Urinary tract infection treatment | Best doctor for urinary tract infection treatment in Hyderabad | Dr Rajeshwari Reddy
Even a mild infection can become severe and cause damage to your kidneys
Urinary tract infection or UTI is a very common infection. Many people are aware of UTI owing to its commonness – and mostly women seem to talk about it on many occasions. Why not, this is the one condition which is very common in women – and, in fact, troublesome too.
The frequency, symptoms and severity of this problem remain a huge cause for concern in women. The lifetime risk of getting UTI in women is almost 50% whereas it is only 10 to 15% in men. Which means, one in every two women are at risk of getting UTI during their lifetime. Being women – irrespective of age is the biggest risk factor.
Women are prone to UTI. They must take all sorts of precautions to minimize their risk of getting infected. Even a slight bit of negligence on their part may cause damaging effects in their bodies. However, if they act in time, they can avert the danger and protect themselves from the potentially harmful effects.
If you are a woman who wants to minimize the risk and prevent UTI from occurring, then you must learn about UTIs, their symptoms, causes, outcomes, and complications.
let us understand more about UTI, its symptoms, causes, complications, diagnosis & treatment, and the measures you can take to deal effectively with this condition.
In majority (almost 90%) of the cases, UTIs are caused by a bacterium that lives in the colon and around anus. The name of this bacterium is Escherichia coli. Urinary tract comprises of urethra, bladder, ureter, and kidneys. Infectious E. coli bacteria enter urinary tract through urethra or bloodstream. There is no specific age for women at which she gets infected as the infection is common in women of all ages. In fact, it is more common in women than in men. Most of the women get infected in some point in their lives. In the next paragraphs we will discuss more about the cause and the reason why UTIs are very common in women compared to men. Though UTIs are less common in children and men, children if infected can have more severe infections.
Types of UTIs
You might have heard your doctor saying you have lower UTI or Upper UTI. Let us understand lower and upper UTIs. If the infection affects urethra and bladder – the lower urinary tract, then it is known as lower UTI. Whereas, if the infection affects ureter and kidneys – the upper urinary tract, then it is known as upper UTI. In addition, there are two more familiar looking terms associated with UTIs. The one is urethritis – in simple terms, it is the infection of the urethra – and the other term is cystitis – it is the infection of the bladder. There is another term called pyelonephritis if UTI affects the kidneys. If your doctor says it is pyelonephritis, then it is a severe UTI infection associated with your kidneys. It is severe and potentially damaging as the risk of kidney damage is huge. The symptoms associated with upper UTI are fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.
What Causes UTIs in Women?
In human beings, Escherichia coli – commonly known as E. coli, are present in the large intestine. When they escape through the anus during defecation, they attack urethra and then reach the bladder. Initially they attack the lower urinary tract and then gradually move up and attack upper urinary tract. In women, UTIs are common – in other words, women are prone (susceptible) to UTIs as they have shorter urethra – which allows bacteria to gain easy access to the bladder. In case of women, E. coli can infect easily due to shorter urethra and its proximity to anus.
Many women tend to neglect UTI considering it to be mild and less severe. Whatever may be the case, if the infection becomes severe, bacteria continue to travel up to kidneys infecting urethra, ureter and both the kidneys. In such cases, the risk of complications and damage to the kidneys increases. Poor personal hygiene is one of the prominent causes of UTIs in women.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
These are some of the very common or typical symptoms associated with urinary tract infection – painful urination, frequent urge to urinate, less urine, obstruction in urine flow, milky or cloudy urine, bad odor in urine, blood in urine, burning sensation during urination.
Women often feel pressure in their lower abdomen, pain in abdomen (lower abdominal pain), pressure in the bladder, tiredness, and back pain. Many women may have frequent urge to urinate, but they urinate less. The symptoms associated with upper urinary tract infections include fever, nausea, chills, and vomiting.
What are the complications of UTI?
There is a common misconception that UTIs are just like any other types of infections – they come and go. UTIs are not as simple as many of us think because infection by E. coli bacterium may affect the lower and upper urinary tract. There is a huge risk of infection entering into the bloodstream and causing severe infections – involving, urethra, bladder, ureter, and kidneys. In these cases, there is an increased risk of kidney damage, kidney failure and end-stage kidney disease as well. In addition, there will also be a huge possibility of permanent damage to the urinary tract. Individuals with the compromised immune system, autoimmune diseases, elderly persons, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney stones, bladder stones, general weakness and debility should remain cautious because any severe infection may lead to life-threatening complications in them. Healthy girls, women and men also should watch their signs and symptoms vigilantly and seek urinary tract infection treatment even if the infection is mild. Untreated urinary tract infection can cause damage to the urinary tract including kidneys and problems in the rest of the body.
When to seek medical help?
Never ignore mild symptoms considering them to be less serious because mild infection too can become serious at times. In some cases, there are no prominent symptoms, but infection is severe. Sometimes, symptoms in the initial stages of infection are severe, but may go away within a few days. In these cases too, infection may persist and make you feel uncomfortable. Whatever may be the case, it is always better to seek medical help as early as possible. During pregnancy UTIs can cause complications – therefore, pregnant women if get UTI, must seek medical help. UTIs associated with fever, malaise, vomiting, blood in urine, chills, body pains and fatigue may indicate severe infection. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should approach your healthcare provider immediately.
How is UTI Diagnosed?
Best doctor for urinary tract infection in Hyderabad: It is better to consult a lady doctor or a gynaecologist. When you see a lady doctor she will examine and evaluate your condition based on the symptoms you have, your past medical history, lifestyle, and physical examination. If your gynaecologist suspects that you may have UTI, then she may order urine tests (complete urine analysis and culture) to confirm the diagnosis. Urine analysis will help test the urine for signs of infections such as the presence of blood, pus, epithelial cells, and bacteria. Urine culture helps in confirming the diagnosis.
Urinary tract infection treatment?
Once UTI is diagnosed, your doctor prescribes antibiotics – which is effective for the treatment of both lower and upper urinary tract infections. Antibiotics are the first line of treatment – which is often the preferred mode. Antibiotics are helpful even for severe and complicated infections. The duration of the urinary tract infection treatment depends on the severity of the condition.
Urine culture and antibiotics sensitivity assays help the doctor in selecting the best antibiotics for treatment.
Care at Home: Your doctor will instruct you to drink plenty of water and fluids at home. It is better if you avoid alcohol and other caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate you.
All Girls and Women must pay attention to Personal Hygiene
Women – Irrespective of their age and health status – are at increased risk of getting UTI. Why UTI is common in women is still a hot topic of debate, but being women increases the risk – which may be partly due to shorter urethra and proximity of vagina to anus. Therefore, paying attention to personal hygiene, and keeping yourself well hydrated is important.