Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Treatment
Did you know that as many as 1 in every 2 woman have urinary tract infections (UTI).
The urinary tract system consists of the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. However, most infections affect the lower part of the urinary tract which includes the urethra and the bladder. UTIs are often caused by bladder infections.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are generally harmless. However, if untreated the infection may spread into the kidneys. Once the kidneys are infected, it is possible to develop sepsis, which may be fatal.
Approximately 1 in every 2 women have urinary tract infections (UTIs). Depending on age men may also develop UTIs, typically among older men.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infection typically occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and travels upward towards the bladder where the bacteria begins to multiply. Urinary tract infections may be caused by a number of factors depending on gender and age.
E- coli, a type of bacteria, is commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and is expelled through the anus. It is a common cause of UTIs. Women in particular are at a greater risk of developing a UTI because their anatomy includes a shorter urethra compared to men. Therefore, bacteria only need to travel a short distance before reaching the bladder.
Sexual activity may also lead to UTIs. Sexually active individuals who regularly introduce new partners are at an enhanced risk of developing infections. In addition to the risk of developing a UTI, there is an enhanced risk of contracting sexually infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma.
Other risk factors for UTI development include:
- Use of specific types of birth control such as diaphragms or spermicidal agents
- Changes in the urinary tract due to a decline of circulating estrogen as a result of menopause
- Urinary tract abnormalities that affect the body’s ability to eliminate urine
- Blockages in the urinary tract such as those caused by kidney stones or an enlarged prostate
- Catheter use
- Recent urinary tract surgeries or procedures
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection will vary by gender and by individual. The urethra, bladder, and kidneys are primarily affected in a UTI. The symptoms for each are listed below:
- Painful urination
- Burning sensation
- Pelvic pressure or discomfort
- Pain in lower abdomen
- Blood in urine
- Pain mid-back pain
- Nausea and vomiting
If you suspect that you have a UTI, one method of checking can be done at home. Urinate in a glass or clear container and observe the color of the urine. Normally, urine may be a shade of yellow. However, if your urine appears to be cloudy, pink, red, has specks or is dark like Coca-Cola, please seek medical attention. Another potential indicator of a UTI is if your urine has an abnormally strong smell.
- Recurring infections, especially in woman who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period or four or more infections within a year
- Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection due to an untreated UTI
- Increased risk in pregnant women delivering low birth weight or premature infants
- Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis previously seen with gonococcal urethritis
- Sepsis, a potentially like-threatening complication of an infection, especially if the infection works its way up your urinary tract to your kidneys
Reduce Sugar Intake. Sugar is the main food source for bacteria to proliferate. Reduce sugar intake including all types of refined carbohydrates, sweets, breads, grains, and soft drinks.
Drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensure that you’ll urinate more frequently, thus allowing bacteria to be flushed out from your urinary tract before infection can begin.
Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Additionally, drink a full glass of water to help reduce bacteria growth.
Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorants sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powder in the genital area can irritate the urethra and disrupt the natural female microbiome.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, seek professional advice.
If you would like to learn more about how to treat urinary tract infections naturally, please give us a call at (225)478-9665.