Thursday, December 30, 2010

Urinary Tract Infection UTI

Urinary Tract Infection UTI occurs when bacteria enter and multiply in tne normally sterile urinary tract. This causes inflammation, which can result in small amounts of blood, pus (white blood cells that fight infection), and bacteria in the urine. This can also cause pain with urination (called dysuria), a sense of needing to urinate frequently, a feeling of urgency, and sometimes cramping in the lower abdomen. The infection can involve the urethra (the short tube from the bladder to the outside of the body), the bladder, sometimes the ureters (longer tubes connecting the bladder and kidneys), and occasionally the kidneys. If the kidneys are involved you may have flank pain, fever, and chills.

What causes Urinary Tract Infection UTI?

Most of these infections-85-95%-are causes by bacteria that are normally present in the intestine. The vaginal area also has certain bacteria present normally. Because women have a short urethra which opens near the vagina, bacteria can enter the bladder relatively easily.

Urine needs to be examined under a microscope for white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria. Sometimes with recurrent infections, a culture is grown to determine which organisms are causing the infection. Sensitivity studies determine which antibiotics are effective for those organisms. After treatment, a urinalysis or a colony count is often done to make sure the infection is cleared. This can decrease the possibility of a mild, undetected infection which can lead to an early recurrence of a more severe bladder infection or might spread to the kidneys.

Treatment For Urinary Tract Infection UTI

  • Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics.
  • Drinking a lot of liquids (an eight-ounce glass per hour) helps wash out the urinary tract.
  • Cranberry juice, plums, or apricot juice can help by creating a more acid environment in which bacteria cannot grow as easily. NOTE: This is not a substitute for treatment with antibiotics.
  • Avoid caffeine (common in coffee, tea, and cola drinks), because it irritates the bladder.
  • Hot baths can alleviate discomfort.
  • Rest helps conserve energy for healing the infection.

Prevention For Urinary Tract Infection UTI?

  • Drink plenty of liquids to keep the urinary tract flushed. Concentrated, stagnant urine can allow bacteria to multiply.
  • Always urinate when you feel the need. Overfilling the bladder can cause irritation and microscopic tears in the bladder wall,which lead to infection.
  • Wash your hands before you urinate, as well as after. To avoid spreading bacteria, wipe from front to back after urination or bowel movements.
  • Urinate before and after sexual intercourse to flush bacteria away.
  • Caffeine and alcohol are irritating to the bladder and should be avoided.
  • Keeping the vaginal area dry will make it harder for bacteria to grow. Wearing cotton underwear and avoid confining clothes can help keep the area dry.


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