Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection
Urinary Tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections for adults, especially women. It accounts for about 8.1 million visits to primary care providers each year. Having one Urinary tract Infection can increase your chances of another UTI by almost 20%. Being able to identify risk factors, causes, symptoms, and treatment of UTI can reduce the risk of developing a Urinary Tract Infection.

Urinary Tract Infections are a result of bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra. 80% to 90% of urinary tract infections are caused by Escherichia coli (E. Coli), a bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract.

The bacteria then multiply in the bladder causing symptoms to develop. The majority of infections will only affect the bladder, however, untreated infections can travel to the kidneys causing a more serious infection. 
1. Female anatomy: a woman has a shorter urethra than a man does, which shortens the distance that the bacteria travels to reach the bladder.
2. Blockages in the urinary tract such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs.
3. A suppressed immune system such as a diagnosis of Diabetes.
4. Catheter use.

1. Strong, persistent urge to urinate
2. Burning sensation when urinating
3. Passing, frequent small amounts of urine
4. Cloudy and/or blood-tinged urine
5. Pelvic pain
6. Odor to urine
7. Fever and chills
8. Nausea and vomiting
9. Confusion
10. Weakness

1. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute urine, increases the frequency, and allows bacteria to be flushed.
2. Drinking cranberry juice has been shown to help reduce the risk of UTI.
3. Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge, don’t wait.
4. Cleanse genital area after using the bathroom. For women, wiping front to back prevents bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
5. If you suspect a UTI, contact your physician for further assessment.

1. If a Urinary Tract Infection is suspected, your physician will collect a urine sample to assess for the specific type of bacteria that is causing the infection.
2. If recurrent UTI’s are noted, an ultrasound may be ordered for a more complex assessment of the urinary tract.
3. Once a Urinary tract infection is identified, your physician will prescribe antibiotics. Common medications prescribed include Bactrim, Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid), and Keflex.
4. If left untreated or become recurrent, UTIs can result in severe infection that can lead to sepsis and hospitalizations.

Also always remember to consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Reference: www.cdc.gov, www.mayoclinic.com