UTI is an abbreviation for urinary tract infection. This infection is caused by bacteria that invade the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. UTIs are common among women. The most common cause of infection is bacteria that enter the urinary tract from the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, sexually transmitted bacteria can also cause UTIs. In men, these infections can signal other problems, such as prostate disease. If you think you might have a UTI, see Step 1 to find out for sure.
Part 1 of 3: Symptoms of a UTI
Step 1. Pain during urination
Dysuria, or a burning sensation when urinating, is the initial symptom of a UTI. When bacteria enter the urinary tract, it causes inflammation, resulting in pain during urination and a burning sensation in the urethra.
On average, an adult uses the toilet 4 to 7 times a day, depending on the amount of fluid consumed. If you have a UTI, you will feel pain and burning sensation every time you urinate
Step 2. Desire for frequent urination
In a UTI, the infected area of the urinary tract becomes inflamed, increasing in size. The bladder is also prone to inflammation. The walls of the bladder become thicker, decreasing its capacity. It fills up much faster, causing you to urinate more frequently.
- With a UTI, you may want to use the toilet much more often, even if you've just used it. Note that the amount of urine exiting will be very small, sometimes no more than a few drops.
- Frequent urination continues at night, forcing you to wake up over and over again just to go to the bathroom.
Step 3. Uncertainty at the end of urination
After urinating, pay attention to whether you are confident that you have completely emptied your bladder. In a UTI, this may not be very obvious - you will most likely try to continue emptying your bladder, but only a few drops of urine will come out of it.
Again, this is due to the fact that parts of the urinary tract are inflamed, which provokes a frequent urge to urinate. You may feel the need again within seconds after urinating. It may not be a very strong urge, but it will be present
Step 4. Bloody or cloudy urine
Normal urine is usually clear in appearance, with a yellowish tinge and no strong odors. Infected urine looks cloudy and has a characteristic strong odor. If your urine is red, hot pink, or brownish, this indicates the presence of blood in your urine - a common symptom of a UTI. The main reason for this color of urine is inflammation of parts of the urinary tract, which also affects the blood vessels.
Discoloration of urine is usually not a symptom of an infection; different foods can also affect the color of your urine. Certain medications can also have the same effect on urine as other health problems (for example, urine turns a bright yellow color when the body is dehydrated). Seek medical attention for any change in the color of your urine. Your doctor will be able to diagnose you correctly
Step 5. Temperature
If left untreated, the infection can spread throughout the urinary tract and reach the kidneys. As it spreads, the infection can cause a fever. In this situation, you will need immediate medical attention.
A fever is a symptom of an infection that has spread through the urinary tract and was left untreated. If you spot a UTI early on, you won't have a fever
Step 6. Pain throughout the body
With a UTI, people often experience pain in the lower abdomen, especially if your bladder is infected. The bladder is located in the lower abdomen. Pain is caused by inflammation of the bladder and the frequency of urination (which puts additional pressure on the bladder). You may also experience a feeling of bloating in your stomach.
Lower abdominal pain can also be caused by pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men. These parts of the body can be affected during an infection due to their proximity to the urinary tract and the extra muscle strain from urinating continuously. This pain is bearable, but unpleasant
Step 7. High fever, nausea, fatigue with a serious infection
See your doctor immediately if you have these symptoms. Fever can be associated with other medical conditions, as it will be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Another symptom, overwork, is characterized by feelings of fatigue, exhaustion, drowsiness, and anxiety. You will feel general weakness in the body and an unwillingness to move, as well as headaches and fever. The most extreme stages of fatigue can affect your concentration and cause psychological changes or clouding of consciousness
Part 2 of 3: Causes and Risk Factors
Step 1. Your gender
Women are more prone to urinary tract infections due to their body structure. The female urethra is much shorter than the male urethra and is located closer to the anal area, which allows harmful bacteria to easily enter the urinary tract. Pregnant women and women who have gone through menopause are at an even greater risk of developing a UTI. That's why:
- After menopause, estrogen levels in a woman's body drop, which leads to changes in the normal bacteria in the vagina and increases the risk of developing UTIs.
- Pregnancy leads to hormonal changes that affect the urinary tract and can increase the risk of developing UTIs. In addition, the uterus enlarges during pregnancy, putting pressure on the bladder, making it difficult to empty it completely. Remaining urine in the bladder can also lead to infection.
Step 2. Sex life
Women who are sexually active have a predisposition to this infection. Frequent intercourse can cause UTIs.
- Pressure on the urinary tract during sex can transfer bacteria from the intestines to the bladder. The gut is the main site for bacteria that cause UTIs. For this reason, many doctors recommend urinating immediately after sex.
- If you have frequent UTIs and think sex is the cause, you can start taking a special antibiotic right after intercourse. Check with your doctor about this.
Step 3. Contraceptives
Certain contraception, such as a vaginal diaphragm, can increase your risk of infection. Germs and bacteria can enter the surface of the diaphragm, thus gaining access to the bladder.
Spermicides and condoms can irritate the skin, which increases the risk of bacteria entering the bladder. The diaphragms of the vagina put pressure on the bladder, making it difficult to urinate
Step 4. Congenital problems
Babies born with an abnormal urinary tract are more likely to develop UTIs. Urine will not be able to leave the body in a normal way, which will create a favorable environment for bacteria to multiply.
Step 5. Blockage of the urinary tract
Anything that interferes with emptying the bladder can be a risk factor. Kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, and certain cancers can make it difficult to urinate.
- Kidney stones are crystals that form in the kidneys and then travel into the urinary tract, blocking them, causing pain and difficulty urinating.
- An enlarged prostate can negatively affect the urethra. The prostate and urethra are close together, so when the prostate enlarges, it starts to press on the urethra, narrowing it, making it difficult to urinate.
Step 6. Weak immune system
A suppressed immune system will not be able to fight off pathogens. Diabetes and other diseases that weaken the immune system increase the risk of developing UTIs.
Step 7. Dehydration
If you do not drink enough water (2 liters per day), then you will reduce the frequency of your urination. This will increase the bacteria in the urinary tract, increasing the risk of infection. The urine will remain in your body because there is not enough urine to urinate.
Drinking enough water is not only recommended during a UTI, but always
Part 3 of 3: Treating the Infection
Step 1. Take antibiotics
When you see your doctor, he / she will test you to determine which antibiotic is best for you - the type of infection and its severity will tell the doctor the right course of action. If you have a regular UTI, tell your doctor; he may prescribe medication for you to prevent future infections.
- One of the most common antibiotics used to treat UTIs is levofloxacin. The maximum dose of the drug is 750 mg per day for five days.
- Complete a course of antibiotics even if you feel better to make sure the infection is completely gone. If you do not finish your prescribed course of medication, the infection may return, but it will be more difficult to cure.
Step 2. Drink plenty of water
Increase your water intake to prevent dehydration (remember, this is a risk factor!). High fluid intake will increase the frequency and volume of urination, which will help your body get rid of pathogens.
Drink tea, water, and lemonade. Drink these drinks as often as possible whenever you feel like it. However, stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and high sugar drinks, as they can only contribute to dehydration
Step 3. Drink cranberry juice
Cranberry juice will prevent the infection from reoccurring. Drink 50 - 150 ml of 100% cranberry juice every day to fight UTIs. Cranberry juice prevents the further development of bacteria by preventing bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract.
You should drink low sugar cranberry juice. If the juice isn't sweet enough for you, try using a sugar substitute like sucrose or aspartame. Do not drink sugarless juice as it will be too acidic
Step 4. Use heating pads
The heat will speed up your circulation, relieving pain and irritation caused by infection. Apply a heating pad to your pelvic area every day. The temperature of the heating pad should not be very high and you should not keep it for more than 15 minutes to avoid burns.
Step 5. Use baking soda
Place half a teaspoon of baking soda in one glass of water. The baking soda will help neutralize the acid balance of your urine. Drink this solution only once a day because baking soda can upset the bacteria in your gut.
Step 6. Eat pineapple
Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme with excellent anti-inflammatory properties. When combined with antibiotics, pineapple is a great alternative treatment for UTIs. Eat a cup of pineapple daily during infection.
Step 7. Get immediate medical attention if you develop a serious infection
A serious UTI is an infection that has already invaded the kidneys; in this case, the complications can be quite serious and the treatment difficult. During a serious infection, your body will become so weak that you will have to be brought to the hospital by your relatives or emergency workers.
- Antibiotics will be injected into your body through the veins because you will be too weak to swallow them. You will be put on an IV to prevent dehydration from the constant vomiting that would accompany a serious infection.
- Serious UTIs take several weeks to heal. After that, you will be prescribed an additional course of antibiotics for 14 days to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.
- A simple infection usually clears up with a course of antibiotics for at least three days in women and 7 to 14 days in men.
- Home remedies will not cure UTIs, they will only prevent infection and relieve the discomfort when it occurs.