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Urinary Tract Infection – Overview

February 3, 2021


“Technically the term UTI can refer to an infection anywhere along the urinary tract that includes the kidneys, the ureters, or the tubes that drain the kidneys, the bladder, the prostate, or urethra, but in general, when using the term UTI, it’s referring to a bladder infection. Specific terms for urinary tract infections depend on what part of the urinary tract is infected. A kidney infection is called pilot nephritis. Bladder infection is cystitis. Prostate infection is prostititus and urethral infection is urethritis. Women are much more prone to UTIs than men are simply because males have a longer urethra. The shorter female urethra allows bacteria that normally reside in the vaginal or rectal areas to more easily enter the urinary tract. Common signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection include disurea or burning with urination, frequency and urgency, fever or flank pain should prompt someone to see their doctor as this may indicate pilot nephritis or a kidney infection. An untreated kidney infection can progress to sepsis.

Fortunately, this is not usually the case as the symptoms of disurea and urgency are so severe that most people seek treatment. What causes urinary tract infections? Common urinary tract infection causes include sexual activity, lack of estrogen, such as that associated with perimenopause and menopause, contamination from stool, and immunosuppression. The most common organism causing urinary tract infections is bacteria. However, if someone has taken a lot of antibiotics or they have immunosuppression, yeast can also cause urinary tract infections. Virus is also a likely cause a fair number of urinary tract infections, but routine testing does not detect this. Can urinary tract infections be prevented and treated? Of course. The most common treatment for urinary tract infections is antibiotics, as bacteria are the most common cause of urinary tract infections. For milder urinary tract infections, simply increasing fluid intake or taking a cranberry supplement can actually be the treatment. Other natural remedies for urinary tract infections include d-mannose and uva ursi. Many women have recurrent urinary tract infections that are related to sexual activity. In this instance, she may be prescribed an antibiotic or take a cranberry supplement at the time of sexual activity. If there is no known predisposing factor, then a daily cranberry supplement or other natural remedy, again, such as uva ursi or d-mannose may be taken.”

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