A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections in humans and can occur in any part of the urinary tract. It is an infection from microbes which is usually caused by bacteria, but can also be a result of an attack by fungi or viruses.
The urinary tract is made up of kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters, and in most cases, UTIs affect the lower part of the urinary tract (bladder and urethra). However, the infection can also affect the upper tract (kidneys and ureters) in severe cases.
The symptoms of UTI may vary based on whether the infection affects the lower or upper part of the urinary tract. Some of the common symptoms of a lower tract infection include:
On the other hand, UTIs that affect the upper tract are more dangerous and can cause serious symptoms. As the upper tract infection directly impacts the kidneys, it can lead to a condition known as urosepsis, which results in extremely low blood pressure, shock, and even death if the bacteria manages to enter the blood. Common symptoms of upper tract UTI include:
The treatment of a urinary tract infection is dependent on whether the infection is caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. While the infection is caused by bacteria in most cases, your doctor will first ask you to undergo a urine test at a top quality pathlab to test your urine for microbes before beginning treatment. Based on the test results, your doctor will then suggest a suitable course of treatment.
If the infection is caused by bacteria, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to effectively treat your condition. Whereas, viral and fungal UTIs are treated with the help of antifungal and antiviral medications respectively.
While there are no home remedies that can cure a urinary tract infection, consumption of cranberry juice is known to prevent bacterial UTI from occurring in the first place. It is said that a chemical present in cranberries prevents certain types of bacteria from attaching to the lining of the bladder, which is useful in preventing UTIs in future.
Urinary tract infections can be irritating and troublesome. However, drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day and avoiding holding of urine for long durations can be helpful in keeping the infection at bay. Consult your doctor if you’re suffering from urine inconsistence or having difficulty in emptying your bladder.