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.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Females, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria around the anus from going in the vagina or urethra.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
Over The Counter Medications For Urinary Tract Infections
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
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How Is A Uti Diagnosed
To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor or nurse will test a clean sample of your urine. This means you will first wipe your genital area with a special wipe. Then you will collect your urine in midstream in a cup. Your doctor or nurse may then test your urine for bacteria to see whether you have a UTI, which can take a few days.
If you have had a UTI before, your doctor may order more tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include:
- A cystogram. This is a special type of x-ray of your urinary tract. These x-rays can show any problems, including swelling or kidney stones.
- A cystoscopic exam. The cystoscope is a small tube the doctor puts into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder for any problems.
Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis
Your doctor will review your symptoms with you first and conduct a physical exam.
A urine sample is then taken to test for microbes. It is important to use a clean-catch sample for testing, which is done midstream rather than at the beginning. This helps to eliminate bacteria or yeast from your skin.
A large number of white blood cells in your urine indicate an infection, and a urine culture will help identify the specific microbe causing the infection.
Special testing is required if a viral infection is suspected, but they are rare causes of UTIs. Viral UTIs are more common in those with weakened immune systems or those who have had organ transplants.
If your doctor thinks you may have an upper tract infection, a blood count and culture is necessary to make sure the infection has not yet spread to your bloodstream through infected kidneys.
Some individuals have recurring UTIs, and these involve additional testing to identify possible abnormalities in the tract that could be the cause.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Uti In Men
Urinary tract infections are a common occurrence in women, who are more susceptible to UTIs due to a shorter urethra, thus giving bacteria a shorter distance to travel. Women are four times as likely to get a UTI as their male counterparts. In fact, only three percent of men worldwide are estimated have a UTI each year.
Yet, it is possible for men to develop urinary tract infections, and when they do strike, they often far more complicated than in a female. In men, the infection seems to spread faster to the kidneys once it has begun.
In men the urinary tract consists of the urethra, the bladder, the prostate, and the kidneys.
Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: Treatment And Management
For men whose lower urinary tract symptoms are not bothersome or complicated, it is reasonable to offer ‘watchful waiting’ . This involves giving reassurance and information and advice on lifestyle measures such as:
- Fluid intake .
- Reduction in the intake of fluids containing alcohol, caffeine and artificial sweeteners together with avoidance of carbonated drinks is often advised.
Other helpful measures may include:
- Distraction techniques, such as breathing exercises, squeezing the penis and perineal pressure, which may all help to take the mind off the urge to micturate.
- Optimising medication to ensure that drugs promoting urinary frequency are kept to a minimum.
The patient should be reviewed if symptoms change or become worse.
- For men with mild or moderate bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms, discuss active surveillance or active intervention .
- Offer men considering treatment for LUTS an assessment of their baseline symptoms with a validated symptom score – eg, I-PSS.
- Surgical treatment is generally reserved for men who have failed or are unable to tolerate drug treatment, or for those who have developed complications.
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Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections In Men
Will a UTI go away on its own? Minor, uncomplicated UTIs may be resolved by the body without additional treatment. Home remedies may help in this process, and can also be used while taking antibiotics. You can take several steps to maintain your comfort and ensure that all the bacteria are eliminated from your body such as:
- Drink more water. This dilutes your urine and encourages the flushing out of bacteria from your urinary tract.
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, citrus juice, sugary sodas, and spicy foods. All of these may irritate your bladder and contribute to your frequent, urgent urinating.
- Use a heating pad or hot water bottle. Using a warm heating pad on your abdomen can help with the pain and discomfort.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is one of the main contributors to bladder cancer.
- Drink cranberry juice. Some studies suggest that cranberry juice can help with UTIs by preventing bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract. Other studies are inconclusive or suggest otherwise, but if you think drinking cranberry juice is helping you, then by all means drink it. Just watch your calorie intake, and avoid drinking cranberry juice if youre taking any blood-thinning medication, like aspirin or warfarin.
Acute And Chronic Prostatitis
In the 1800s, prostatitis was thought to be secondary to excessive alcohol consumption or physical or sexual activity. It was often associated with gonorrhea and could be fatal or lead to abscess formation. By the 1920s, most cases were attributed to microorganisms, and antibiotics combined with prostate massage were standard therapy after World War II. Although the role of bacteria was questioned in the 1950s, it was reemphasized in 1968 when Meares and Stamey described their “4-glass test.”
Acute prostatitis is caused by an acute infection of the entire prostate gland, resulting in fever and localized pain. Microscopically, neutrophilic infiltrates, diffuse edema, and microabscesses may be seen, which may coalesce into larger collections.
Chronic prostatitis may be caused by inflammatory or noninflammatory diseases. This condition may arise via dysfunctional voiding, intraprostatic reflux, chronic exposure to microorganisms, autoimmune mechanisms, irritative urinary metabolites, and as a variant of neuropathic pain. Chronic bacterial prostatitis often produces few or no symptoms related to the prostate, but it is probably the most common cause of relapsing UTI in men.
Chronic prostatitis has been subdivided by the National Institutes of Health into the following categories:
Increased Frequency Of Urination
Urinary tract infection is one of the most common causes of frequent urination.
Frequent urination is defined as the need to urinate more than usual. This symptom is often confused with urinary urgency. It is an inconvenient symptom that can greatly disrupt daily life for a person with UTI.
The byproducts of the infection will create inflammation and irritation in the linings of the urethra and bladder. As a result, the irritation of the bladder wall creates the urge to empty the bladder frequently.
Furthermore, the bladder also often feels full. During each trip to the bathroom, the amount of urine is often less than the usual amount.
The bladder also sends confusing signals to the brain. The body would feel the need to pee even when the bladder might not be full.
Typically, the bladder can often hold as much as 600 ml of urine . The urge to urinate is usually felt when the bladder contains about 150 ml of urine .
Most people urinate between 4 to 8 times, depending on fluid intake, over a 24-hour period.
Prevention Of Urinary Tract Infection
Prevention is better than cure. It is always advisable to take caution so as to avoid getting UTI. Below are some of the preventive measures one can take.
- Avoid holding in urine, rather make frequent visits to the washrooms
- If you are uncircumcised, ensure to thoroughly clean the area under the foreskin when taking a shower
- Drink plenty of fluids with water being the recommended daily drink
- Before and after sex, cleanse your genitals carefully, which will also help your partner not to get UTIs.
- When having sex put on condoms
Uti Causes And Risk Factors
Prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate, shares many of the same symptoms as UTIs.
Treatments For Urinary Tract Infections In Men
How do you treat a male UTI? The main mode of treatment for male UTIs is antibiotics, usually delivered over the course of one week or more. Your doctor may also prescribe medication that numbs your bladder and urethra to relieve painful, burning urination. The most common medications prescribed for urinary tract infections in men include:
In recent years, doctors have also begun to prescribe a class of drugs called quinolones. These drugs include:
How long does a UTI last in males? Urinary tract infections should be cured within a couple days of the treatment, assuming the infection is not caused by an obstruction or a separate disorder. Always make sure you take the full course of the prescribed medication to ensure elimination of remaining bacteria. The full course often lasts for over a week.
Doctors will prescribe longer term treatment for patients who show signs of prostate or kidney infections and patients with diabetes or structural abnormalities. Doctors also recommend longer treatments for men who have urinary tract infections as a result of mycoplasma or chlamydia. These are often treated with doxycycline, tetracycline, or a mix of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole.
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Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infection In Older Adults
Certain factors may increase the risk of UTIs in older people.
They often require people to wear incontinence briefs. If the briefs arent changed regularly, an infection may occur.
Several other things put older adults at risk for developing a UTI:
- a history of UTIs
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.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
- Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
- If you have a fever:
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
- Keep a daily record of your temperature.
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
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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.
What Causes Utis In The Elderly
Anything that introduces bacteria into the urinary tract or impedes the flow of urine and causes urine to stay in the bladder is very likely to cause a UTI.
Eighty five percent of all UTI infections are caused by Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria. Several other types of bacteria make up the other fifteen percent, but E.coli is by far the most prominent, and it can make its way into the urinary tract several different ways.
E. coli is found naturally where digestion occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, so it can sneak into the urinary tract. This commonly happens because the end of the gastrointestinal tract is the anus, and the beginning of the urinary tract is the urethra. The anus and the urethra are close to one another, especially on the female body.
Due to the proximity of the entry and exit of the above two pathways, poor hygiene can cause UTIs. Back-to-front wiping after a bowel movement can transfer bacteria into the urethra. Wearing soiled underwear or disposable undergarments too long can also introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. Bacteria in both cases is an infectious traveler that multiplies.
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