Understanding Urinary Tract Infection
Approximately 50% of all women are affected by a urinary tract infection and some point during their lives. The infection happens when germs infect the system which carries the urine out of the body and includes the kidneys, bladder and the tubes which connect them. Infections of the bladder are quite common but when they receive the prompt treatment they are not concerning. However serious illnesses can be caused if the infection spreads to the kidneys.
The Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection:
Infections Of the Bladder
Most infections of the urinary tract affect the bladder and symptoms include:
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating.
- Pain in the lower abdomen.
- The need to urinate frequently.
- Foul-smelling urine or cloudy-colored.
- The absence of symptoms is also prevalent among some people.
Infections Of the Kidney
A bladder infection that is not treated can spread to the kidneys and the symptoms of this infection can include:
- Lower back pain on either side.
- Fever and chills.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Medical Intervention Is A Necessity
If you believe you are displaying signs of a urinary tract infection you should be contacting your doctor right away. Despite a bladder infection not being a medical emergency the risk of complications exist among some people.
Pregnant women, the elderly, men, and people suffering from conditions like diabetes, a weakened immune system or kidney problems will need attention from the medical fraternity.
Identification Of the Problem Is Essential
The burning sensation when urinating is a definite sign of a urinary tract infection but can also be the symptom of a vaginal yeast infection or sexually transmitted diseases of some kind. Simple lab tests can be conducted to distinguish between a urinary tract infection and an STD which can affect both men and women and can start after the infection. However, a cystoscopy can prove helpful for doctors to diagnose the condition.
On some occasions, the individual may have a urinary tract infection but may display no symptoms at all. The presence of the bacteria will only be identified after a test has been conducted. In such cases, no treatments are required except in pregnant women and children along with recipients of kidney transplants.
The Complications Associated With Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections when left untreated can spread from the bladder to the kidneys and cause permanent damages reducing kidney function. People who already have problems with their kidneys to be susceptible to kidney failure. The chances of the infection entering into the bloodstream and affecting other organs also exist.
What Are The Risks Of Urinary Tract Infections
Sexually active women are highly susceptible to urinary tract infections but the factors that can also increase the risk includes the following:
- Not having sufficient fluids.
- Bathing frequently.
- Kidney stones.
- Letting the bladder hold the urine for a long time.
The incidence of urinary tract infections among men are not common but when they happen it is often related to an underlying problem which could be kidney stones are an enlarged prostate.
Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections
A simple urine test is all that is required to diagnose this condition. The test will give information about bacteria and abnormal counts of white and red blood cells. The test can provide quick results but the doctor may also decide to send the urine to the lab for a culture test to determine the type of bacteria which is affecting the individual. Kids are also available to conduct at-home tests but they are not considered as accurate. Therefore it is essential for the individual to have the tests conducted by a doctor and understand the results and symptoms.
The Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection can be cured by prescription antibiotics. Recommendations will be made by the doctor to have plenty of fluids and also to empty the bladder frequently to flush out the bacteria from the body. Kidney infections can also be treated with oral antibiotics but severe infections of the kidney may require admission to the hospital where intravenous antibiotics may be administered.
Urinary tract infections must not be considered as a minor problem because if allowed to get out of hand it can cause serious concerns.
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