Internal Medicine Specialist, Mumbai
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Which are the body parts affected by urinary tract infection?
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Urinary tract infection or UTI is an infection which affects the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. 90% of the infection involves lower urinary tract which is the bladder and the urethra. In most cases the symptoms are same, and the most seen signs are strong and persistent urge for urination, burning sensation while urinating, cloudy urine, urine which smells strong, and pelvic pain which can be seen in women. Consult a doctor immediately if the above-mentioned symptoms are noticed.
What are the risk factors in UTI or urinary tract infection?
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UTI involves a number of risk factors which affects human body metabolism to a great extent. There are a number of babies who are born with urinary tract abnormalities. In such cases, the abnormality does not allow the urine to leave the body or sometimes causes the urine to store in the urethra. This increases the risk factor for UTI. Similarly, urinary tract blockage and catheter usage in people also increase the risk factors for UTI or urinary tract infection. Often, forgotten catheters become the reason for a UTI. If you are using a catheter, have regular follow-up with your physician, so that the catheter is removed when unnecessary.
UTI is caused due to the infection of bladder and urethra.
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Urinary tract infection generally occurs when bacteria enter your urinary tract through the urethra and multiplies in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to defend microscopic invaders sometimes they fail, and bacteria enter the urinary tract. When they do enter your urinary tract, they take hold and grows into an infection in the urinary tract. These bacteria can also enter the urinary tract during sexual intercourse. Always try to empty the bladder after intercourse and also drink a glass of water to flush out the bacteria.
UTI cannot be treated at home.
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UTI or urinary tract infection can be very painful sometimes, but there are also some home remedies which can help you to reduce the pain and the infection. One needs to drink plenty of water as water helps to dilute the urine and also helps to flush out bacteria. A person suffering from UTI must avoid drinks like coffee, alcohol and soft drinks as these might irritate the bladder and increase your frequent urge to urinate. Drinking cranberry juice is also a tried and tested home remedy which many people use to prevent UTI.
Typically, prescribed antibiotics are the treatment for UTI.
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Despite home remedies, if the symptoms persist for more than a week, you must visit a physician to treat your UTI. The UTI is typically treated with antibiotics, and commonly prescribed antibiotics are Trimethoprim, Fosfomycin, Nitrofurantoin, Cephalexin, and Ceftriaxone. Levofloxacin and Ciprofloxacin are prescribed for severe infections. You may need to take antibiotics between 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the severity of the infection. You must complete the course of antibiotics to avoid a risk of recurrence of UTI.