In order to identify urinary tract infection symptoms, one first needs to understand what exactly is a urinary tract infection or UTI as it is commonly known as. A bacterial infection which affects any part of the urinary tract is known as a urinary tract infection. The most common Urinary tract infection symptoms are frequent feelings to urinate, pain during urination, and cloudy urine.
Bacteria are known to be the main cause of urinary tract infection symptoms and the main causal agent is Escherichia coli or E.coli. The essential composition of urine does not contain any bacteria and when such bacteria creeps into the urine, it results in the occurrence of urinary tract infection symptoms. This bacterial infection can get in through multiple sources, such as the kidney, the urinary tract, or the bladder. Yet, you won’t notice the urinary tract infection symptoms until you start peeing.
The most common occurrence of when you have a urinary tract infection is during a bladder infection or acute cystitis. Another potentially serious occurrence of the urinary tract infection symptoms is during pyelonephritis, which is an infection of the upper urinary tract. All types of urinary tract infection symptoms are treated with a dose of antibiotics and are more comfortable than lethal.
The most common UTI symptoms are burning sensations while urinating (also known as dysuria), frequent urination, an urge to urinate frequently, no vaginal discharge (for women), and significant pain. However, these urinary tract infection symptoms can vary a little bit between the various forms of a UTI, as an upper urinary tract infection can also have the symptoms of fever and flank pain. More often than not, the symptoms of a UTI last for about 5 days in otherwise healthy people.
The urinary tract infection symptoms can manifest itself differently amongst varying ages of people. In infants and younger children, the symptoms can be diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. In older children, this can include abdominal pain coupled with the diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. In adults, the common symptoms are bleeding during urination, pain during urination, and cloudy urine. Infants will get jaundice, in addition to the above symptoms. In some adults,lethargy and mood swings can be symptoms of being infected by a UTI.
Symptoms can also be different depending on the part of the urinary tract that has been infected. The infection of the urethra, also known as Urethritis, causes burning during urination, while bladder infections provoke more serious problems such as lower abdomen pain or discomfort, light fever, urge to urinate frequently, pelvic pressure, and burning urination.
Research has shown that women are more prone to the risks of a urinary tract infection than men. In more than 75% of the cases, the occurrence of urinary tract infections occurs in women who engage in increased sexual activity with many different partners. However, in post-menopausal women, sexual activity is not related to the occurrence of urinary tract infection symptoms. The use of spermicide increases the risk of a UTI, regardless of the frequency of sexual activity.
Women are known to be more prone to urinary tract infections because the female urethra is closer to the anus and is a shorter distance than males. Physiologically, women also lack the bacteriostatic properties of prostatic secretions. However, due to the increase in prostate size in older males, the occurrence of urinary tract infection symptoms in older people is the same for men as for women.
The tendency to get Urinary tract infection symptoms can also be hereditary and run in the family of the diseased. Other health issues such as diabetes can also increase the risk of getting a UTI. One may also contract a UTI through a blood-born bacterial infection.
One can reduce the chances of getting a urinary tract infection, by following some simple cautionary steps. They are as follows:
- People suffering from recurrent urinary tract infection symptoms should take mild antibiotics for six months to one year, so that the UTI will never occur. Consult with your doctor before attempting this.
- Frequent occurrences of urinary tract infection symptoms can be reduced by the consumption of cranberry, either in juice form or in capsules. However, the long term effects of this remedy have not yet been proven.
- Women in post-menopausal phases can prevent UTI symptoms by applying topical estrogen cream as an intra-vaginal application. Check with your gynecologist or doctor before doing this.
- In infants, the risks of urinary tract infections can be reduced by breast feeding.
There are some other measures that you can take to reduce the chances contracting a urinary tract infection. While not proven or unproven to work (yet), you should
- Change your underwear every day
- Use birth control pills or condoms when having sex
- Taking good showers everyday goes a long way towards eliminating the chances of contracting a UTI.
In most cases, treatment for a UTI should be immediately administered as soon as the laboratory confirms the affliction. This just proves the fact that urinary tract infections are quite important to deal with and should never be ignored. In more complicated cases, urinalysis is performed to confirm the urinary tract infection. Urinalysis is done to look for the presence of nitrites, leukocytes, or leukocyte esterase. Urine microscopy is another form of testing in which the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria are looked at. The good thing is most urinary tract infections in women do not need any extensive laboratory analysis, but the UTI in young infants requires serious study, usually in the form of a retrograde urethrogram.
Whatever the case may be, when you exhibit the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, seek medical or holistic help immediately to avoid serious medical procedures later on, if you do not cure yourself of the UTI because you let it fester too long.
A physician or other health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing your doctor will do is confirm that you have a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the office or clinic, you’ll be asked to wash your genital area with disposable wipes and then urinate into a sterile (bacteria-free) cup. If an infection is found when the specimen is examined, you’ll be given antibiotics. Since there are many different antibiotics available, the doctor may then use your urine specimen for a urine culture, which is a test to identify the exact type of bacteria causing your infection.
It takes about 48 hours to get results from a urine culture, so you may have to switch antibiotics depending on the results.Although antibiotics begin fighting the infection right away, they can’t stop all the symptoms right away. If you have a lot of pain, your health care provider may recommend a medication to relieve the pain in your bladder, This medicine will clear up the painful symptoms in about 3 days, although it will usually make you much more comfortable within hours. It’s important to take the antibiotics until the prescription is finished. Many people stop taking the medication when they begin to feel better, but that doesn’t allow the antibiotics to completely kill the bacteria, which increases the risk that the infection will reappear. If you ever develop a rash from an antibiotic or have difficulty breathing, STOP taking it immediately and call the health care provider who prescribed the medication! For some infections, you may only have to take antibiotics for 3 days, but usually you’ll be on medication for 7 to 14 days. It’s important to drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you urinate, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice also has been shown to have positive effects on UTIs. DON’T use the kind of juice that says “Juice Cocktail” on the label. That has too much sugar and is not concentrated enough with cranberries. Make sure the cranberry juice is 100% juice, many brands are now 100% cranberry. Quality cranberry juice produces hippuric acid in the urine which acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. If pure cranberry juice is not available, cranberry capsules can be substituted. They can be found in most health food stores. Always take these with a large glass of water.
Vitamin C may also be recommended for you to take. If you get help right away, a UTI should completely clear up within 10 days to 2 weeks. You may be advised to avoid sexual intercourse until the symptoms have been gone for 2 weeks, which allows the inflammation to disappear completely.