UTI (Urinary Tract Infections): Causes, Risks, Symptoms & Treatment

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UTI (Urinary Tract Infections): Causes, Risks, Symptoms & Treatment

In this video SimpliHealth expert and Best Urologist in Mohali Dr. Virendra Dhankhar will explain about UTI (Urinary Tract Infections) and FAQ’s(frequently asked questions) related to UTI. 

What is UTI(Urinary Tract Infections)?

UTI is very normal. UTI is a urinary tract infection. It can occur in all age groups, it is more common in females than in males. The urine tract infection can be divided into , 

  1. Upper tract infection 
  2. Lower tract infection 

The upper tract includes the kidney and ureter. And the lower tracts include the bladder and urethra. Usually, the lower tract infection is more common, and it is less harmful than the upper tract infection which can damage the kidney. 

What are the common causes of UTI(Urinary Tract Infections)?

The most common cause of UTI is the GI tract. The organism which affects normally, known as in cognitive which comes from our flora of the gut. And in females, it is more common because the distance between the anus and urine passage is less and the urethra of a female is small in length compared to a male. So it is much more common in females than males. Other factors are any congenital anomaly or structural anomalies in the symptoms of the urinary tract like kidney or bladder or ureter. Or it may be immunocompromised patients like diabetic patients or AIDS patients. These are the most common causes. 

Sometimes we don’t find the causes, it may be idiopathic,  it is more common in sexually active females it may be more common in patients who are on a long-term catheter, like neurogenic patients who had a stroke, or spine paralysis. Congenital anomalies can lead to UTI in children and infants. So are the other various factors which are associated with urinary tracts infection. 

What are the risks involved, especially in adults? 

  • ontraceptives  The risk of UTI in sexually active females is usually the use of contraceptives or any other childbirth prevention method.
  • Constipation The second is constipation which can also cause UTI. Because constipation will alter the GI flora and it will lead to urinary tract infection.
  • Diabetes Third is diabetes or immunocompromised status.
  • Hygiene Fourth is hygiene. If hygiene is improper it can cause urinary tract infections.

What are the common signs or symptoms of UTI(Urinary Tract Infections)?

The most common signs and symptoms of UTI are frequent urination, pain or burning while urination, pain in the pubic region. Second, it may be associated with fever, bleeding in the urine, foul-smelling urine, leakage of urine, pain in the flanks, and fever if the urine tract infection goes into the kidney which is known as pyelonephritis. 

This is associated with pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. And this can potentially damage the kidney. During pregnancy it can give rise to low birth weight babies, may cause anemia, or may cause an abortion also. So these are the risk factors in adult urinary tract infection. It can again go into a recurrent type of infection,  known as recurrent UTI. If the infection occurs more than 2 times in 6 months or more than 4 times in a year it is known as a recurrent urinary tract infection.  

Other causes may be abnormalities like a stone in the kidney, ureter, or bladder that can cause infection. Obstruction to the passage of urine may cause UTI, like a blockage in the urine passage, blockage at the junction of the ureter and kidney. Or there is reflux of the urine. The urine goes backward. Normally the urine is coming from the kidney to the ureter, to the bladder, and then out. So this is a one-way passage. Sometimes because of faulty walls, the urine goes back towards the kidney and if it is associated with infection it can cause UTI or pyelonephritis. 

Neurogenic bladder as I already told you, these are the various risk factors for you that urinary tract infection. 

Do men get infected with UTI? And what are the causes? 

UTI is common for both the sex. Men are more infected in childhood or early as infants because of congenital abnormality which occurs during their birth process. Or in old age because of the outlet obstruction of the prostate. The urine is stored in the bladder and it’s not empty completely so it can give rise to urinary tract infection. Structural abnormalities like stones or structure in the passage, blockage in the passage can lead to urinary tract infection. 

What are the treatments for UTI(Urinary Tract Infections)? 

The treatment for UTI is if it is complicated or uncomplicated. Uncomplicated means the lower urinary tract is only affected, ie. e the bladder and urethra. In complicated the upper tract is affected. If UTI is associated with fever Leukocytosis then the treatment requires antibiotics, IV antibiotics for about 10 to 14 days. 

If it is an uncomplicated UTI that occurs in a general community setting then it is usually treated with a three to five days course of antibiotics and the symptoms reside in two or three days. So you should take a full course of antibiotics so the resistance of organisms doesn’t occur. 

And hydration, drink a lot of water. Acidic urine with alkaliser. And painkillers if the bladder is more irritable, there is a frequency urgency, we can give some kind of bladder relaxer and an antimuscarinic group of the drug. 

So these are the treatments. 

And if there are any causes that have to be removed like stone, so get rid of the stone and the infection will settle down. If it is after sexual intercourse, then a single dose of antibiotics can be taken. If the use of contraceptives then, change the contraceptive with oral pills to avoid intravaginal temporal  or condoms. And it is because of constipation, take care of constipation. 

Can UTI occur again? 

Yes, the UTI in a female in her sexually active age group, can occur again. In old age also it can occur and also in post-menopausal females. The lack of estrogen causes the dryness of vaginal mucosa, so bacteria can invade the bladder easily. In this case, we ask them to use an estrogen cream to provide lubrication. 

If it recurs then it is called a recurrent UTI. It is an episode more than 4 times in a year then it is known as a recurrent UTI. If there is any cause of recurrent UTI, that has to be taken care of. Otherwise what we do we tell them to take general precautions, drink lots of water, keep the area clean, use english toilet and use a healthy faucet, wash from front to back rather than from back to front, use cranberry extract, and a low dose of antibiotics for about six months or so. So that the chances of UTI decrease. 

Is UTI an underlying problem for many upcoming severe decreases? 

Lower tract 

If it’s lower track UTI then it usually doesn’t cause any diseases. But if it is ignored mainly in a diabetic or immunocompromised patients it can lead to sepsis. So UTI as such, if it is a lower track and uncomplicated UTI it can be treated very easily.

Upper tract 

But if the UTI reaches to the upper tract or if it is a complicated UTI meaning it is associated with some cause like stones or diabetes, or obstruction in the urine tract symptoms, then it may lead to the decrease in the function of the kidney. The infection may spread all over the body and may sometimes cause risk to life. 

So it should be treated by health professionals as soon as possible. In childbirth as I already told childbearing age or in a pregnancy it can lead to anemia, it can lead to loss of pregnancy or low birth weight babies.

Anything else you want to add on this topic? 

UTI is very common and sometimes it is recurrent and there is no cause found for it. So if it is an uncomplicated recurrent UTI, I advise 

  • Drinking a lot of water so that bacteria gas would flush out easily with every urination. 
  • Using clean hygiene 
  • Avoiding constipation 
  • Don’t hold urine for too long. 

You can use probiotics like Bifilac or eat curd so that healthy bacteria grow in the intestines and the chances of infection are less. And if it is a sexually active male, avoid using contraceptives, or intravaginal temporal, or condoms if the infection is related to sexual activity. 

Use of probiotics like cranberry juice extract in the form of tablets can be taken to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections. And once you have a UTI please consult your doctor immediately so the treatment can be started and it doesn’t progress to recurrent UTI, or it doesn’t progress to the upper track of complicated UTI and cause infection in the kidney. If there is any cause for UTI, get rid of it so that infection doesn’t reoccur. 

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