Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, bladders, urethra, ureter and sphincter. The kidneys are responsible for taking out the liquified waste from the body in the form of urine. The bladders function to store urine and contracts and flatten to empty urine through the urethra. The Urethra is the tube-like body part that allows urine to be passed outside the body. The Ureters are two narrow tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder. The sphincters are the circular muscles that function in keeping urine from leaking by closing tightly around the opening of the bladder. An infection to any parts of the urinary systems is what is referred to in medical science as a Urinary Tract Infection and commonly known amongst health practitioners as UTIs. Urinary tract infections are one of the most common types of infections in the body and account for 8 million hospital visits every year. The woman’s anatomy and physiognomy make them more susceptible to Urinary tract infection as a result of the proximity of the urethra to the anus that makes it prone to bacterial infection. While most UTIs are not very serious, they can become serious if not treated immediately and can in upper urinary tract infection such as long-lasting kidney infection and sudden kidney infection which are both life threatening.

Urinary Tract Infections Symptoms

Some urinary tract infections rarely show any signs or symptoms until the condition becomes very advanced. These include tumors, kidney failure and stones that do not block the flow of urine. Some other symptoms of urinary tract infection include some or all of the following

  • Pain or burning sensation in urination
  • Bloody urine accompanied with a foul smell
  • Frequent urination
  • Cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Fever
  • Easily fatigued

Urinary Tract Infections Causes

A urinary tract infection typically occurs when infections enter the bladder through the urethra and spread into the bladder and beyond. The most common types of UTIs usually occur in women and affect the bladder and urethra.

  • The first of these is known as cystitis that is an infection of the bladder causes by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), found mainly in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • The second type is known as Urethritis a condition involving the infection of the Urethra. This type of infection occurs when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra.

Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosis

Below, you will find several ways to properly diagnose a Urinary Tract Infection.

  • Physical examination may suggest the presence of a urinary tract infection.
  • However a definitive diagnosis may require the intake of “clean catch” urine specimen from the middle of the urinary system.
  • If an upper UTI is suspected, further test involving Complete Blood Count (CBC) and blood cultures will be required

Urinary Tract Infections Treatment

The following treatments are the most commonly used ways to care for a urinary tract infection.

  • In the treatment of UTIs, the most commonly used drugs are Antibiotics.
  • Lower Urinary tract infections can be treated with over the counter oral antibiotics while upper UTIs require the use of intravenous antibiotics.
  • While some bacteria can resist certain antibiotics, urine culture can help select a more effective antibiotic treatment.