What Are Causes And Risk Factors For A Urinary Tract Infection
The urine is normally sterile. An infection occurs when bacteria get into the urine and begin to grow. The bacterial infection usually starts at the opening of the urethra where the urine leaves the body and moves upward into the urinary tract.
- The culprit in at least 90% of uncomplicated infections is a type of bacteria called Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli. These bacteria normally live in the bowel and around the anus.
- These bacteria can move from the area around the anus to the opening of the urethra. The two most common causes of this are improper wiping and sexual intercourse.
- Usually, the act of emptying the bladder flushes the bacteria out of the urethra. If there are too many bacteria, urinating may not stop their spread.
- The bacteria can travel up the urethra to the bladder, where they can grow and cause an infection.
- The infection can spread further as the bacteria move up from the bladder via the ureters.
- If they reach the kidney, they can cause a kidney infection , which can become a very serious condition if not treated promptly.
The following people are at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
The following special groups may be at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
Treating Utis In The Elderly
If you think your loved one might have a urinary tract infection, see a doctor right away to avoid further complications. An urgent care clinic is a viable alternative if you cannot get an appointment with their primary care physician soon enough. Urinalysis and/or a urine culture are typically required to diagnose a UTI, determine what kind of bacteria are present in the urine and select the most appropriate antibiotic for treatment. If caught early on, a course of antibiotics typically clears the infection in no time.
Keep in mind that older individuals are also prone to a related condition called asymptomatic bacteriuria, which is characterized by the presence of bacteria in the urine but the absence of any signs or symptoms of a urinary tract infection. The estimated incidence of asymptomatic bacteriuria is 15 percent or greater in women and men between 65 and 80 years of age and continues to climb after age 80 to as high as 40 to 50 percent of long-term care residents.
Research shows that most patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria do not develop symptomatic UTIs, therefore antibiotic treatment is not beneficial. In fact, antibiotic use can result in adverse side effects, such as Clostridium difficileinfection, and contribute to the development of resistant bacteria. A seniors physician will consider their symptoms and test results to differentiate between a UTI and asymptomatic bacteriuria and determine whether treatment is necessary.
What To Do If You Suspect You Have A Uti
As mentioned, if you suspect you might be starting to get an infection, you can take some over the counter medication and make sure that you are hydrating properly. However, if the symptoms are quite noticeable, the best thing that you can do is to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will test your urine for an infection. You should follow your physicianâs recommendations about treatment if you do have a UTI.
Typically, your doctor is going to provide you with a prescription for antibiotics to help fight off the infection. Pain medication might also be prescribed. If you take these things as directed, you should be feeling better in just a few days. For more information on UTI warning signs contact one of our offices today.
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What Are Urinary Tract Infection Risk Factors
Risk factors for developing urinary tract infections include the following:
- Wiping from back to front following a bowel movement, particularly in women, can introduce bacteria into the urethra.
- Sexual intercourse can push bacteria from the vaginal area into the urethra.
- Holding the urine too long: When someone holds it in, more bacteria have a chance to multiply, which can cause or worsen a UTI.
- Kidney stones can make it hard to empty the bladder completely, which can also lead to urine remaining in the bladder too long.
- Certain types of birth control devices , including diaphragms or condoms with spermicides
- Hormonal changes and changes in the vagina following menopause
- Using urinary catheters, which are small tubes inserted into the bladder to drain urine, can predispose someone to catheter-associated UTIs.
- Surgery of the genitourinary tract may introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, resulting in a UTI.
- Women tend to get UTIs more frequently than men because the urethra in women is shorter and located closer to the rectum.
- Use of douches
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.
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Pain Or Burning When You Urinate
Finally, a very common early UTI symptom is pain and/or burning when you urinate. At the first signs of this, see a doctor at Coastal Urgent Care of Bossier right away.
This pain will only become more intense. It can also progress very quickly. A small pain today can often become excruciating by tomorrow.
When To Worry About A Urinary Tract Infection
At times, it is possible to treat a urinary tract infection on your own. If you start to notice some of the more mild symptoms, there are pain medications that you can take to help alleviate the pain associated with a urinary tract infection. Cranberry pills or pure cranberry juice can also help to fight off a UTI as well. Make sure that you note your symptoms and how long they are lasting. If you continue to experience painful urination, you will need to see your doctor for antibiotics.
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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 and can prescribe antibiotics if they’re needed.
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
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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:
- Quinolones .
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.
How To Prevent A Uti
Hydration is the key to prevent a UTI. If you’re at risk of having a UTI, drink Uqora. If you’re in the older generation, you have to drink it every day. Good hygiene can also prevent a UTI.
If you have signs of urinary tract infection, the Uqora might be able to help. But most importantly, be sure the speak with your doctor about the possibility of your parents having a UTI if they suddenly show signs of dementia.
You may visit Uqora by clicking HERE
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Do I Have A Uti 5 Early Signs Of Urinary Tract Infections
Have you been experiencing some discomfort in your pelvic region lately?
Theres a good chance that you could have a urinary tract infection . This type of infection is common, especially in women. A whopping 50-60% of women will contract a UTI in their lifetime.
Though getting a UTI isnt unusual, its still a serious problem that needs immediate attention.
The longer a UTI goes untreated, the worse the symptoms will get. It can become excruciatingly painful, and eventually cause other complications. Anti-biotics are needed to cure it.
If youre asking the question, do I have a UTI?, youre probably experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms. Read on to learn about the early warning signs.
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 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, you’ll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable you’ll be. Call your doctor’s office or clinic. If you can’t 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.
Common Uti Symptoms And Signs
The urine of most healthy, properly hydrated people appears light yellow or clear and is nearly free of odor. It also causes zero pain or discomfort to pass.
But for the majority of people who experience a urinary tract infection, thats not the case. Instead, they will likely encounter at least one of the following indicators:
When the kidneys are infected, other noticeable symptoms may include:
- Fever, shaking, and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upper back, side, or groin pain
While its been long noted that confusion in the elderly is a sign of UTI, a 2019 report in BMC Geriatrics concludes that theres insufficient evidence connecting the symptom to that diagnosis.
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Why Are Urinary Tract Infections Common In Older Adults
Seniors are more vulnerable for many reasons, including their overall susceptibility to infections due to a weakened immune system.
As you get older, your immune response changes its part of normal aging, explains Anna Dowd, APN, a gerontological nurse practitioner in the greater Chicago area.
According to the National Institutes of Health , the following conditions make older individuals more susceptible to UTIs:
- Urine retention
- Use of a urinary catheter
- Bowel incontinence
- Urinary incontinence
- Surgery of any area around the bladder
- Kidney stones
People with incontinence are at an increased risk for UTIs because of the close contact that adult briefs and other incontinence products have with their skin. While these products can help contain messes and prevent embarrassment associated with accidents, they can also introduce bacteria into the urethra. Women are more prone to UTIs because the female urethra is much shorter, allowing bacteria to travel to the bladder more easily.
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.
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How Do Utis Affect Pregnancy
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy raise your risk for UTIs. UTIs during pregnancy are more likely to spread to the kidneys.
If you’re pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor or nurse right away. Your doctor will give you an antibiotic that is safe to take during pregnancy.
If left untreated, UTIs could lead to kidney infections and problems during pregnancy, including:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
What Causes Lower Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
When you take your cat to the vet, they may have questions about your cat’s symptoms to try and narrow down the cause of the problem. There are several common reasons for urinary tract problems in cats, including the following.
Urinary Tract Infection
Cats get UTIs when there is a bacterial infection in their bladder or urethra. Your vet will need a urine sample to diagnose this condition.
Urine naturally contains minerals that can clump up and form tiny crystals, and even large stones, in your cat’s bladder. They can irritate the lining of the bladder or urethra and cause bloody urine and pain while urinating.
Your vet will need to do urine tests, x-rays, or an ultrasound to diagnose urinary stones.
In some cases, your cat’s urethra can be completely blocked, either by stones or by a build-up of minerals and tissue called a “urethral plug.”
A cat with an obstruction like this won’t be able to pass urine at all. An obstruction of the urethra is a medical emergency and you should call your vet right away.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
Occasionally, the inside of a cat’s lower urinary tract will get irritated without an infection or stones being present. Sometimes it can be a symptom of stress or a reaction to a change in diet.
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Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections
It is generally not recommended to treat urinary tract infections with home remedies alone, because antibiotic treatment is usually required to clear the infection. It is only in very mild cases of cystitis that the infection may clear without medical intervention. However, it is possible to use certain natural methods at home alongside antibiotic treatment to alleviate pain and help clear the infection quicker. Such remedies can include:
- Drinking plenty of water, ideally at least 1.5 liters a day, to help flush the bacteria out of the body
- Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad against the abdomen or lower back to ease pain in those areas make sure to wrap the heating device in a clean cloth or towel before application to avoid burns from direct contact with the skin
- Taking pain-relief medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
Drinking cranberry juice has been cited in the past as a successful treatment method for urinary tract infections. Although not harmful, recent studies indicate the benefit of cranberry juice for treating UTIs is limited.
Early Warning Signs Of A Uti According To Experts
Once a urinary tract infection has developed, you’ll likely experience all sorts of painful symptoms, including burning during urination, pain in your lower abdomen, and even fever and chills. But if you’re on the lookout for early warning signs of a UTI, then you can take steps to clear up the infection. And hopefully not feel too bad.
“Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria â for example, commonly E. coli â way into the urethra ,”Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, a family and emergency medical doctor, tells Bustle. Sometimes it happens when bacteria from the back passage, or anal area, make their up to the front, she says. This can happen if you wear fitted clothing, wipe from back to front after using the bathroom, or forget to pee after sex.
UTIs are incredibly common, but also incredibly painful and annoying. So the moment you feel like something’s off, consider that your cue to take action. “Some things you can do to help relieve the symptoms are using a heating pad over your lower abdomen, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding drinks that can irritate your bladder, such as coffee, alcohol, or soft drinks that contain citrus juice or caffeine,” Ashley Wood, RN, BSN, a registered nurse and contributor to Demystifying Your Health, LLC, tells Bustle. You can also try over-the-counter UTI drugs, which may help with the pain.
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