URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS — WHAT IS IT?
The truth about UTIs.
Urinary tract infections, commonly known as UTIs, can occur in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
If you're a woman, you're more likely to have a urinary tract infection. According to some experts, your chance of developing one is as high as one in two, with many women experiencing it probably several times over the course of years. For males, UTI affects about one out of every ten males at some point in their lives.
According to Dr. Barbara W. Trautner, a physician at Houston's Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, women have been told for years that UTIs are linked to their hygiene, but that is actually not the case. Instead, it is because of their anatomy.
How does it happen?
A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria in the bladder produce swelling or other problems somewhere along with the urinary system, mostly in the urethra. Because a woman's urethra is shorter than a man's, bacteria can travel a shorter distance to approach the bladder. In addition, the urethra entrance in women's bodies is closer to the anus, where E. coli, a common cause of UTIs, lives.
Another common misunderstanding concerning UTIs is that they trigger delirium in the elderly. According to Trautner, the proof isn't clear in this case. A fever from a urinary tract infection could be a cause, but delirium is more likely to be a sign of a serious brain condition, many drugs, starvation, untreated pain, or organ failure.
Even more baffling, according to Trautner, is the fact that bacteria can be found in the urine of senior citizens without harming them is a condition known as asymptomatic bacteriuria, which usually does not need treatment.
Yet, for both men and women, UTIs become more likely to happen as they get older. After menopause, estrogen levels in women decline, and the vaginal ability to keep hazardous germs away is gone. While for men, after the age of 50, their prostates begin to expand, causing urine to become trapped in the bladder.
Furthermore, all senior people are more likely to develop health risks such as kidney stones, catheter usage, or a weakened immune system as a result of disorders like diabetes.
The location of the infection plays a role in deciding whether you have a UTI or other illness. Symptoms connected to urinating can be seen in the lower urinary system, such as the bladder — an intense need to urinate, burning feeling while urinating, urine that is cloudy, black, red, or smells odd, blood in the urine, fever, feeling shaky or tired, or discomfort in the pelvic area. While an upper urinary tract infection, however, is an infection that impacts the kidneys — the clinical signs are more ambiguous, including back and flank discomfort, high fever, nausea, vomiting, and chills.
How to take care of it?
Antibiotics are the standard of care for UTIs, although relapse is common, especially in women. According to Dr. Larissa Grigoryan, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor, if this occurs, it is not the patient's fault. In some situations, it's related to rising antibiotic resistance.
Although some research suggests that cranberry juice contains an active component that can restrict bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, larger analyses have yet to establish this. Even if it isn't a cure, cranberry juice isn't hazardous. Drinking non-alcoholic drinks is actually excellent as one of the prevention plans.
According to a 2018 study released in JAMA, women who increased their daily fluid intake by 1.5 liters were less likely to develop a UTI. So, take note that the best prophylactic technique is to drink enough water and empty your bladder frequently to avoid these diseases.
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