All You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Infections!

All You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Infections!

The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. Each plays an important role in helping your body to eliminate waste products in the form of urine. Urinary tract infections are inflammations usually caused by bacteria (or germs) attacking the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. Under normal circumstances, the urinary tract is sterile and free of bacteria.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infection?

Bacteria cause urinary tract infections. They enter the urinary system through the urethra and can move upward to the bladder and kidneys. The most common organism that causes a UTI is Escherichia coli bacteria (E.Coli). It is usually found in the lower colon but sometimes can find its way into the urinary tract.

Risk factors for UTIs include previous UTI, sexual activity (particularly with new sexual partners), use of spermicides, menopause, pregnancy, reduced mobility (i.e., after surgery or bed rest), urinary incontinence, kidney stones, and prostate enlargement.

Other risk factors include age (older adults are at higher risk) and gender. Female patients are at higher risk compared to males because of shorter urethra length and proximity of the urethra to the anus, increasing the likelihood that bacteria will enter the urinary tract.

Also, a new class of drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes has been associated with increased cases of UTIs in patients. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors or “flozins” are oral hypoglycemics that work by increasing the amount of glucose spilled into the urine.

What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) generally cause symptoms related to bladder irritation:
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever (sometimes)
  • Abdominal pain (sometimes)
  • New or worsened incontinence (sometimes)
Older adults, particularly those with dementia, can also develop delirium — a further aggravation of the mental state — as a result of a urinary tract infection. Sometimes new or worsened confusion can be the only outward sign of a UTI or other infection. It’s a good idea to suppose UTI whenever an older person is having uncomfortable urination or new incontinence. In these cases, make sure the person is seen within 24 hours by his or her doctor or by an urgent care facility.

Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection

Doctors first decide if the infection is just in the bladder or has spread to the kidneys and how severe it is. For a simple bladder infection, patients take antibiotics for 3 days (women) or 7 – 14 days (men). For a bladder infection with complications — such as pregnancy or diabetes or a mild kidney infection–patients will usually take antibiotics for 7 – 14 days.

Some people have urinary tract infections that do not go away with treatment or keep coming back. These are called chronic UTIs. If you have a chronic UTI, you may need stronger antibiotics or take medicine for a longer time. Surgery is needed if the infection is caused by a problem with the structure of the urinary tract. 

Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection

One of the most common bacterial infections that women suffer from is urinary tract infection (UTI). When the bacteria found in the gut find their way into the urinary tract, it leads to this infection. The symptoms include frequent and painful urination, cloudy urine, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. While prescription drugs may resolve the issue, even home remedies work very well in this regard. The minor infections heal on their own in a few days while the more serious ones might take a bit longer. Here are some home remedies for urinary tract infections.

Have Plenty of Water

Doctors recommend that this is one of the most effective home remedies for treating infections of the urinary tract. Depending on how much one can accommodate, to heal the infection, drinking two to four liters of water helps. As the body produces more urine, the bacteria get flushed out.

Urinate Frequently

Don’t hold in your urine as that leads to more bacterial multiplication in the bladder. Empty out the bladder often and as soon as the urge arises.

Cranberry Juice – Nips it in the Bud

Drinking cranberry juice is very beneficial in treating UTIs. Cranberry and its juice prevent the growth of E.Coli, the most common culprit that causes these infections.

Shun Bladder Irritants

Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and colas when you have a bladder infection. The high amount of sugar in these drinks provides a perfect breeding ground for bacterial colonization.

Probiotics Are Your Friend

The good bacteria found in yogurt and fermented foods provide a line of defense against the infection-causing bacteria. Eating probiotic-rich foods helps to increase the body’s natural bacteria and wards off infections.

Wear Loose Clothes

Stay clean and dry by wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Wear clothes that let your skin breathe and avoid tight clothes. Avoid wearing nylon.

Sip on Green Tea

Green tea has an important compound, a catechin that has antimicrobial properties. It also works as a diuretic so helps the body flush out the harmful bacteria.

Apple Cider Vinegar on an Empty Stomach

Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and have on an empty stomach to ward off bladder infections. It is antibacterial and alkalizes the inner environment of the body.

Garlic Power

Allicin, one of the compounds found in raw garlic that stops the growth of harmful bacteria. You could have raw, crushed garlic or have garlic-infused water to stave off urinary infections. 

Gorge on Citrus fruits

Vitamin C increases the acidity in the urine, thus limiting the growth of bladder infections causing bacteria. Also, it boosts immunity.

By following most of these remedies you will be able to treat your bladder infection at home without depending on antibiotics or other prescription drugs.

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