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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

What to do – Urinary Tract Infection

 
Are you feeling the sudden need for frequent urination? Having unexpected fever along with pain around the lower abdomen? A urinary tract infection might be the underlying cause. Women are at a higher risk of urinary tract infections. A urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to any infection in the urinary tract including the bladder and urethra. If a UTI spreads to the kidneys, this can cause a more serious infection, called pyelonephritis.
 

URINARY TRACT INFECTION SYMPTOMS

 
uti
Urinary tract infection symptoms depend upon the location of the infection.

Lower UTIs are infections of the kidney and bladder. Symptoms include –
 

  • Burning sensation while passing urine
  • A continuous urge to urinate, often frequently in every few minutes
  • Pain around the lower abdomen
  • Change in color of urine (can be bloody or dark in some cases)
  • Change in urine smell
  • Pelvic pain (women)
  • Rectal pain (men)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever and chills

 
Upper UTIs are infections of the kidneys and are the most serious. This type of infection can be potentially life threatening as the bacteria can move from the kidneys into the blood, which causes the condition sepsis.
 
Symptoms include –
 

  • Pain in the upper back and sides
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

 

HOW TO TREAT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS?

 
A simple urine test (urinalysis) can be performed to determine if you have a UTI. Depending on the cause, treatment options include –
 

  • In case of a simple UTI infection, healthcare providers usually prescribe an antibiotic
  • For chronic or frequent UTIs, patients may be given a lower antibiotic dose over a longer period of time
  • Additional medicines can be prescribed to deal with pain around the abdomen/bladder and fever

 
Home remedies suggested by some medical professionals include increasing water intake and urinating frequently to flush out infection-causing bacteria from the body. Antibiotics remain the first line of treatment for a UTI, and it is essential to perform prescribed blood and urine tests.
 

SHOULD I SEE A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER?

 
If you have been seeing a change in urine color, smell or have the frequent urge to urinate, or burning when you urinate, it is best to consult a medical professional. UTIs can be risky in many cases, especially when the infection spreads to the kidneys, and medical attention is essential to avoid further issues.
 

HOW TO PREVENT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS?

 
It is crucial to urinate whenever feeling the urge, to keep the bladder empty. Healthcare providers also recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day, which allows bacteria to be flushed before an infection can begin. If you already have a urinary tract infection, scented bath and shower products should be avoided. It is essential to also maintain good hygiene and urinate before and after sexual activity. Women should avoid diaphragms when possible, as diaphragms can increase the chance of infection by harboring bacterial growth. Extremely tight undergarments and denims are best avoided.


 
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