Urinary tract infection: causes, symptoms and treatment

Bacterial urinary tract infection and its risk factors

Although it affects everyone, both adults and children, urinary tract infection is a frequently found diagnosis in women. Most of the time she it is limited to the urethra or bladder : it is cystitis. However, in rare cases, it can reach the kidneys and develop into pyelonephritis.

Urinary tract infection: definition and affected urinary tract

Urinary tract infection, sometimes mistakenly called cystitis, is a disease that affects the different pathways of the urinary system. Can be:

  • the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder;
  • the bladder, the urine reservoir;
  • the ureters, through which urine circulates between the kidneys and the bladder;
  • the kidneys, which filter the blood and remove waste from the urine.

In most cases, the patient detects the urinary tract infection as a result of pain or burning while passing urine. However, it can cause other symptoms, such as fever or abdominal cramps.

The different types of infections depending on the urinary tract

As we have just seen, urinary tract infections can relate different ways. However, depending on these, the disease is not the same.

Learn to distinguish cystitis from other urinary tract infections

The most common bacterial urinary tract infection is cystitis, which is a inflammation of the bladder. In most patients, bacteria Escherichia coli it is one of the main causes. Due to the promiscuity between the anus and the entrance to the urethra, women are most affected by cystitis. In fact, the intestinal bacteria it can go up to this conduit on many occasions.

Urethritis: A sexually transmitted infection in men

In another register, urethritisthat often accompanies cystitis, is a urinary tract infection specific urethral. This has the distinction of being sexually transmitted, especially in humans. If the germ Escherichia coli may still be responsible, chlamydia and gonococcus are also other regularly implicated bacteria.

Pyelonephritis: the most serious urinary disorders for health

In the end, pyelonephritis, or acute pyelonephritis, is the most severe stage of UTI. The patient is affected when the condition has went to the kidneys. Most often, it results from a urinary tract infection or poorly treated cystitis, which has allowed bacteria to proliferate.

For obvious reasons, pyelonephritis should be prompt medical intervention. Otherwise, the consequences can be particularly important for the patient’s health.

Causes of Bacterial UTIs

As you may have understood, the only cause of urinary tract infections is the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract. However, the human body has a means of defense against these microorganisms, in particular the urinary system. Both from urine itselfthat expels bacteria, or thanks to the bladder wall and its antibacterial substances, we are not defenseless.

Unfortunately, some gut bacteria are resistant and can do this colonize the urinary system. Furthermore, this task is greatly facilitated when you do not drink enough or during a state of dehydration.

To identify the bacteria involved, the use of a medical examination is necessary. Whether it is a urine dipstick test or an ECBU, which does urine culture, diagnostic tool preference is often left to the doctor’s choice.

The risk of a poorly treated urinary tract infection

When the urinary tract infection turns into pyelonephritis, the patient has only a few hours to react. Indeed, lack of treatment can lead to sepsis, or even kidney failure. In this case, it is mandatory to quickly establish antibiotic treatment.

Symptoms of bacterial UTIs

Since a urinary tract infection may not be trivial, it needs to be detected in time avoid the risk of complications.

Common symptoms of UTI

Symptoms of UTIs largely depend on where the bacteria are found. In case of cystitis or urethritis, the signs are quite slight. It could be :

  • pain or burning when urinating;
  • a frequent or urgent need to urinate;
  • cloudy or foul-smelling urine;
  • blood in the urine.

Diagnosis of pyelonephritis and dangers to the prostate

When the bacteria reach the kidneys, the symptoms intensify. They therefore take the form:

  • high fever;
  • chills;
  • pain in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic area;
  • He retched.

Note that the symptoms of pyelonephritis they are likely to evolve after a few days, especially in untreated men. In fact, it ends hit the prostate and cause prostatitis. When the diagnosis is made, 3 weeks of antibiotic treatment is required to overcome it.

Keep in mind, however, that mild symptoms are absent 40% of patients have cystitis. We therefore recommend that you remain alert to the slightest sign.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms in Children

A child is also likely to have a urinary tract infection. However, the symptoms are not identical to those of an adult. These, in fact, can be limited to a small fever, with no other signs of illness. Even a simple stomach ache or bed wetting can be a harbinger of a urinary tract infection.

In young children it is very difficult to detect this condition, mainly because they do not know how to express themselves. Therefore, moaning or crying while passing urine should get your attention, as well as gastrointestinal disorders.

Treatment for a urinary tract infection

Depending on the type of urinary tract infection, the treatment to be followed varies. However, it still involves the taking an antibiotic.

Treatment for mild urinary tract infections

Bacterial urinary tract infections always require prescription of an antibiotic. In most cases, the latter acts quickly and eliminates symptoms within 48 hours of the first dose.

For milder infections, such as cystitis or urethritis, doctors are often satisfied with a simple antibiotic. This can be taken as a single dose or over a period of 3 to 10 days.

Attention, despite the disappearance of the symptoms of urinary tract infection, the prescription of the antibiotic must be followed to the end. Conversely, if the symptoms have not disappeared by the third day after the first dose, it is best to inform your doctor adapt the treatment.

Treatment for severe urinary tract infections

When the urinary tract infection reaches its most severe stage, i.e. acute pyelonephritis, the doctor prescribes a high-dose antibiotic. Unlike a simple antibiotic, this must be taken for at least 15 days.

In extreme cases of pyelonephritis, the the patient is hospitalized to be placed under surveillance. Therefore, antibiotics can be given by injection.

Treatment for cystitis or persistent urinary tract infection

The case of persistent cystitis or infection is still separate. Typically, one week is enough for antibiotic treatment to overcome the condition. However, in rare cases, symptoms persist due to antibiotic resistance.

When the situation arises, the doctor may choose to prescribe another antibiotic or extend the duration of treatment.

Prevent the risk of bacterial urinary infections

A little prevention is essential for avoid urinary tract infections. With good habits and a few tricks, the risk can also be greatly reduced.

Drink and urinate frequently to avoid urinary tract infections

Drinking enough water is one of the factors that tends to do so reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. In fact, a minimum of 1.5-2 liters is needed every day. However, this practice requires regular urination throughout the day. Otherwise, the bacteria stagnate in the bladder and favor the onset of cystitis.

Reduce the risk of UTI with good hygiene

Having good intimate hygiene is essential to avoid having a urinary tract infection, especially in women. Likewise, it is recommended to wipe from front to back to avoid circulation of bacteria intestinal to the urethra.

Note that the problem of intimate hygiene also affects sexual intercourse, as these are often the cause of urinary tract infections. Beyond the bathroom itself, for example, women are advised to go urinating after each intercourse.

Protect yourself from the risk of urinary tract infection with natural remedies

To be less susceptible to urinary tract infections, the French often turn to plants. Cranberry, for example, is renowned for its antiseptic properties. It is therefore very easy to find cranberry capsules in pharmacies, as well as in stores, with the juice ready for consumption. Note, however, that its effectiveness is debated and that many studies question this reputation. Everyone has to make a decision.

There are many other natural remedies that can play a role preventive role for cystitis. Vitamin C is, among other things, an excellent supplement that protects against the risk of urinary tract infection, in the same way as echinacea.

Of course, the use of plants is limited to the hours following the appearance of the first symptoms. As the infection settles deeper into the urinary tract, only antibiotics can relieve the patient.

The important thing is not to underestimate the impact of a urinary tract infection on health. Consulting your doctor at the first symptoms is therefore the only good reflex to have.

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