What Is A Uti Anyway
A UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens when bacteria enters into any part of your urinary system, which includes the urethra, the bladder, the kidneys or the uterus. If not flushed out of the system, the bacteria can lead to an infection, or a UTI.
If youve ever had a UTI , you probably havent forgotten the symptoms. UTIs are very unpleasant, to say the least, and are often accompanied with one or more of the following:
A burning sensation when urinating
A strong urge to urinate often, usually passing only small amounts of urine at a time.
Cloudy and/or strong smelling urine
Treatment For Kidney Infections And Utis
The treatment for a UTI or kidney infection is similar, with an antibiotic typically prescribed to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Once on an antibiotic, symptoms typically clear up within 1-2 days.
It is crucial to complete the entire course of antibiotics, as this ensures the infection is fully treated. Even if symptoms have gone away, stopping the antibiotics early can cause complications later.
In cases of severe kidney infections, hospital treatment may be needed, and this can include intravenous antibiotics and fluids.
Pregnant women who contract a UTI can also be treated with antibiotics, and treating UTIs in pregnant women is especially important because an infection increases the risk of premature labor and can lead to a kidney infection.
If someone suffers from chronic kidney infections because of the shape of their urinary tract, a doctor may suggest surgery to correct it.
Kidney Stones And Utis: Types And Causes
Kidney stones are caused by the crystallization of minerals, which occurs when there is not enough urine or when levels of salt-forming crystals are present. Kidney stones may be caused by many different things, including calcium oxalate, uric acid, cysteine, or xanthine.
Based on the cause, there are different types of kidney stones, which include uric acid stones, calcium stones , struvite stones, cystine stones, and xanthine stones.
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria most commonly E.coli. When the bacteria enter the urinary system, they travel to the bladder or other parts of the urinary system. UTIs can take place either in the upper or lower urinary tracts, hence their names cystitis, which occurs in the lower urinary tract, and pyelonephritis, which occurs in the upper urinary tract.
There are two main types of UTIs complicated and uncomplicated. The two are distinguished by the factors that trigger the infection. Complicated UTIs are more commonly seen in men than women. UTIs can also be primary or recurrent, which means the infection is happening for the first time or is returning.
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Treating Utis And Bladder Infections
UTIs and bladder infections are typically treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. In order for the infection to go away completely, you need to take the full course of antibiotics, which lasts 3-7 days in most instances but can last longer.
It takes a bit of time for the inflammation to clear up every once the antibiotic begins working, though most people note significant improvement within 48 hours of being on the right antibiotic.
If antibiotics bother your stomach , consider taking probiotics to repopulate your good gut bacteria. This may also help you stay healthy and boost your bodys infection-fighting potential.
In the meantime, drink plenty of water so the flow of urine can help you flush out your system. You might also want to avoid sexual activity while youre recovering because its probably not going to feel great while your urinary tract is inflamed.
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How Do You Get A Bladder Infection Or Uti
UTIs happen when bacteria enters the urethra and spreads. Urinary tract infections are fairly common and can happen to anyone, but the following risk factors can increase your chances of getting one:
- The sex youre assigned at birthpeople assigned female at birth have shorter urethras than those assigned male at birth, making it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder and kidneys.
- Hormone changesmenopause, pregnancy, or just that time of the month can increase your risk of infection.
- Diaphragms and spermicidesthese forms of contraception can kill off good bacteria, increasing the bad bacteria which can find its way to the urethra.
- Genetic predispositionThats right! It could just be a genetic thing. Genetics play a role in the shape and size of your urinary tract making some individuals more prone to infections.
- Sexual activityPee as soon as possible after sex to prevent UTIs.
- Hygiene habitsBubble baths and scented feminine products might feel like self-care, but they can cause irritation that leads to UTIs. Also, always make sure youre wiping front to back!
- Chronic illnessIllness that causes changes to your immune system, like diabetes, can make you more prone to UTIs.
- Holding itNo need to be a hero. When you have to go to the bathroom, you should go.
- Not drinking enough waterAdd it to the list of reasons you should drink more water! Staying hydrated can help stave off infections.
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Utis And Hospital Stays
A hospital stay can put you at risk for a UTI, particularly if you need to use a catheter. This is a thin tube thats inserted through the urethra to carry urine out of the body. Bacteria can enter through the catheter and reach the bladder. This is more often a problem for older adults who require prolonged hospital stays or who live in long-term care facilities.
Kidney Infection Vs Uti: Symptoms Causes And Treatment
UTIs are one thing that can collectively make everyone who has ever had one shudder. They are not pleasant endure, and if left untreated, they can evolve into kidney infections, which are even more severe.
Both of these infections are caused by bacteria entering the urethra and traveling upwards to the bladder and then the kidneys. Despite how unpleasant these conditions are, they are easily treated with antibiotics. Additionally, receiving treatment as soon as symptoms appear is important to ensure that a UTI does not progress into a kidney infection.
Some people may find that they are more susceptible to UTIs, and taking precautions such as drinking water, urinating after sex, and avoiding baths can help to limit the number of UTIs they receive.
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Kidney Infection Vs Urinary Tract Infection
It hits you out of nowhere. A sudden and powerful urge to go that has you making a fast beeline for the bathroom. Except when you get there, its not the relief you were expecting. Just intermittent drips that are painful to pass.
Urinary Tract Infections are pretty hard to miss. But knowing which type of UTI you have isnt always so clear. Because your urinary tract kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra is seamlessly connected, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of your problem. Is it your kidneys or your bladder thats making bathroom time such a burden?
UTIs Vs. Kidney Infections
As the name suggests, a urinary tract infection is an infection in one or more areas of your urinary system. UTIs occur when unwanted bacteria enters into your urinary tract and begin to multiply. They are most common in the lower urinary tract: the bladder and the urethra .
Kidney infections are actually a type of UTI. They typically occur when a lower UTI is left untreated, allowing the bacteria to spread upward and infect the kidneys. Kidney infections are the most serious type of UTI and can cause serious complications without fast and proper treatment.
Other common causes of lower UTIs include:
- Sexual activity
- The use of spermicides, douches, or diaphragms
UTI symptoms can appear differently based on the location of your infection. A UTI in your lower urinary tract can cause:
- Lower back pain, sometimes severe
- Nausea and vomiting
Diagnosis and Treatment
What Causes A Kidney Infection
The bacteria or viruses that cause kidney infections usually come from another part of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, ureters or urethra and spread to your kidneys. Less commonly, the bacteria or viruses come from an infection elsewhere in your body.
Kidney infection can also happen if the flow of urine through your urinary tract is blocked. This can happen due to:
- An enlarged prostate
- A problem with the shape of your urinary tract that makes it harder for urine to pass through
A kidney infection is not contagiousyou cannot catch one from another person or spread a kidney infection if you have one.
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Common Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection
Treatment for kidney infections can vary depending on the cause and severity of an infection. Infections in the urinary tract, including a bladder and kidney infection, most commonly occur when bacteria travel through the urethra to the bladder to use urine as food for growth and multiplication. Excess levels of bacteria can lead to infections that, when they migrate to the kidneys, are known as kidney infections.
The most common cause of an infection in the urinary tract is from the presence of the bacteria Escherichia coli, also commonly referred to as E.coli. They are found in our colon and feces. Although harmless in their natural state, they are responsible for about 75 percent of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
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How To Tell If You Have A Bladder Infection Vs Uti
Is there any feeling more horrible than when you start to feel something going wrong âdown there?â Youâve got to pee every two minutes, to the point where you dare not stray more than a few steps from a bathroom but the only thing worse than the constant need to go is the fact that when you do, it hurts! Itâs an all too familiar feeling for many women, but even men get bladder infections, too .
Your first thought, once you feel an infection coming on, is how to stop the pain and discomfort. Do you drink a quart of water, knock back a few glasses of cranberry juice, or see what over-the-counter treatments your local drugstore has to offer? Alternatively, should you make an appointment with your doctor? If you choose this last option, though, you may be wondering, âjust what, exactly, should I tell them is wrong? Do I have a urinary tract infection , or could it be a bladder infection instead?â
Well, as Healthline points out, itâs either one thing, or itâs both. Bladder infections are actually a type of urinary tract infection, but they arenât the only kind.
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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infections
Normally, bacteria are flushed out by the flow of urine. However, several problems can increase the risk of a kidney infection. These problems can include:
- Structural abnormalities blocking urine flow.
- An enlarged prostate gland compressing the urethra.
- Backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys.
- If your immune system is affected .
- Pregnancy, during which time the enlarging uterus can squeeze the ureters and reduce the flow of urine, allowing the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.
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Kidney Infection Vs Uti Symptoms
The symptoms of a UTI affecting the bladder include:
- frequent urination
- structural problems in the urinary tract
UTIs often start as bladder infections but can then spread to the kidneys, causing a more serious infection.
UTIs are especially common during pregnancy because the growing fetus puts pressure on the urinary tract and bladder, which can trap bacteria. Additionally, the urethra expands during pregnancy, which allows urine to stay still for longer, promoting bacteria growth. Because of the higher likelihood of a UTI, pregnant women often undergo frequent UTI tests.
Bladder Infection Vs Other Utis
The symptoms of a bladder infection, which people may refer to as cystitis, are very similar to those of UTIs in other parts of the urinary tract. As a result, it may be difficult to tell which part of the urinary tract has an infection based on the symptoms alone.
An infection in the urethra may cause pain and burning when urinating and discharge from the urethra, but bladder pain is not a symptom.
An infection that has spread to the kidneys will cause the most severe symptoms. A person with a kidney infection may notice the same symptoms as those of a bladder infection, plus fever, chills, and back pain.
Treatment is usually the same for all types of UTI, except for kidney infections. Treating a kidney infection may require a person to stay in the hospital.
Kidney infections can cause serious health conditions, so anyone with these symptoms should seek treatment as early as possible.
UTIs occur when harmful bacteria enter the urinary tract and start spreading.
- Biological sex: Females have a
Comparing Kidney Stones And Utis: Diet Changes
Diet can play a large role in both kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Making smart diet choices can help reduce your risk of either condition.
To prevent calcium oxalate stones, you should reduce your sodium intake, reduce animal proteins, get enough calcium from food sources to avoid taking supplements, and reduce your intake of foods high in oxalate like spinach, nuts, and wheat bran.
To prevent calcium phosphate stones, reduce sodium intake, reduce animal protein intake, and get enough calcium from food sources. To reduce the risk of uric acid stones, also limit animal proteins.
When you have a urinary tract infection, its recommended that you consume probiotic foods such as yogurt or kefir, bulk up on vitamin C foods , consume cranberries and blueberries, and limit your intake of sugary foods as bacteria thrive on sugar.
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Relief Without A Prescription
An over-the-counter drug called phenazopyridine can help ease your pain, burning, and irritation. It also controls your need to pee frequently and urgently.
But theres a catch. It only works on your symptoms. It doesnt cure your infection. You still need to see your doctor to make sure you get treatment to fight the bacteria thats causing your UTI.
Also, one common side effect: It turns your pee dark red or orange while you take it.
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Should You See A Doctor
Both UTIs and yeast infections should be reviewed and diagnosed by your doctor to prevent them from getting worse. UTIs that are untreated could lead to a more serious kidney infection. Yeast infections may also be something more serious, or the symptoms may actually be from another condition, such as a sexually transmitted infection.
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Bladder Infections Vs Other Utis
It is possible to have a more serious type of urinary tract infection that affects your upper urinary tract, a.ka. your kidneys. This typically happens as a result of an untreated UTI in your bladder.
A kidney infection causes symptoms like fever, nausea or vomiting, and one-sided back pain. It is serious and requires immediate medical intervention to avoid complications like scarring of the kidney.
Can Utis Be Prevented
A few things can help prevent UTIs. After peeing, girls should wipe from front to back with toilet paper. After BMs, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
Also, go to the bathroom when needed and dont hold the pee in. Pee that stays in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.
Keep the genital area clean and dry. Girls should change their tampons and pads regularly during their periods. Bubble baths can irritate the vaginal area, so girls should take showers or plain baths. Avoid long exposure to moisture in the genital area by not wearing nylon underwear or wet swimsuits. Wearing underwear with cotton crotches is also helpful. Skip using feminine hygiene sprays or douches, as these can irritate the urethra.
If you are sexually active, go to the bathroom both before and within 15 minutes after sex. After sex, gently wash the genital area to remove any bacteria. Avoid sexual positions that irritate or hurt the urethra or bladder. Couples who use lubrication during sex should use a water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y Jelly.
Finally, drinking lots of water each day keeps the bladder active and bacteria-free.
UTIs are uncomfortable and often painful, but theyre common and easily treated. The sooner you contact your doctor, the sooner youll be able to get rid of the problem.
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Things You Can Do Yourself
Mild UTIs often pass within a few days.
To help ease pain while your symptoms clear up:
- take paracetamol you can give children liquid paracetamol
- place a hot water bottle on your tummy, back or between your thighs
- rest and drink plenty of fluids this helps your body to flush out the bacteria
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better. You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner but sex may be uncomfortable.
Consult with your GP about taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin if you have a Kidney infection .