What is UTI and Recurrent UTI?
A urinary tract infection is an infection that begins in your urinary system. Your urinary system is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Any part of your urinary system can become infected, but most infections involve the lower urinary tract -- the bladder and the urethra.
Women are at greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection than are men. A urinary tract infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a urinary tract infection spreads to your kidneys.
Antibiotics are the typical treatment for a urinary tract infection. But you can take steps to reduce your chance of getting a urinary tract infection in the first place.
Urinary tract infections do not always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they can include:
1)A strong, persistent urge to urinate
2)A burning sensation when urinating
3)Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
4)Urine that appears cloudy
5)Urine that appears bright pink or cola colored -- a sign of blood in the urine
7)Pelvic pain, in women
8)Rectal pain, in men
Types of urinary tract infection
Each type of urinary tract infection may result in more-specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of your urinary tract is infected.
1)Part of urinary tract affected
2)Kidneys (acute pyelonephritis)
1)Shaking and chills
3)Upper back and side (flank) pain
6)Lower abdomen discomfort
7)Frequent, painful urination
8)Blood in urine
9)Burning with urination
The urinary system is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. All play a role in removing waste from your body. Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, the defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.
The most common urinary tract infections occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
Infection of the bladder (cystitis) is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a species of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you do not have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are susceptible to cystitis because of their anatomy -- specifically, the close proximity of the urethra to the anus and the short distance from the urethral opening to the bladder.
Infection of the urethra (urethritis) can occur when gastrointestinal bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. In addition, because of the female urethras proximity to the vagina, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia, also are possible causes of urethritis.
Western Medicine Treatment
Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Which drugs are prescribed and for how long depend on your health condition and the type of bacterium found in your urine.
1)Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, others)
2)Amoxicillin (Larotid, Moxatag, others)
3)Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrodantin, others)
Usually, symptoms clear up within a few days of treatment. But you may need to continue antibiotics for a week or more. Take the entire course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.
For an uncomplicated urinary tract infection that occurs when you are otherwise healthy, your doctor may recommend a shorter course of treatment, such as taking an antibiotic for one to three days. But whether this short course of treatment is adequate to treat your infection depends on your particular symptoms and medical history.
Your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication (analgesic) that numbs your bladder and urethra to relieve burning while urinating. One common side effect of urinary tract analgesics is discolored urine -- orange or red.
If you experience frequent urinary tract infections, your doctor may recommend a longer course of antibiotic treatment or a program with short courses of antibiotics at the outset of your urinary symptoms.
Your doctor may also recommend taking home urine tests, in which you dip a test stick into a urine sample. For infections related to sexual activity, your doctor may recommend taking a single dose of antibiotic after sexual intercourse.
If you are postmenopausal, your doctor may recommend vaginal estrogen therapy to minimize your chance of recurrent urinary tract infections.
For severe urinary tract infections, hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.
Adopted from mayoclinic.com