A Comprehensive Guide to Urinary Tract Infections

UTIIf you are a woman, the chances of you contracting the Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs are a lot higher than men. There have been countless reported instances in which woman have reported having UTI’s repeatedly.

Here is what you need to know about a urinary tract infection, and if you are affected with it repeatedly, then the preventive measures listed down in this post will help you steer clear of it.

Causes of UTIs

One of the reasons we are taught to wipe thoroughly after urinating is because the urethra, which is a tube used to transfer bodily fluids outside the body, is placed closed to the anus. The bacteria from the large intestines, like E.Coli, can easily escape the anus and enter the urethra. The bacteria can the travel from the urethra to the bladder and if the infection is left untreated, then it can transform into a kidney infection. Women are more prone to UTIs than men due to the shorter length of their urethras, which allows the bacteria to travel easily to the bladder. Another cause of contacting UTIs is sexual activity, which can help the bacteria invade your bladder easily.

Symptoms

Identify the symptoms for UTIs is simple enough. Here are some signs that you must be on a constant lookout for if you want to avoid a urinary tract infection in the future.

  • Tiredness and feeling lethargic or shaky most of the time
  • Chills and fever, which can be a sign that the infection has reached your kidneys
  • A burning sensation when you urinate
  • A constant urge to urinate, even though little fluid comes out when you do so
  • Feeling slight to extreme pressure and pain in your lower back or abdomen
  • Urine, which is cloudy, dark, abnormal-smelling or has blood in it

How Can You Test and Treat It?

If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, there are easy ways to approach your physician and get tested for UTIs. You will be required to provide a urine sample, which will then be tested for the UTIs-causing bacteria. Once you are diagnosed with UTIs, the doctor can prescribe you with antibiotics to kill the bacteria and eliminate them from your body. However, it is essential that you complete the prescribed cycle of medicines and drink a lot of water to flush the toxins out of your body and keep it hydrated. Your physician can also prescribe a heating pad or painkillers to soothe the pain.

Can Cranberry Prevent UTIs?

There have been several researches which point to the fact that cranberry juice can have effective results in treating UTIs and can even prevent it. However, in practical life, this home remedy has produced mixed results and any positive results are dependent on the extremity of your situation. The red berry is abundant in a compound called tannin that can help eliminate E.Coli bacteria, which is the main culprit for causing urinary tract infection, by sticking to the walls of the bladder and causing infection.

There has been quite a bit of fascination on the subject that whether cranberries can cure or prevent UTIs or not and in 2012, 24 studies were carried out to find the truth behind the matter. However, the results point out to one cohesive fact: cranberry juice or extract cannot considerably reduce or prevent the contraction of UTIs.

What Is Chronic UTIs?

1 in 5 women experience a second incidence of a urinary tract infection, while some are affected by it their whole lives repeatedly. One of the main reasons for that is a different kind of bacteria causing UTIs. There is a strain of bacteria that can enter the body’s cells and remain barricaded there by forming a community, which is safe even from antibiotics and the body’s immune system. They travel out of these cell walls to invade the bladder repeatedly. Ultimately, they are able to establish a community which is resistant to any antibiotics, allowing them to attack the body repeatedly. Another reason for being effected by UTIs is genetic predisposition and genetics. Moreover, if you have any abnormalities in your urinary tract structure, you are susceptible to UTIs.

Another reason for chronic UTIs is diabetes due to which the immune system is already compromised and is unable to fight the bacteria or UTIs infection. There are several other conditions which can increase the likelihood of contracting UTIs repeatedly, such as

  • Pregnancy
  • Motile sclerosis
  • Kidney stones
  • Spinal cord injury
  • A stroke
  • Anything that prevents the flow of urine

Treatment Opinions for UTIs Patients

There are tests available in the market that can be bought without a prescription. They can help you determine whether you need to consult a physician or not. If you have already been tested and are on antibiotics, these tests can help you identify if you still have the infection or not. However, even if there is no sign of infection, the antibiotic cycle will still need to be finished.

If you have more than three UTIs in a year, ask your doctor to recommend a specialized treatment plan. It can include:

  • Taking a test by using an “At-home Urine Kit”, whenever the symptoms start showing
  • Taking a small dose of antibiotics for a longer periods of time
  • Taking one dose of antibiotic immediately after sex
  • Taking antibiotics consecutively for 1-2 days, each time any of the symptoms appear

How Can You Prevent UTIs?

Here are a few helpful tips that will help you avoid the plague of UTIs:

  • Empty your bladder frequently or as soon as you feel the need to go.
  • Wipe thoroughly from front to back
  • Choose showers over bathtubs
  • Clean your genital area before having sex
  • Urinate after sex to eradicate any bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex
  • Keep yourself hydrated at al all times
  • Stay away from female genital hygiene products, which do nothing beneficial, except increasing irritation
  • Keep your genital area aerated by wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes. Avoid any tight clothes, nylon underwear or skinny jeans as they can prevent air circulation causing the moisture to get trapped, thus creating an ideal environment for the bacteria to grow.

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