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Plaguing as many as 1 in every 2 women, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of any part of the urinary system—kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra—though most infections affect the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra). UTIs are often caused by bladder infection. While women are the most common victims of urinary tract infections, a UTI may also affect men as well as individuals of any age, with causes of UTIs differing based on gender and age. UTIs may spread to the kidneys if not treated and may lead to sepsis, which can be fatal.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in that specializes inUTI treatment, call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.
While some illnesses have a single known source, other infections may point blame to a number of causes; urinary tract infections are of the latter camp and may be caused by a number of factors depending on gender and age.
E. coli, a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is the cause of a majority of UTIs. In women in particular, whose anatomy includes a shorter urethra than men, bacteria has a shorter distance to travel from the anus to the bladder and may spread by way of the urethra. When bacteria infects the urethra and spreads to the bladder, it may eventually spread to the kidneys, which poses an increased threat of sepsis.
UTIs are also associated with sexual activity, with bacteria running rampant once introduced into the urinary tract. Sexually active persons who regularly introduce new partners are particularly at risk, with sexually transmitted infections—such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma—often causing UTIs to occur. Other risk factors for UTI development include:
Signs of urinary tract infection could vary by patient and gender. The most common of urinary tract infection symptoms include:
Depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected, however, more specific symptoms may vary:
|Part of Urinary Tract Infected||Signs & Symptoms|
Upper back and side pain
Burning while urinating
To ensure proper treatment, it is important to consult a healthcare provider if you suspect you suffer from a UTI. Your healthcare provider will likely conduct a uranalysis in order to inspect white blood cells, red blood cells or bacteria. Your urinalysis may be followed by a urine culture to identify what is causing your infection as well as to determine which medications will be most effective.
Urinary tract infection treatment will usually consist of prescribed antibiotics. Your healthcare provider might also prescribe a pain medication to numb your bladder and urethra so that symptoms of your UTI (such as burning urination) are reduced while the antibiotic runs its course. D-mannose and herbs like uva ursi (bearberry leaf) and goldenseal may also provide relief if you are looking for more natural UTI treatment. Taking probiotics during your course of antibiotics will likely be recommended by your healthcare provider in order to promote healthy gut flora and overall balanced health.
Some patients may suffer frequent UTIs, in which case your healthcare provider may recommend more prolonged treatments, such as:
In order to prevent UTIs from developing, the following steps are recommended:
If you suffer from UTIs, whether spontaneously or frequent, it is important to receive proper treatment to restore urinary health. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in that specializes in UTI treatment, call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.
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