The urinary tract is the system that produces urine and carries the urine out of the body. Sometimes germs get into this system, causing an infection.
The most common type of urinary tract infection is called a bladder infection which is caused usually by bacteria getting into the bladder from the urethra. These infections are more common in women than men because women have shorter urethras making it easier for germs to get into the bladder.
A bacterium that lives in the large intestines and is present in stool is the most common cause of infection. Sexual intercourse, especially in women, may also be a source for bacteria to get into the urinary tract. Catheters, for people who are hospitalized, are another common source for a bacterial infection. Bacteria that travel through the blood may also cause infections. Also, kidney stones and, in men, an enlarged prostate can cause infections by limiting the body’s ability to urinate.
A person that is pregnant, had diabetes or does not drink enough fluids are at a higher risk for an infection.
Some possible symptoms you may suffer if you have an infection are:
pain or burning when urinating
feeling of having to urinate often, but not much comes out
tender or heavy feeling in belly
cloudy or bad smelling urine
pain in back where the kidneys are located
fever or chills
nausea and vomiting
Be sure to seek immediate medical treatment if you think you have an infection and suffer from a fever, nausea and vomiting or have pain where your kidneys are located, have diabetes, any type of kidney problems, and a weak immune system, are older than 65 years or are pregnant.
Your doctor will take a sample of your urine to test for any germs that cause bladder infections.
Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics that are prescribed by your doctor. It is also helpful to drink plenty of water and other fluids and to urinate often.
You can help to prevent these infections from occurring by drinking plenty of water, drink cranberry juice or take a cranberry supplement; do not hold your urine and women should urinate after having sex.
Although, uncommon, complications of urinary tract infections do occur if the infection is not treated properly or does not respond to treatment.
By acting promptly when you first notice symptoms of an infection, you will be able to cure a urinary tract infection by drinking lots of water to flush out the bacteria and be sure to follow your doctor’s advice for taking the antibiotics that were prescribed.
If you are interested in helping to diagnose and treat the symptoms of patients with a UTI, consider a healthcare degree from Concordia University online and get started today.