Urinary tract infections are a common problem in women because of the anatomy of their bodies. Infections occur when bacteria gets into the bladder and tubes that allow urine to be removed from the body. UTIs can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, or they can have very subtle symptoms. Proper treatment is important to keep the infection from moving to the kidneys, which is a more serious medical problem. Both traditional and alternative treatments can help eliminate urinary tract infections.
Causes of UTIs
Germs can enter the urinary tract from improper bathroom hygiene, from sexual intercourse and from some types of contraceptives. People who have kidney stones may also get urinary tract infections. Individuals who are pregnant, have diabetes or do not drink enough fluids are more prone to getting urinary tract infections. People over the age of 65 may also get frequent urinary infections because of greater susceptibility to infections, as well as those with immune system disorders.
Symptoms of UTI
UTI symptoms can be acute with pain on urination, frequent urination, bladder spasms, abdominal tenderness, fever, chills and pain in the back under the area of the ribs where the kidneys are located. In elderly people, UTIs can also cause other symptoms, such as confusion, hallucinations, agitation, dizziness, falling and other problems with motor skills. UTIs are diagnosed by urine tests that indicate the presence of white blood cells in the urine. If other problems are suspected, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound testing may be needed.
The standard treatment for UTIs is a course of antibiotics of various types. Fluoroquinoline medications like Cipro or Levaquin are effective but should not be used by pregnant women or children. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole medications are also used, but some organisms are resistant to these medications. Beta-lactam medications like Amoxicillin, Augmentin and Keflex are often the first-line of defense against UTIs, but may not be effective against some organisms. Tetracycline is sometimes prescribed for UTI but should not be given to children or pregnant women. Aminoglycosides are generally prescribed for severe UTIs. Macrolide antibiotics like erythromycin and azithromycin are effective against STD-related urinary infections. Be sure to head to free std centers to get tested. Your physician will determine the proper antibiotic for your needs. In some cases, you may be required to change medications to completely eliminate the infection.
Some studies indicate that an extract in cranberries can help to prevent pathogens from attaching to the lining of bladder. Drinking cranberry juice regularly can help to minimize a slight infection. Pills that contain the extract of cranberries are also available over-the-counter at local pharmacies. Blueberries are also recommended for increasing resistance to urinary infections. Drinking a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water can help to create an inhospitable environment for the growth of bacteria in the bladder. Some people advise drinking orange juice to make the urine more acidic and more resistant to bacterial growth.
Preventing Recurring UTIs
Your physician may advise taking a low dose of antibiotics daily to prevent frequent urinary infections or may suggest taking a single dose of antibiotic after sexual intercourse. Drinking cranberry juice regularly can help to reduce the frequency of UTIs. Some experts advise wearing cotton underwear and avoiding the use of douches and harsh soaps. Wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom can also help to avoid bacterial contamination of the urinary tract. Physicians also advise drinking plenty of fluids daily to keep your urinary system functioning properly.
I hope this helps you maintain a healthy urinary tract. With a little research you can learn how to prevent these pesky infections.
Do you suffer from UTI? Comment below and share with us what works for you.
UTI – Treatment and Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections