Many infections occur in the human body. These are mainly due to bacteria and microbes, and these cause irritation, swelling, and a variety of other medical problems.
The urinary tract is also very susceptible to many infections, termed urinary tract infections. These are responsible for several symptoms and complications. Many of these symptoms are often confused by other urinary tract problems. Therefore, your doctor needs to analyze a set of symptoms to find whether the resulting problem is due to a urinary tract infection or any other issue.
Irritation of the urethra may also occur under different conditions, and this causes inflammation and other problems. Your urethra may also become painful.
In today’s article, we shall briefly discuss urinary tract infections and urethral syndromes, irritating urethra.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The microbes which a naked eye cannot see without the assistance of a microscope cause infection of the urinary tract, thus termed as urinary tract infections (UTIs). The urinary tract of the human consists of the urinary bladder, urethra, kidneys, and ureters.
It is usually seen that Bacteria cause uTIs, but rarely they may also be resulting from viruses or fungi. UTIs are one of the most typical infections of the human body.
Urinary tract infections can be upper tract infections (affecting ureters and kidneys) or lower tract infections (affecting bladder and urethra). Upper UTIs are more severe and common than lower urinary tract infections.
Symptoms of UTIs
Symptoms of UTIs vary widely depending upon the site of infection.
Symptoms of Lower Tract UTIs
Symptoms of lower tract UTIs includes:
- Burning with urination
- Blood in urine
- Cloudy urine
- Increase in frequency of urination without passing much urine
- A strong odor of urine
- Rectal pain in men
- Pelvic pain in women
Symptoms of Upper Tract UTIs
Upper tract infections affect your kidneys and ureters, and these infections can be life-threatening if the microbe moves from the infected kidney to the blood. This condition is termed urosepsis, causing low blood pressure, shock, and death.
Typical symptoms of Upper Tract UTIs include:
- Tenderness and pain in upper back and sides
Causes and Risk Factors of UTIs
Different factors can increase the risk of developing UTIs. Anything that irritates your urinary tract or bladder can lead to UTIs.
Some risk factors include:
- Prolonged bed rest
- Kidney Stones
- Age (older adults are most susceptible to UTIs)
- History of UTIs
- Long term use of a urinary catheter
- Weakened immune system
If you are most susceptible to UTIs, your doctor may ask you for symptoms and may also perform a physical checkup for diagnosis. Your doctor may examine urine to check for the microbes to confirm the diagnosis.
Your doctor may also suggest a Complete Blood Count (CBC) examination so that he may see if your white blood cells have increased or not, indicating an infection.
The doctor may perform special testing to confirm the weakened immune system.
Some other tests which your doctor areas may perform:
- Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): It involves injecting a dye into the body of an infected person, which travels through your urinary tract. Then, an X-ray of the abdomen is taken. The dye highlights the urinary tract on an X-ray image.
- Cystoscopy: It uses a small camera inserted into your urethra and up into your bladder to see inside the bladder of an infected person.
- Ultrasound: During an ultrasound, a transducer device is passed over the abdomen of an infected person. The transducer then uses ultrasound waves to create the image of the urinary tract of the infected person’s organs that are displayed on a monitor.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
Treatment of UTIs depends upon the cause of that infection. If the infection is due to bacteria (most common), these can be cured by taking antibiotics. Your doctor prescribes these antibiotics.
Precautions: Always take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor to avoid antibiotic resistance.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are becoming common, but these should not be avoided since they could be even fatal in some conditions. Therefore, consulting a specialist to diagnose and treat your urinary tract infections is necessary. An expert Urologist can perform this. To consult the best Urologist, visit MARHAM.PK.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- Do you have UTIs without knowing it?
Some people have bacteria present in their urine without having apparent symptoms of UTIs. Your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics to clear those bacteria in such a case.
2- Which gender is most affected by UTI?
Females are usually more observed to have UTIs because they have a shorter urethra than males. The bacteria have to travel for a shorter distance to affect the urinary tract.
3- What aggravates UTIs?
If you have some symptoms of urinary tract infections, try avoiding caffeine, alcohol, or acidic fruits since these can aggravate the symptoms of UTIs.
4- Can UTIs go away on their own?
UTIs can go away on their own. It is seen that about 25% to 50% of people recover UTIs without using antibiotics.