Urine infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection caused by bacteria in the urinary system, the body function responsible for producing, storing and eliminating urine. With early diagnosis and proper medication, it can be treated easily. But if neglected, it could result to complications that may make treatment harder. UTI can affect any part of the urinary tract which is composed of two kidneys, two ureters, two sphincter muscles, bladder and urethra. Escherichia coli are the bacteria that enter the bladder or the kidneys and cause the infection. Anybody regardless of age may be infected. Once the symptoms are experienced and detected, antibiotics are often prescribed.
Symptoms of a Urine Infection
The warning signs of this infection are common and similar for men and women. If you experience any of the following, consult your doctor who may recommend a urinalysis.
- Repeated need to urinate even during sleep but often producing very little urine.
- Painful urination accompanied by a burning sensation.
- Discomfort and or tenderness in the lower abdomen.
- Unusually smelly urine that is also cloudy. Healthy urine should be light yellow.
- Inability to control urine.
- Severe UTI usually comes with fever, nausea and lower back pain which may mean the kidneys are already infected. Immediate medical care is necessary.
Urine and yeast infections can often produce similar symptoms. Read about the differences and similarities here.
Types of UTI
- Cystitis – a lower urinary tract infection that is most common and affects the bladder. It can often be cured with over-the-counter medicine.
- Urethritis – a rare infection in the tube called ureter that aids in urine elimination.
- Pyelonephritis – an infection that occurs in the kidneys; also called an upper urinary tract infection.
Causes of UTI
Germs are the number one reason for the infection. Our bodies naturally drive out controllable amount of germs but once they penetrate the urethra and go up the bladder, rapid reproduction takes place causing infections and early treatment is the key to quick recovery. Otherwise, severe infections could not only hurt but damage the kidneys further and could make treatment difficult.
Women are more susceptible to urine infections than men, especially during or after menstrual periods. One reason pointed out is the nearness of the female’s urethra to the anus but there are other causes: menopause, sexual activities and the use of contraceptive device.
Kidney or bladder stone formers who experience a blockage in the urinary track also have a higher chance of acquiring UTI. Those who have a hard time controlling their urine or are excessively controlling their urine are also at risk. A sexual partner who has UTI may pass the infection to you or if you suffer from an infected or enlarged prostate, you are also likely to have UTI. Another reason that could make you prone to having urine infection is a weak immune system or if you are suffering from illnesses like diabetes.
Urine Infection Treatment
Urinary tract infection should not be considered a dreaded disease if you are able to spot the symptoms and be treated right away. Treating the infection at its initial stage would help keep you away from further complications so never ignore the slightest indication that you might have it.
The fastest working treatment for a urine infection is antibiotics, but there are other and less harmful ways to accomplish this. Here is how you can cure UTIs in 24 hours, with or without antibiotics.