A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system, like your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most of these infections involve the lower urinary tract that is the bladder and the urethra.
Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than are men. This infection is limited to the bladder area and can be painful and irritating. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to the kidneys.
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract system through the urethra and begins to multiply in the bladder
What Are UTI and what are their signs & symptoms?
Dr. Ruchi Samdani, Nephrologist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai explained, “UTI is defined as an infection in the urinary tract (kidney and/or the urinary bladder). When the infection is limited to the urinary bladder it is called Cystitis or Lower urinary tract infection and when the kidneys are involved it is called Pyelonephritis.”
Symptoms and signs of UTI are – pain and burning during urination, increased frequency or urgency in passing urine, blood in urine, fever, nausea, vomiting, and flank pain.
What are the causes of UTIs?
There are several factors that predispose to UTI. Some of them are as follows:
- Diabetes Miletus
- Structural kidney problems
- Sexual intercourse
- Poor personal hygiene
- Indwelling urinary catheter
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction
What are the Diagnostic and treatment methods available?
According to Dr. Samdani, the following methods are used for diagnostic and treatment for UTI:
Diagnostic – urine routine will help identify pus cells, nitrite, and leukocyte esterase in the urine, and culture will identify the bug involved.
In case there is fever and flank pain then imaging modalities like ultrasound or CT scan of the kidney should be done to evaluate the upper urinary tract.
Treatment is aimed at Targeting the bug involved. The antibiotic course and its duration depend on the risk factors and the degree of infection. For simple UTI’s a 3-5 day course of antibiotics is sufficient whereas for a complicated UTI the duration would be for 7-14 days.
What are the home remedies to cure UTIs?
Home remedies for UTI include drinking plenty of liquids, cranberry juice, maintaining good personal hygiene, healthy voiding habits that are beneficial in preventing UTIs.