What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do you think I got a kidney infection?
- How much water should I drink every day to stay hydrated?
- What is the best medicine for me to treat my kidney infection?
- Once I start medicine, how long will it take for my symptoms to go away?
- Since Ive had one kidney infection, am I likely to get another?
- What is the risk of a kidney infection leading to chronic kidney disease?
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Preventing Utis And Kidney Stones
Of course, even when every precaution is taken, someone may still develop a UTI or kidney stone, but there are plenty of ways to decrease the likelihood. Here are some of the best ways to reduce the risk of suffering from a urinary tract infection or kidney stone.
- Drink plenty of fluid, especially water. Remaining hydrated assures the kidneys can produce sufficient urine to dilute sediment, reducing the risk of developing a kidney stone. Fluid helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract, so they don’t have as much of a chance to proliferate. Six or more eight-ounce glasses of water a day are recommended for optimal hydration.
- Wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria that lead to UTIs from the vagina and anus to the urethra.
- Avoid diets high in sugar. Sugar can irritate the urinary tract, making it more susceptible to bacterial growth, and it can cause excess calcium to settle in the kidneys that form stones.
- Clean before and after sex and urinate as soon as possible after sex. This reduces the transfer of bacteria from skin to urethra and helps rinse out the urethra.
What Is A Kidney Infection
A kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis, is when bacteria or viruses cause problems in one or both of your kidneys. Itâs a type of urinary tract infection .
Your kidneysâ main job is to remove waste and take extra water from your blood. Theyâre part of your urinary tract, which makes liquid waste and removes it from your body. Like the exhaust system on your car, you want everything to work like it should so waste moves in one direction only: out.
Your urinary tract is made up of your:
- Kidneys. These clean waste from your blood and make urine .
- Ureters. These thin tubes, one for each kidney, carry urine to your bladder.
- Bladder. This stores urine.
- Urethra. This tube carries urine from your bladder to outside your body.
If any of these parts gets germs in it, you can get a UTI. Most often, your bladder gets infected first. This can be painful but isnât usually serious.
But if the bad bacteria or viruses travel up your ureters, you can get a kidney infection. If left untreated, a kidney infection can cause life-threatening problems.
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How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections In The Elderly
With a proper understanding of UTI, its potential causes, and risk factors there are some simple things that all of us can do to help prevent infections in our urinary tracts. Some of the most practical preventive behaviors are:
Drink plenty of fluids daily, especially water
Urinate as soon as the urge hits
Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse
Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement
Avoid bladder irritants like caffeine and alcohol
Avoid irritating feminine hygiene products like deodorants, douches, and powders
Drink cranberry juice
In addition to the suggestions listed above, here are some preventive behaviors specifically for avoiding UTI in seniors:
Establish and follow a regular urination schedule, using alarms if necessary
Take enough time to empty the bladder completely when urinating
Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants
Change incontinence pads and underwear immediately after they are soiled
The prevention of UTI in older adults boils down to two words: better care. Remember, as people age, they sometimes lose the ability to care for themselves in ways that we all take for granted when we are younger. This makes it essential for loved ones and professional caregivers to be vigilant, look for unmet care needs, and respectfully provide that care when necessary.
Different Types Of Kidney Infections
You can generally classify kidney infections into 3 categories:
- Uncomplicated infections
- Chronic or recurring kidney infections.
Uncomplicated infections are simply those that start as urinary tract infections and spread, causing plenty of pain and discomfort but no long-term damage.
A complicated kidney infection is an infection accompanied by a condition that increases the potential for that infection to become severe and for treatments to become ineffective. This includes obstructions or abnormalities in the urinary system or disorders like diabetes. Complicated pyelonephritis also indicates more severe issues related to the kidneys. This includes the formation of abscesses or obstructions in the kidneys or even enlarged kidneys. Complicated kidney infections come with more severe symptoms and are often less responsive to treatments.
Chronic kidney infections are rare and often caused by birth defects, structural abnormalities, or other preexisting issues. Frequent kidney infections can cause scarring and progressive damage to the kidneys. Thankfully, most cases of chronic pyelonephritis are discovered early in childhood. Most cases of kidney infection are cured with traditional treatments and medications, with little lasting damage to the kidneys or urinary system. Most people wont develop a kidney infection again.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a lower UTI include
- Pain or discomfort when urinating
- The feeling of being unable to empty your bladder fully
- Cloudy and/or foul-smelling urine that may contain blood
- Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis
- Feeling achy, tired and generally under-the-weather
Symptoms of an upper UTI include
- A high temperature of 38°C
- Pain in your sides or back
- Shivering or chills
- Agitation or restlessness
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What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection
Classic symptoms of UTI include:
Frequent and urgent need to urinate
The symptoms of UTI in older adults related to changes in mood, cognition, and behavior are well-documented, but they often mimic symptoms of other conditions like dementia or stroke. This coupled with the fact that the elderly may not be able to tell you when they are experiencing classic symptoms of UTI make it important for their loved ones and caregivers to take prompt action when an abrupt change in mood or behavior is observed. Medical professionals can test for UTI and can determine whether or not a bacterial or fungal infection is present in the urinary tract, or if the changes are the result of some other condition. Tests for UTI are usually performed through urinalysis.
The good news is that if UTI is diagnosed early enough, treatments are usually easy and effective. Depending on the source of infection, antibiotics or antifungal medications are used with great success against UTI. Drinking plenty of fluids while taking the medication will also help flush the infection out of the urinary tract. It is important to take the antibiotic or antifungal medication exactly as it is prescribed, even after UTI symptoms go away. Taking all of the medication will help kill all of the infections. Centric Healthcare’s trained and caring professionals can help ensure that their clients take all medications as prescribed and drink appropriate amounts of fluids.
Understanding Your Urinary Tract
Your urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises several different organs designed to extract, hold, and transport waste from your system in the form of urine. The main organs involved in the urinary system include:
- The kidneys: These two organs sit on each side of your body, generally around the waist. They filter out excess water and waste from your blood to create urine.
- The ureters: These two thin tubes run between the kidney and bladder, transporting urine to the bladder.
- The bladder: This organ stores urine until it reaches a certain level, at which point you feel the need to pee. The body voluntarily contracts the muscles that line the bladder to urinate.
- The urethra: This thin tube connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When you urinate, a muscle called the urinary sphincter relaxes as your bladder contracts to remove urine from your body.
Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria infect any part of your urinary system, but they are most common in your lower urinary tract, comprising the urethra and bladder.
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What Conditions Are Related To Recurrent Utis
Recurrent UTIs sometimes happen along with other conditions, such as:
- vesicoureteral reflux , which is found in 30%50% of kids diagnosed with a UTI. In this congenital condition, pee flows backward from the bladder to the ureters. Ureters are thin, tube-like structures that carry pee from the kidney to the bladder. Sometimes the pee backs up to the kidneys. If it’s infected with bacteria, it can lead to pyelonephritis.
- hydronephrosis, which is an enlargement of one or both kidneys due to backup or blockage of urine flow. It’s usually caused by severe VUR or a blocked ureter. Some kids with hydronephrosis might need to take daily low doses of antibiotics to prevent UTIs until the condition producing hydronephrosis gets better or is fixed through surgery.
But not all cases of recurrent UTIs can be traced back to these body structure-related problems. For example, dysfunctional voiding when a child doesn’t relax the muscles properly while peeing is a common cause of UTIs. Not peeing often enough also can also increase a child’s risk for recurrent infections. Both dysfunctional voiding and infrequent urination can be associated with constipation.
Rarely, unrelated conditions that harm the body’s natural defenses, such as diseases of the immune system, also can lead to recurrent UTIs. Use of a nonsterile urinary catheter can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and also cause an infection.
Who Gets Kidney Stones
As with UTIs, anyone can develop one or more kidney stones. However, some are more predisposed to kidney stones than others. Some of the risk factors for kidney stones are:
- History. If the patient or their family has a history of kidney stones, the patient is more likely to develop kidney stones again or as well.
- Dehydration. The concentration of sediment in urine is much higher when someone is dehydrated, making it much more likely that kidney stones will form.
- Diet. Those people who are on a high protein diet or consume large amounts of salt or sugar are more apt to have kidney stones, since this can increase the amount of calcium in the kidneys.
- Digestiveproblems or gastric surgery. Inflammatory bowel disease , gastric bypass surgery, and chronic diarrhea all compromise the bodys ability to absorb both calcium and water, both of which will lead to a higher possibility of kidney stones.
- Obesity. Science has linked high body mass index to an increase in risk for kidney stones.
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Kidney Infection Home Remedies
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
Can A Uti Become A Kidney Infection
The urinary system doesnt ordinarily contain bacteria. However, bacteria such as Escherichia coli and others found in the intestines can get into the urinary tract. This can cause cystitis , and it can also cause a UTI.
If a UTI spreads to the kidneys, they may fail to function properly. As a result, your blood can easily get infected, which may lead to a life-threatening condition called .
Frequent bladder infections, structural problems in the urinary tract, or blockage by kidney stones can easily lead to kidney infections as well. The normal flow of urine is from the kidneys down to the bladder. If the urine flows in the wrong direction, kidney infections may also occur.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
If your doctor thinks your pain may be from vaginal inflammation, he or she may wipe the lining of your vagina with a swab to collect mucus. The mucus will be looked at under a microscope to see if it has yeast or other organisms. If your pain is from an infection in your urethra , your doctor may swab it to test for bacteria. If an infection cant be found, your doctor may suggest other tests.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
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How Serious Is A Uti
Urinary tract infections can be painful and uncomfortable, but they ultimately dont pose a serious threat to your health as long as you seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Read on to learn more about when urinary tract infections turn into kidney infections, the differences between the two, and what you can do to properly treat and prevent them.
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Treatment For Utis Vs Kidney Infection Treatment
UTIs, including kidney infections, can be treated with a course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic can depend on the type of bacteria thats causing your infection as well as how severe your infection is.
The doctor will often start you on an antibiotic that works against a wide variety of UTI-causing bacteria. If a urine culture is performed, the doctor may switch your antibiotic to one thats most effective at treating the specific bacterium thats causing your infection.
Simple UTIs can be treated with short 3- to 5-day courses of antibiotics. Treatment for kidney infections generally lasts 7 to 14 days, depending on which class of antibiotic is prescribed.
You may begin to feel better after only a few days on antibiotics. However, you should still make sure that you complete your entire treatment course as prescribed. If you do not take all of your antibiotics, the stronger bacteria may not be killed, causing your infection to persist and flare up again.
If youre pregnant, your doctor may also request a repeat urine sample following a kidney infection, even if your symptoms have resolved. This allows them to check to see whether your infection has completely cleared.
If there are still bacteria present in the sample, you may need another course of antibiotics. Persistence of bacteria can potentially harm an unborn baby.
People with severe kidney infections may need to be hospitalized. In this case, you may receive antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
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