase the risk of a kidney infection. These problems can include:

  • Structural abnormalities blocking urine flow.
  • An enlarged prostate gland compressing the urethra.
  • Backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys.
  • If your immune system is affected .
  • Pregnancy, during which time the enlarging uterus can squeeze the ureters and reduce the flow of urine, allowing the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.

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Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis

If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.

There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:

  • a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
  • cranberry products, such as juice or tablets

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.

Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023

Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men

Why You

Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.

The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.

Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.

Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.

Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection In Men

How To Prevent Uti Re

Following some tips can help you avoid getting another UTI:

  • Empty your bladder often as soon as you feel the need to pee don’t rush, and be sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.
  • Wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Choose showers over baths.
  • Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products they’ll only increase irritation.
  • Cleanse your genital area before sex.
  • Pee after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
  • If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control, you may want to switch to another method. Diaphragms can increase bacteria growth, while unlubricated condoms and spermicides can irritate your urinary tract. All can make UTI symptoms more likely.
  • Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Donââ¬â¢t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

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You Dont Drink Enough Water

Guzzling H2O will make you go pretty often. And thats a good thing. When you do this, the bacteria gets flushed out before they have a chance to grab hold, Minkin says.

Consider that your cue to make a giant water bottle your BFF. Hooton TM, et al. . Effect of increased daily water intake in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections: A randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4204

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Who Is At Risk For Hematuria

People who are most likely to have blood in their urine are those with existing diseases that are known to cause hematuria, such as the ones listed in the section related to causes of hematuria. However, certain actions may increase a persons chances of having blood in their urine. These include:

  • Smoking

Antibiotics For A Uti

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Overview | Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

The form of antibiotic used to treat a bacterial UTI usually depends on which part of the tract is involved.

Lower tract UTIs can usually be treated with oral antibiotics. Upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics. These antibiotics are put directly into your veins.

Sometimes, bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. To reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance, your doctor will likely put you on the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than 1 week.

Results from your urine culture can help your doctor select an antibiotic treatment that will work best against the type of bacteria thats causing your infection.

Treatments other than antibiotics for bacterial UTIs are being examined. At some point, UTI treatment without antibiotics may be an option for bacterial UTIs by using cell chemistry to change the interaction between the body and the bacteria.

There are no home remedies that can cure a UTI, but there are some things that you can do that can help your medication work better.

These home remedies for UTIs, like drinking more water, may help your body clear the infection faster.

Recommended Reading: Why Do You Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections

What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated

If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.

Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.

Living With Urinary Tract Infections

If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.

Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good For Urinary Tract Infections

You Eat A Lot Of Sugar

Bacteria that cause UTIs love feeding on sugar, so you run the risk of providing a feast for them whenever your sweet tooth strikes. Kalas V, et al. Structure-based discovery of glycomimetic FmlH ligands as inhibitors of bacterial adhesion during urinary tract infection. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1720140115

If you eat tons of added sugars and get a real surge in your blood sugar, you may end up with some of that sugar in your urine, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine.

Some foods and beverages, like coffee, booze, and chocolate, can also irritate your delicate urinary tract and exacerbate an existing UTI.

Risk Factors For Developing Utis

What Is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)? Here Are Its Causes ...

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.

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Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

If you are a healthy adult man or a woman who is not pregnant, a few days of antibiotic pills will usually cure your urinary tract infection. If you are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe a medicine that is safe for you and the baby. Usually, symptoms of the infection go away 1 to 2 days after you start taking the medicine. Its important that you follow your doctors instructions for taking the medicine, even if you start to feel better. Skipping pills could make the treatment less effective.

Your doctor may also suggest a medicine to numb your urinary tract and make you feel better while the antibiotic starts to work. The medicine makes your urine turn bright orange, so dont be alarmed by the color when you urinate.

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.

Read Also: What Do You Do For A Urinary Tract Infection

Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats

Most cats with urinary tract infections will make frequent trips to the litter box and seem restless. They may go into the box and strain to pee but produce either a small amount of urine or no urine at all. Occasionally, their urine may appear bloody.

Some cats will avoid the litter box because they have associated it with the discomfort caused by the UTI. Instead, they may urinate in other places in your home. Sinks, bathtubs, and clean laundry are popular spots. Your cat also may vomit and seem lethargic as the problem progressesespecially male cats.

In most cases, acute and chronic urinary tract infections will cause very similar symptoms. However, some cats with the chronic form show no signs of disease.

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