Urinary tract infections are very common; Especially women, infants and the elderly. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in two women and one in 20 men will develop a urinary tract infection in their lifetime.
Kidney and Bladder
The kidneys regulate the amount of water in the blood and filter waste to make urine. Each kidney has a tube called a ureter that connects the kidney to the bladder. Urine leaves the kidney through the bladder and enters the bladder. The bladder is the organ responsible for signaling the urge to urinate, and urine exits the body through a tube called the urethra.
The urinary system is an elaborate design that reduces the risk of serious kidney infections by preventing urine from “backflowing” from the bladder to the kidneys. Most cases of urinary tract infections are confined to the bladder, and although they cause symptoms, they are not serious or life-threatening.
The bladder is a sterile environment that normally cleans itself when we urinate. This mechanism helps prevent bacteria from causing infection and inflammation, and the immune system prevents germs and bacteria from spreading throughout the body.
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the bladder from outside through the urethra and begin to multiply inside the urine. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect any part of the urinary system, including the bladder (cystitis), the ureters (urethritis), or the kidneys (urethritis). Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics, but they are not always necessary.
There are two types of infections that affect the urinary tract, the first of which is lower urinary tract infection or cystitis, which occurs when the infection affects the bladder and urethra. The second is upper urinary tract infection, or pelvic nephritis, and occurs when it spreads upward to reach one or both kidneys. Pelvic nephritis is more serious. Because it can cause kidney damage.
Actually, how is a “urinary tract infection” diagnosed?
First, many questions are asked about the medical history, then a urinalysis is performed, as well as a urine culture is performed in the laboratory to detect bacteria in the urine, and then the treatment is directed more precisely. If an infection is suspected, the results of the urine culture will appear over a few days in the urinary tract, ultrasound or
According to the British National Health Service (NHS), a urinary tract infection can be checked by the following symptoms:
• First – among youth:
– Pain or burning during urination (dysuria).
– Need to urinate more than usual, especially at night.
– A sudden or urgent need to urinate more than usual.
– Urine appears cloudy, or contains blood.
– Pain in abdomen or back, below ribs.
– High temperature, heat and chills, or temperature drop below 36°C.
– Urine may be dark or foul-smelling. If this is the only symptom, it may be due to not drinking enough water.
• Second – in children:
– There is a high temperature; The baby feels warmer than usual on the neck, back or stomach.
– Generally unwell, infants and young children may be irritable, not eating or not eating properly.
– He wets the bed or wets himself.
• Third: Elderly, debilitated or those with urinary catheters:
In older and frail people with memory, learning, and concentration problems (such as dementia) and in people with urinary catheters, symptoms of a UTI may include:
– Behavioral changes such as acting agitated or confused (delirium).
Wetting themselves (urinary incontinence) which is worse than usual.
– New tremors or tremors in the body.
Causes of infection
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract from stool, which carries the bacteria through the tube that drains urine from the body (the urethra).
The most common type of bacteria that causes urinary tract infections is called Escherichia coli, an organism that normally lives harmlessly in the intestines. However, these bacteria often remain around the anus after a bowel movement and can travel to the bladder.
Urinary tract infections are less common in men than in women; Because male urethra is longer than female urethra; This makes it more difficult for bacteria to enter the bladder, and is rare in men under 50.
In women, the urethra is shorter than in men, which means bacteria can reach the bladder or kidney and cause an infection.
The risk of bacteria entering the bladder increases with sex, pregnancy, conditions that block the urinary tract such as kidney stones, conditions that make it difficult to empty the bladder completely, an enlarged prostate in men, and constipation in children. Urinary catheter (a tube in the bladder used to drain urine).
It occurs when the immune system is weak; For example diabetics or those undergoing chemotherapy. It occurs when not drinking enough fluids and not keeping the genital area clean and dry.
You should see a doctor if:
– Symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) appear for the first time.
– suffering from severe symptoms; Be it child, youth, pregnant, old or frail patient.
– Symptoms after surgery.
– Symptoms worsen or do not improve within two days.
– Recurrence of symptoms after treatment.
This condition can be considered urgent and urgent, and is a serious kidney infection that can cause sepsis in the following cases:
– Severe high temperature, or heat and shivering.
– Severe fall in temperature below 36 degrees Celsius.
– Feeling confused or sleepy.
– Pain in the abdomen, back or under the ribs.
– Seeing blood in the urine.
Chronic urinary tract infection
For some people, the symptoms of a urinary tract infection may not go away, short-term antibiotics do not work for them, and urine tests do not show an infection, and the most common diagnosis here is a urinary tract infection (chronic, long-term), and it is caused by bacteria entering the lining of the bladder. Chronic urinary tract infections have a significant impact on quality of life and require the intervention of a specialist physician.
Urine tests don't always detect infection, and since symptoms can be similar to other conditions, chronic UTIs can be difficult to diagnose. This condition can be treated with antibiotics for a long time.
• First – when a urinary tract infection is expected, treatment is carried out as follows:
– Giving self-care advice and prescribing pain medication.
– Administer short-course antibiotics.
– It is important to take all prescribed medications, even if you feel well.
• Second: Treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections:
Here we mean recurrence of urinary tract infection after treatment or two recurrences within 6 months, so the following is done:
– Prescribing a different antibiotic or prescribing a lower dose antibiotic for up to 6 months.
– For postmenopausal women, a vaginal cream containing estrogen is recommended.
– Further tests and treatments will be conducted by a specialist doctor.
• Third: Measures to Relieve Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection:
– Take paracetamol tablets 4 times a day to relieve pain and high temperature.
– For children, they can be given liquid paracetamol.
– Rest and drink enough fluids until pale urine continues during the day.
– Avoid having sex.
Some people drink cranberry drinks and products daily to prevent urinary tract infections, which may help. But there's no evidence that they help relieve symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.
– A medical pharmacist can advise the patient on things to help him improve, prescribe the best pain reliever, tell him whether the patient's condition really warrants a visit to the doctor.
The most common causes are family, community, environment, behavior and general lack of hygiene
How can you protect yourself from urinary tract infections?
• First – there are a few things you can do to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI) from occurring or from recurring:
– Wipe before and after toileting.
– Keep the genital area clean and dry.
– Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, so that you urinate regularly during the day and don't feel thirsty.
– For women, wash the skin around the vagina with water before and after sex.
– After intercourse, both husbands should urinate.
– Change diapers or incontinence pads immediately if soiled.
– Do not use perfumed soap.
– Do not hold back urine when you feel the urge to urinate.
– Do not rush to urinate, try to empty the bladder completely.
It is recommended not to wear tight synthetic underwear such as nylon.
– Do not drink alcoholic beverages; Because it can irritate the bladder.
– Do not eat a lot of sugary foods or drinks; Because it encourages bacteria to grow.
– Do not use condoms, diaphragms or caps that contain spermicidal lubricants. We recommend the opposite, which means using non-spermicidal lubricants or other forms of contraception.
• Second – there are other ways to prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections.
Use mannose sugar (d-mannose) in powder or tablet form that can be taken daily, as well as cranberry products available in juice, tablet or capsule form.
A pregnant woman should consult her doctor before consuming mannose sugar or cranberries during pregnancy because they contain a lot of sugar.
If you take warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
* Community Medical Consultant
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