Urinary Tract Infection (UTI Bladder Infection)
The urinary system is the body’s drainage system for removing waste and extra water. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. Urine runs through these organs before being eliminated from the body. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect any or all of these areas, and are the second most common type of infection in the body. There are both upper and lower urinary tract infections, the former being more serious as the higher up the infection it is, the more severe the symptoms are. In addition, upper UTIs affect the kidneys, which are more important for your overall health and well-being. Upper UTIs can cause symptoms such as nausea, fever, vomiting, and more.
Symptoms for either type of UTI include:
1. Pain or burning when you urinate
2. Cloudy or reddish urine
3. Fever, tiredness or shakiness
4. An urge to urinate often
5. Pressure in your lower belly
6. Urine that smells bad
7. Pain in your back or side below the ribs
An infection occurs when urine is exposed to bacteria, causing it to be desterilized. People of any age or gender can get a UTI, though it is less common in children and much more common in women. Four times as many women get UTIs as men, although there are specific conditions that make you more susceptible to a Urinary Tract Infection regardless of gender.
People with lower immune function, such as persons with diabetes or HIV/AIDS are more likely to get a UTI. If you are a sexually active woman, particularly if you are using a diaphragm for birth control, your chance of contracting a urinary tract infection is increased. Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate both also increase one’s likelihood of contracting a UTI.
There are some steps that can help you prevent Urinary Tract Infections. If you are a female, wiping from front to back after bowel movements can help the spread of bacteria. As a general rule, it is good to empty the bladder fully, particularly after sexual intercourse. Drinking plenty of fluids is important, and the active compounds of cranberry juice are effective in fighting against the bacteria.
However, if you are exhibiting the symptoms listed above, it is important to speak with an experienced doctor who can diagnose a Urinary Tract Infection. The usual treatment is antibiotics, but the dosage and duration of treatment vary depending on the severity of the condition. For a typical healthy adult with no other complications, three days of antibiotics for a lower UTI, and 10 to 14 days for upper UTI, is usually sufficient. If the antibiotics do not seem to be working, speak to your doctor right away.
If you are experiencing the symptoms said previously, talk to one of our doctors online now!
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