The urinary tract infection means the infection of the kidneys, ureters, bladder or, urethra. Actually, together these parts make the urinary system structure of the human body. The extra unnecessary water is eliminated from the body after passing through this structure.
The Urinary System of the Human Body
The total urinary system is made of four parts- the kidneys, the uterus, bladder and the urethra.
The kidneys are the most important part of the human body. They are a pair of organs which at the side of the spine at the level of the waist. The Kidneys play a very important role in the body. They remove excess water from the blood and waste and then eliminate from the body as urine. The process of urinating by kidneys plays a necessary role in the blood pressure regulation. Kidneys are affected severely by the change of blood sugar, blood pressure and electrolyte balance. So, both hypertension and the diabetes patients are at risk of kidney infection.
Two urinary narrow tubes drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder. These tubes are 10 inches long and very narrow.
The bladder is a sac type organ that stores urine passed from kidneys and uterus. When the amount of urine exceeds a certain level, we feel the necessity of eliminating urine. There is a particular tolerance level to store urine in the bladder.
The next part of the body is the urethra which eliminates urine mainly. There is a urinary sphincter at the junction of the bladder and the urethra tube and they both contracts each other when the body expels the urine.
The Infection at Upper and Lower Part of the Urinary System
The urinary infection can be spread out at any portion of the system. The infection of the upper portion of the urinary system is more serious than the lower portion. The infection of upper portion affects kidneys severely and also affects the uterus. This can be fatal for the body. This causes fever, vomiting, nausea etc. The infection of the lower portion of the urinary system affects the bladder and the urethra. This infection needs proper medication in proper time.
Urinary Infection Around the World
The urinary infection is spreading all over the world rapidly. Only in the US, over 10 million people are affected by this disease per year. Most of the urinary infection affected patients are adults. Only 1% to 2% of children are affected by the urinary infection. Though the amount of the children patients is less, but their condition is more serious. This issue is the second most severe problem around the world. This is more common for women than for men specially for those who are younger than 50 years. No medical research could find out the reason but they think the anatomic structural difference between them maybe the reason. Around 40% women and 12% men suffer from this disease in their lifetime.
Symptom of Urinary Infection
Every person shows almost the same symptom of this disease. The symptoms are easy to diagnose at the primary stage. At this stage only pain and discomfort at the time of urinating. People feel the urgency of urinating frequently but could make it a very little. Sometimes the urine may become cloudy or bloody. Patients feel pain in the lower portion of the body.
Causes of Urinary Infection
The main cause of the urinary infection is the bacteria. Almost 90% of the infection is caused by the E. coli. Bacteria occur at the time of urinating and affect the urethra. From the urethra, bacteria enter the body and gradually pass through the urinary tract and infect them with their rapid growth. Bacteria touches the anus and then move to the body. This may be caused by improper wiping of the anus and the sexual intercourse. With the moving into the body of the bacteria, the infection is spread from uterus to kidney. If the bacteria reach the kidney, then it will be the fatal infection.
More Affected People
Any incomplete bladder emptying problem can increase the chance of the urinary infection. Postmenopausal ladies, babies and infants, children of all ages, hospitalized patients, patients using catheters are at more risk of urinary infection. People affected by AIDS or taking chemotherapy for cancer can be affected by this disease very easily. Sexual intercourse can be the cause of woman's urinary infection, but if women urinate after the urinating, they can be free from this disease. Women who regularly use the diaphragm as a birth control way can be affected by urinary infection. Men with the disease of enlarging prostate maybe affected very easily by the urinary infectious bacteria. HIV positive persons are also living at the risk of urinary infection because their immune system becomes very weak. But the breastfeeding has been proved as beneficial for this disease as a resisting agent of it. So, breastfeeding is always encouraging process for mothers of little babies.
Complications Regarding Urinary Infection
If the treatment goes on properly and in time, then there will be no problem and the infection can be totally cured. But if the infection left untreated, the consequence will be serious. The recurrent urinary infection that is an infection attack for several times within a short period of time can be the cause of acute infection. This can turn into gonococcal urethritis in men. This also can cause stone production in the kidneys. The untreated infection may even lead to kidney damage which may lead to death. This disease may cause the delivery of the premature babies or low weight babies. A satisfied fact is that this disease is not contagious.
The Time of Taking Medication
Any person of any age who shows the symptoms of the urinary infection, they should take medical suggestion within 24 hours. Most of the medical can diagnose it by the quick dipstick test. If the infection is in the upper portion of the body, patients must go to a doctor immediately because that is more serious. They may need to visit the emergency of the hospital if the condition is more severe. In case of lower part urinary infection, some symptoms like vomiting or vomiting medicines out or no change even after having antibiotics, indicates the emergency to visit a doctor or hospital. Weak people like pregnant ladies, diabetes patients, cancer patients who are taking chemotherapy, infants, children and elderly persons, should take medical help as soon as possible. Because their immune system is not as strong to resist the infection. Fever, poor appetite and lethargy may seem usual symptom but these may be the effect of severe infection. If the infection enters into the bloodstream, it will be more fatalities.
Urinary infection treatments
Majority cases of urinary infections can have solved by the primary-care doctors easily. They can take care the primary stages but if the condition is more severe or urgent, them a specialist maybe needed. Primary doctors sometimes suggest specialist or urologist if they find the complications or recurrent infections.
Generally, for urinary infections, either it is at the primary stage or at the severe stage, the medicine is the antibiotics. Antibiotic dosage, the level and duration vary on the basis of the infection level and conditions. Most common antibiotics are the amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, nitrofurantoin etc. These can be suggested by primary doctors. There are more antibiotics for this disease. These medicines are so effective that the effect of these antibiotics is shown within 24 hours. So, when the full course is complete, then we can expect better condition and even full cure. But completing the full course of antibiotics is important. In the case of upper part infection, completing full course is more important because it takes more time to cure totally. Even the beginning of symptom resolution may take more time. Elderly persons and children may need to visit a doctor frequently. They may need to diagnose the level of infection after 2 to 3 days. Improper antibiotic may cause another issue. This may be the cause of the diminishing power of antibiotics. This may increase the growth of bacteria and thus the infection may also increase. So, antibiotics must be taken in time and with proper dosage.
Home Remedies for Urinary Infection
Within antibiotics, there are other home remedies or self-care systems that have been discovered. There are some effective home remedies which can help to cure the infection or encourage the resistance of the infection. These can be by taking some self-care steps which are helpful.
Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and spicy junk food and of course, drinking water frequently can help to lessen the irritation and pain of bladder. You can use a hot water bottle to place on the painful parts and it will ease your pain. The cranberry juice is proved to be a fighter for certain urinary infection. Though this self-care is helpful but diagnosis the disease and the level of this disease is the first requirement. Within all these precautions, following the suggestion and the medication of urinary infection is the utmost important follow-up process. A patient cannot stop his medicines even if he feels better. After finishing the course, he may need to check the level of exposure of the infection again if doctors suggest.
Prevention Before Infection Attacks
We all need to be careful as the urinary infection becomes a common disease for all aged people around the world. We should maintain some precautions to be safe from this disease.
Drinking plenty of pure water will be the most important step that should be followed by all. It helps to dilute urine and make people to flush off frequently. Thus, even if the infection occurs that can be flushed out from the body. This can resist the spreading of the infection to the body. Cranberry juices are known as effective to reduce the infection possibility from the body. It can prevent the infection to occur and spreading. Wiping from front to back after urinating can effect fast. With this treatment, increasing bowel movement will help to prevent bacteria spreading from the anal part to inside.
After sexual intimation, urinating is a good habit because it flushed off all the infectious bacteria from the body even if they try to enter. You can drink a good amount of water to urinate properly after sexual intercourse. It will dilute the urine and washed out all infections. Avoiding feminine products to use in the genital area is a good practice too. Using deodorant sprays can increase or become the cause of the urinary infection. Any types of feminine products like douches or powder should not be used. Otherwise, this will enter your anal part and cause infection easily. It may cause the inflammation and irritation too.
Some birth control method may also be the cause of the urinary infection. The diaphragm can be the infection causing agent. The unlubricated or spermicide treated condoms may also be the cause of the infection. These may increase the bacterial growth or may push infectious bacteria to inside the body. Infection may spread out towards the urethra through this type of birth control system. So, these types of birth control process should be avoided.
The urinary infection is an alarming term now. Taking steps immediately after symptoms showed up, is the necessary task. Medicines should be taken as prescribed by the doctors. People, sometimes, take it very lightly. They ignore symptoms and do not visit doctors when it is needed. People should be careful about it because untreated urinary infection may be the cause of death. Urinary infection is not the matter of silence now. Every person should have knowledge about the urinary infection primary symptoms and everyone should respond with the symptoms and take proper medications in time.