Urinary Tract Infections: What Does It Feel Like And Its Diagnosis
Urinary Tract infection is one of the most common infections. It can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Usually, they are in the lower tract, which includes the urethra and bladder. The upper tract infections that occur in the kidneys and the ureters are rare and severe compared to lower tract UTIs. Around 8 million people visit the doctor every year to cure them. But have you ever thought about the causes that result in UTIs and who gets them?
What are the causes of urinary tract infections?
You might have heard the doctor saying to wipe your toilet seats after using the washrooms. The urethra takes the pee out of the body through the bladder, which is close to the anus. The bacteria from the large intestine can get out of your anus and then travel from the urethra to the bladder. Thus, anything that irritates the urinary tract or the bladder causes UTIs. There are some other factors that increase the risks of getting urinary tract infections. This includes:
- Reduced mobility due to long bed rest or surgery
- Obstructions or any blockage in the urinary tract include kidney stones, forms of cancer, and enlarged prostate.
- Age: Older people have more chances to get UTI’s
- Diabetes, especially when it is not treated
- Extended use of the urinary catheters that allow the entry of bacteria into your bladder
- Abnormal urinary structures from birth
- Weak Immune System
- Hormonal Changes
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
- If you had UTIs earlier
Anyone can get this infection. But women are more likely to get it because of their genes and the shape of their urinary tracts. Now you know who can get UTIs and what are the causes that can lead to the infection. It is time to learn about the symptoms so that you visit your doctor as soon as you observe any of the signs or symptoms.
- Strong need to urinate again and again
- The bloody, firm, or cloudy smell in the urine
- Burning sensation or pain while urinating
- Feeling like vomiting
- Aches in the muscles and abdomen
If you see any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not wait. Visit the doctor and give a urine sample test for UTI. If you have frequent UTIs and your doctor finds out any problem in the urinary tract, you might have to undergo an ultrasound, MRI scan, or a CT scan. Your doctor might use a long tube known as a cystoscope to view the problem in the urethra and bladder.
If your infection is ongoing or recurring, it is chronic UTI. A study confirms that a doctor diagnoses persistent UTI if an individual experiences three positive urine cultures during 12 months or more than two infections during the previous six months. Let us know about chronic UTI and their treatment.
Chronic UTIs: If a man has UTI, there are chances that he will get another. And, in women, around one in five get Urinary tract infections. In most cases, chronic UTIs are caused by a different type of bacteria. However, some bacteria attack your body’s cells and get multiplied in number, ultimately creating a group of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As a result, they travel out of the cell and reinvade your urinary tract.
Treatment of Chronic UTI: If you see any of this issue more than one or more times in a year, you need to get treatment as quickly as possible. Below we have mentioned some tips that you can adopt to avoid getting another UTI re-infection:
- Drinking a lot of water and urinating frequently
- Do not consume fluids that irritate the bladder, including alcohol and caffeine
- Keep the genital area clean
- Urinate after sex to flush any bacteria that have entered
- Prefer using pads and menstrual cups instead of tampons
- Prefer showers overs baths
- Do no use diaphragm or spermicide for birth control
- Do not use any scented product in the genital area
- Prefer using cotton and loose fit undergarments to keep it urethra dry
What are the different types of UTIs?
UTI infection can happen in any part of the urinary tract. Based on where the infection is found, each type has a different name.
- Cystitis: This is when the infection is found in the bladder. There is an urge to pee frequently. You might feel pain in the lower abdomen and cloudy or bloody urine.
- Pyelonephritis: This is found in the kidneys and causes fever, nausea, vomiting, pain, and chills. In pyelonephritis, your upper back or side aches badly.
- Urethritis: It is found in the urethra and causes discharge and a burning sensation while peeing.
These are the different types of UTIs that are found. Usually, they are not severe, but if not treated, they can cause serious problems. Significantly, the upper tract UTIs. For example, long-lasting kidney infections can be life-threatening and cause permanent damage. There are some cases where bacteria enter the bloodstream, which is known as septicemia. To avoid such complications, you must take some preventive measures and diagnose this condition.
This is done after you see the UTI symptoms. Contact your doctor, and he/she will review the symptoms and perform a physical examination. You need to test your urine for microbes and assess the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria.
The clean-catch method is used, which requires you to wash your genital area before giving the urine sample. This is done to prevent any bacteria from getting into the sample. If you have a persistent UTI, your doctor will request further diagnostic testing to identify any anatomical issues. The tests include:
Diagnostic Imaging: This includes assessing the urinary tract using ultrasound, CT, X-rays, MRI scanning, and radiation tracking.
Urodynamics: This method identifies how the urinary tract is storing and releasing urine.
Cystoscopy: In this method, the doctor views the bladder and urethra with the help of the camera lens.
From symptoms to the causes, diagnoses, and preventive measures, you have an idea about UTI’s. These infections can become severe, such as they will enter your bloodstream(sepsis). Before it turns into sepsis, we suggest you get in touch with your doctor.