Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary Tract Physiology
A bladder or urinary tract infection is very uncomfortable, affecting women much more often than men. There are a few ways to try to help prevent this problem. The urinary system is comprised of your kidney, bladder, ureters and the urethra. The system is responsible for removing waste from the body through urine.
In a healthy urinary system antibodies are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses. Urine is the normally sterile, but may appear cloudy with an infection.
Immunoglobulins are proteins that fight bacteria and are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses.
Woman in Pain
Signs and Symptoms of a Bladder Infection
When you get a urinary tract infection (UTI) there will be no doubt as to what the problem is, as the symptoms are very distinctive and painful. Fifty percent of women get at least one UTI in their lifetime and many have several infections.
The distinctive symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- A strong urge to urinate immediately
- Pain with a small amount of urine
- Blood tinged urine,
- May have a strong odor
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Soreness may occur in the lower abdomen or back
- Possible fever above 101°
- Chills and shaking or night sweats
- Sometimes nausea and vomiting.
Women have pelvic pain while men have rectal pain. It is important to get medical treatment as soon as you realize you have this infection. It will continue to travel up to your kidneys and become more serious.
Physical Anatomy of Urinary System
The doctor will want a urine specimen for a culture before treating you with an antibiotic to make sure he is prescribing the right medication. If you are a women who gets these infections frequently, he probably would begin treatment immediately. You can buy Pyridium over the counter and keep on hand to treat the painful spasms that accompany these infections. Remember, this medication doesn’t treat the infection.
Women who get frequent infections quite often keep a 3 day supply of antibiotics in their home, so they can start immediate treatment at the first sign of infection. There are some women who have to take a singe daily dose of an antibiotic to prevent the infection.
Common Cause of Bladder Infection
The most common cause of UTI’s happen due to bacteria from the bowel that live on the skin near the rectum or in the vagina, which can spread and enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Once bacteria enter the urethra, they travel toward the bladder causing the infection.
Sex as a Cause
Sexual intercourse is a common cause of urinary tract infections, because the female anatomy can make women more prone to urinary tract infections.
During sexual activity, bacteria in the vaginal area are sometimes massaged into the urethra. Women who have more sexual partners often have more infection, as the man may also carry some type of infection .
Another cause of UTI’s is waiting too long to urinate. The bladder is a muscle that stretches to hold urine and contracts when the urine is released. The muscle can weaken over time, and then, it may not empty completely. Some women have jobs that keep them from being able to empty their bladders as often as necessary, which puts them at risk.
A few other factors are pregnancy, diabetes and menopause that can increase your risk of infection. Avoid coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods, all of which irritate the bladder. Also quit smoking. Smoking irritates the bladder and is known to cause bladder cancer.
Kidney Infection Byte
Signs and Symptoms for a man
While women have pelvic pain, men have rectal pain. The symptoms the men get are otherwise similar to the womans.
Home treatment ways to help prevent bladder
- Drink plenty of fluids - the equivalent of six to eight 8-ounce glasses - every day to flush bacteria out of your urinary system. This does NOT mean eight glasses of water in addition to everything else you drink.
- Make sure you're getting a lot of vitamin C in your diet, or take a 1000 mg vitamin C tablet daily,
- Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, makes your urine acidic, which discourages the growth of bacteria.
- Drinking cranberry juice coats the wall of the bladder, so the bacteria cannot stick to the walls. Cranberry tablets are a more concentrated form of cranberry juice without the sugar content. Either is effective.
- Urinate every two to three hours. Keeping urine in your bladder for long periods gives bacteria a place to grow.
- Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches. They also may irritate the urethra.
- Always wipe from the front to the back, and teach this to your little girls at a young age.
- Urinate after sex.
If you suffer from urinary tract infections more than three times a year, your health care professional may suggest one of the following therapies to try to prevent another recurrence:
- a low dosage of an antibiotic medication, such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin, taken daily for six months or longer
- a single dose of an antibiotic medication taken after sexual intercourse if it is determined that your UTIs are related to sex.
- a short, one- or two-day course of antibiotic medication taken when symptoms appear.
Children, Cats and Dogs Get UTI's
Young children, dogs and catscan all get urinary tract infections. You might not be aware that you pet is ill immediately, but they can get serious ill quickly. Your pet's water and diet can impact your pet's health. Your male pet's life could be in danger if he is left untreated.
Cats and dogs both need a vet appointment as soon as possible as it is sometimes tough to tell exactly what the problem is with pets. If you note blood tinged urine, or if your pet feels much warmer than usual, that might mean they have a fever, so It is best to err on the side of safety.
Obviously children need to be seen by their pediatricians. They exhibit the same symptoms as an adult.
As with all diseases, doctors are seeing some resistance to the typical antibiotic treatments as the bacteria get stronger. Scientists at the University of Michigan are working on a new vaccine that will effectively prevent urinary tract infections. It actually works by preparing the body to fight Escherichia coli (E-Coli}, which is the most common cause of UTI’s and has been very effective in studies.
As you are aware bladder or urinary tract infection are painful, and we want to focus on prevention.
Women and Bladder Infections
How often do you get bladder infections?
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.