A urinary tract infection or UTI is a very common infection that can be treated with antibiotics. These infections are more common in women and girls than men and boys. Scientists suggest this is due to anatomical differences. UTIs in men are less common but could be more serious.
The urinary tract is comprised of your kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. When infection occurs in the urinary tract, you may feel pain while urinating along with a host of other symptoms. This article will address the symptoms of a urinary tract infection along with treatment options and ways to prevent it.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
Because the urinary tract encompasses several organs, it is broken down into two parts- the lower urinary tract and the upper urinary tract. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the infection.
Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
- Burning and pain during urination, pelvic pressure or lower abdominal pain
- Mild fever, chills and malaise
- Frequent or intense urge to urinate or Cloudy, bloody or smelly urine
Upper Urinary Tract
- Back or flank pain at waist level
- High fever, shaking, nausea, chills, vomiting
Treatment Options for Urinary Tract Infections
There are several home remedies available to help treat the symptoms of urinary tract. However, it is important to see a physician to verify that you do indeed have an infection because a number of health conditions can mimic its symptoms. If the doctor verifies you have a urinary tract infection, he will prescribe an antibiotic to help your body fight off the infection. Remember, even if you feel better, it is essential to finish all antibiotics as prescribed. If you do not finish the course of antibiotics, the infection can come back stronger, making it more difficult to clear up.
There are many things you can do to help alleviate the pain once a urinary tract diagnosis has been made. The following may help reduce the discomfort associated with a urinary tract infection.
Take over the counter pain medicine as directed by your physician.
Drink a lot of water.
Use a heating pad or hot water to ease back and flank pain.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods to help soothe the bladder.
Take a vitamin C supplement to help fight the infection.
Cranberry juice contains an antibacterial agent called hippuric acid, which can help flush out bacteria.
Prevention Methods to Avoid Urinary Tract Infections
There are numerous ways to help prevent urinary tract infections. By adhering to the rules listed below, you can help diminish them.
Tight fitting clothing can irritate the urethra. Irritation can create an environment that is hospitable to bacteria. Also use cotton underwear instead of nylon.
Drinking lots of water to dilute urine and increase the frequency of bathroom trips. Do not ever hold the urge to urinate.
Feminine products containing dyes and perfumes can irritate the urethra, making it easier for bacteria to grow. Spermicides can increase the risk of UTIs
Good hygiene starts with proper wiping. Always wipe from front to back to avoid contaminating the urinary tract with bacteria form the rectum. Also cleanse your genitals before and after sex.
Most urinary tract infections can be treated successfully, either with antibiotics or herbs, depending on the extent of the infection. Diet and lifestyle changes can also prevent some Urinary Tract infections from recurring.