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Urinary Tract Infection: (Types, Symptoms, Effective Home Remedies)

UTI, also known as Urinary Tract Infection, is a bacterial condition that impacts a person’s urinary system. This is the most dominant bacterial issue in the 21st century, and women are more likely to experience it than males. Many ladies aren’t even aware that they have this problem or how to avoid it.

UTIs may have an impact on infertility in both males and females, according to some studies. We have made an effort to provide you with a thorough review of UTIs in this post. UTIs are explained in length, along with their signs, causes, and ways to prevent them, as well as some potential therapies.

Overview of Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a word that refers to any infection that affects any component of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. Normally, bacteria aren’t seen in your urine (microorganisms). Urine is produced whenever the kidneys remove water and other wastes from the blood. Urine usually passes through the urinary tract with little to no contamination. Microorganisms from the outside environment, on the other hand, might enter the urinary tract, causing contamination and irritation. UTIs can be either community-acquired or hospital-acquired.

UTIs are among the most prevalent bacterial diseases, affecting more than 150 million individuals globally each year. UTIs are a major cause of morbidity in children, elderly men, and women of all ages. Women are more likely than men to contract the illness, and it is anticipated that 40ā€“50% of women will have one episode in their lifetime and 20ā€“30% will have multiple episodes.

How do women become the UTIs victim?

There are a lot of different reasons why this problem is more noticed in women. There are combinations of different factors that can cause UTIs in females:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Changes in the reproductive cycle
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Sexual activities
  • Various other factors

Types of UTIs:

Infections can occur in several regions of the urinary tract. Depending on where it is found, there are 3 types of UTIs, namely:

  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladders): One may feel compelled to urinate frequently, or may find that urinating has become painful. Lower abdomen aches and murky or crimson urine are also possible symptoms.
  • Pyelonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys): Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pain in your upper back or side are all possible symptoms.
  • Urethritis (inflammation of the urethra): While urinating, there can be a burning sensation and discharge.

What causes UTI?

  • The UTI is caused by pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli and some forms of fungus.
  • Because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, they are more prone to UTIs.
  • The use of a catheter is a major risk factor for UTIs.
  • Urethral manipulation will also cause UTIs.
  • The use of spermicides and diaphragms, as well as sexual activity, are all risk factors for UTIs.
  • After a kidney transplant, UTIs are fairly common.
  • Drugs to reduce the activity of the immune system (Immunosuppressive medications) and Diabetes mellitus are other common causes.

Signs and symptoms of UTI:

  • A strong, continuous urge to urinate
  • Burning feeling when urinating
  • Passing frequent but little quantity of urine
  • Cloudy urine or urine that appears red, hot pink, or cola in color (due to the presence of blood in urine)
  • Urine with a strong/foul odor
  • Pelvic pain in women, particularly in the middle of the pelvic and around the pubic bone. Crotch pain in the case of men.
  • Fever and chills might be present in some cases

Treatment

UTIs have a significant economic and public health impact, as well as a significant impact on the quality of life of those who are affected. Antibiotics are the first-line treatment drugs for urinary tract infections.

Antibiotics used for normal UTIs include:

  1. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (for 3 days is good mini-dose therapy)
  2. Ciprofloxacin (500 mg twice daily for seven days)
  3. Co-trimoxazole (960 mg twice daily for 10ā€“14 days)
  4. Ampicillin
  5. Nitrofurantoin is a good choice for uncomplicated UTIs (used for 5 to 7 days)
  6. Fluoroquinolones (preferred for complicated infections and those involving the prostate)

Using phenazopyridine as an additional therapy for a few days may provide extra symptom alleviation. Most UTIs will cure spontaneously in around 20% of women even without treatment, especially if they consume more water and hydrate themselves adequately.

Lifestyle changes and natural remedies:

UTIs can be difficult, yet one can find ways to facilitate the discomfort until antibiotics treat the infection. Here are a few tips:

  • Hydration: Drink a lot of water. Water assists in diluting the urine and flushing out harmful bacteria.
  • Drinks to avoid: Stay away from drinks that might disturb your bladders such as coffee, liquor, and sodas containing citrus juices or caffeine until the infection resolves. These drinks can disturb the bladder and often cause urgency to urinate
  • Personal hygiene: Maintain the intimate areas clean and hygienic. Prefer showers to baths. After using the restroom, wipe from front to back. Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing to keep the genital area dry. Wearing tight jeans and nylon underwear traps moisture and creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
  • Empty the bladder: Urinate completely so that the bladder is emptied. Do not urinate in a hurry and do not stop urinating mid-way. This can lead to the accumulation of remnant urine within the bladder leading to UTI.
  • Sexual practice: Clean the genital area before and after sex. Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, and spermicides should not be used. These items might allow bacterial growth as well as irritate the urinary tract.
  • Keep a heating pad with you Apply a warm, not hot, pad to your abdomen to limit bladder strain or inconvenience.

 

References:

  1. Bono MJ, Reygaert WC. Urinary tract infection. InStatPearls [Internet] 2021 Jun 23. StatPearls Publishing.
  2. Tan CW, Chlebicki MP. Urinary tract infections in adults. Singapore Med J. 2016 Sep;57(9):485-90.
  3. Flores-Mireles AL, Walker JN, Caparon M, Hultgren SJ. Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 May;13(5):269-84.
  4. Fazly Bazzaz, B.S., Darvishi Fork, S., Ahmadi, R. et al. Deep insights into urinary tract infections and effective natural remedies. Afr J Urol. 2021; 27: 6.
  5. Foxman B. Epidemiology of urinary tract infections: incidence, morbidity, and economic costs. Am J Med. 2002;113(Suppl 1A):5Sā€“13S.

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