Urinary Tract Infection

The urinary system is also called the excretory system, and its job is store move certain waste products from the blood and eliminate them from the body.

Cystitis and urethritis constitute the two types of urinary tract infection ( UTI ).

Urethritis: inflammation of the urethra.

Cystitis: inflammation of the bladder.

Cystitis usually results from an ascending infection. Cystitis and urethritis (UTI) commonly respond readily to treatment, but recurrence and resistant bacterial flare - up during during course of therapy is possible.

Women are more prone to have UTI, more so than men. UTI is also a prevalent bacterial disease in children, with girls also most commonly affected. Doctors suspect that because women have a shorter urethra ( the tube that carries urine out of the bladder ), it is a short passageway, only about an inch and a half long. It makes it easier for bacteria to migrate into the bladder. Also, the opening to a woman's urethra lies close to the vagina and the anus, giving bacteria from those areas access to the urinary tract.

In men and children, UTI is commonly related to anatomic or physiologic abnormalities. Some other causes of UTI include gram-negative enteric bacteria (typically Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Proteus, Enterobacter, Serratia, or Pseudomonas)

Symptoms:

Urinary urgency and frequency
Dysuria ( pain when urinating )
Bladder cramps or spasms
Itching
Feeling of warmth during urination
Nocturia (excessive urination at night )
Possibly hematuria ( process of blood in the urine )
Possibly fever
Possibly urethral discharge in males.
Other symptoms includes:
Low back pain, malaise, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or tenderness over the bladder, chills, and flank pain.

Treatment:

Your doctor may prescribe a 7 to 10 day course of an appropriate antibiotic to treat UTI.  IMPORTANT- complete prescribed course of therapy unless specified by your doctor.

Single-dose antibiotic therapy with amoxicilliln or cortrimoxazole may be effective in women with acute non-complicated UTI.

Recurrent infections caused by infected renal calculi, chronic prostatitis, or a structural abnormality may necessitate surgery.  In patients without these predisposing conditions, long-term, low-dose antibiotic therapy is the treatment of choice.

* Take all of your prescribed antibiotic even if and when you feel better.
* Drink plenty of water, at least 8- 8 oz of water per day.
* With long term prophylaxis, adhering strictly to the ordered dosage.
* Fruit juices, especially cranberry juice helps to fight UTI
* Vitamin C may help acidify the urine and enhance the action of the medication.
* If therapy includes phenazopyridin, patient urine may be red orange.
*Women should urinate immediately after intercourse.
* Females: wipe after urinating from front to back (avoid wiping from the anus upwards to the vagina) and after defecation (bowel movement) wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
* Take frequent stops during long car trips to empty your bladder
* To prevent recurrent infections in men, Prompt treatment of predisposing conditions, such as chronic prostatitis.
See your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Latest Article: Ulcerative Colitis

This inflammatory, often chronic disease affects the mucosa and submucosa of the colon.  It usually begins in the rectum and sigmoid colon and often extends upward into the entire colon (colon:  which is the name for the longer part of the large intestine, extends up from the cecum along the right side and then bends to extend across the abdomen to the left side).  It...

Related Articles: