Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Urinary Tract Infection - harmful bacteria get into your bladder or kidneys and cause noticeable symptoms.
Bacteriuria - having bacteria in the urine but no symptoms.
UTI From Outside Bacteria
Whenever outside bacteria from parts of the body like the digestive tract, skin or elsewhere get into the bladder,
the bacteria can grow and multiply in the urine if the urine remains in the
bladder for a prolonged amount of time (more than 4-6 hours).
You can avoid this by emptying your bladder at least once every 6 hours and by drinking enough fluids to keep the urine volume between
300 and 500 cc (1 to 1.5 cups). Most UTIs arise from one type of bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally lives in the colon and
is often contracted from sitting on toilets.
Physical UTI Symptoms
Not everyone exhibits physical symptoms, but most Urinary Tract Infection patients report at least some of the following:
- Fever or chills, which may mean that the infection has reached the kidneys
- Increased spasms of legs, abdomen, or bladder
- Burning of the urethra in case of women, and penis in case of men. Or general pubic area burning
- Nausea, headache
- Back or side pain below the ribs
- Mild low back pain or other aches
- Fatigue and feeling of general exhaustion
- Urine Sediment (gritty particles)
- Urine mucus
- Cloudy urine
- Foul smelling urine
- Reddish color from blood in urine. Visible blood in urine is called Gross Hematuria
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Painful urination or burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra
- Feeling of rectal fullness in men
- Feeling pressure above the pubic bone
- Oliguria - passing small amounts of urine despite urge to urinate
- Presence of Urine Nitrates or Urine Nitrites
- Presence of leukocytes in urine, which is something known as Pyuria
Some complications cause distended bladder
due to inflammation.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Risk
More Sick Urine Statistics
- Diabetes patients have a higher risk of a UTI because of changes in the immune system
- Women are more prone to UTIs than men, risk increases with age
- UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body
- UTIs account for about 8.3 million doctor visits each year
- One woman in five develops a UTI during her lifetime
- People at an increased risk of contracting a UTI are patients treated with catheters, or tubes, placed in the urethra and bladder.
- Immune system depressants raise the risk of a urinary infection
- Women who use a diaphragm
- Men over 50 are at risk of UTI's due to enlarged prostate.
- Children born with urinary tract abnormalities
Types of Urinary Tract Infections
- An infection limited to the urethra is called Urethritis.
- An infection when bacteria multiply in the bladder is called Cystitis
- Bacteria traveling further up the ureters, infecting the kidneys is called Pyelonephritis.
- Sexually Transmitted microorganisms called Chlamydia and Mycoplasma may also cause UTIs in men and women.
You can take these steps to avoid an infection:
- Drink plenty of water every day
- Urinate as soon as you feel the need
- Take showers instead of tub baths
- Cleanse the genital area before sexual intercourse
- Some doctors suggest drinking cranberry juice
- (Women) Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra
- (Women) Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches. They may irritate the urethra
Infections in Pregnancy
A pregnant woman who develops a UTI should be treated promptly to avoid premature delivery of her baby and other risks such as
high blood pressure.
Infections in Men
Prostate infections (chronic bacterial prostatitis) are harder to cure because antibiotics are unable to penetrate infected
prostate tissue effectively. For this reason, men with prostatitis often
need long-term treatment with a carefully selected antibiotic. UTIs in older men are frequently associated with acute
bacterial prostatitis, which can have serious consequences if not treated urgently.