Short for Urinary Tract Infection, a UTI is usually caused by the invasion of microorganisms in the urinary tract. After entering the urinary tract, these microorganisms start breeding in and around the region, thereby causing a host of infections, illnesses and disorders in the urinary tract and the surrounding regions. A lower UTI would usually affect the urethra and bladder while an upper UTI would involve the kidneys as well.
How Is UTI Caused
Although UTI can occur due a myriad of reasons, the foremost cause for the issue happens to be bacterial that are usually present in the digestive tract and near certain openings of the body (the anus for example). Some of the more common urinary tract infections include gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis etc.
In most cases, the symptoms and effects of a UTI would go away on their own. In some cases however they would persist and lead to more serious health related complications with time.
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI can be characterized by a myriad of symptoms, including itchiness, burning urination, bladder pain, frequent urination, urethral discharge, foul smelling urine, blood in urine, fever, nausea, dizziness, sudden chills, fatigue, body pain and pressure in the abdomen region etc.
Treating Urinary Tract Infections
The best way to treat a UTI would be to opt for antibiotics and other standard medications that would kill the bacteria causing the issue. While mild cases of UTI can be treated with just a single dose of antibiotics, severe cases would require more than a few doses.
As in the case of antibiotics to treat UTIs, it is imperative that you complete the course in order to treat the issue effectively. Incomplete treatment (i.e. if you stop taking the antibiotics half way in between the course) would result in temporary relief and the infection would recur as soon as the effects of the antibiotics wear off.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
Good hygiene is an essential tip to preventing UTIs. Make sure to clean the genital and rectal areas every time you use the bathroom. Accordingly washing/wiping the genital and rectal areas after urination, bowel movements (make sure you wipe gently from front to back) or even after sexual intercourse would reduce your chances of contracting UTIs.
Fluids That Help
Make it a point to drink plenty of water and fresh fruit juices every day. In addition to keeping you hydrated, water would flush out the harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.
You can also opt to drink fruit juices that contain high levels of Vitamin C. For example, cranberry, orange or lemon juice would help increase the acidic content of the urinary tract. Bacteria generally do not survive in highly acidic environments. Therefore, increasing the acidic content of the urinary tract would help get rid of the bacteria causing the infection.
Never try to control the urge to urinate. If you feel like urinating, head out to the bathroom to relieve yourself. Do not at any cost try to keep the urine inside the urinary tract for longer periods. This would cause the bacteria present in the urine to breed on the walls of the urinary tract and cause infections. Urinating before and after sexual intercourse can also prevent UTIs that could potentially spread between the partners involved.
Opt for lightweight, airy cotton undergarments that don’t let moisture collect in the region. Trapped moisture could become breeding grounds for bacteria that could in turn cause UTIs. Don’t wear tight undergarments but rather ones that are airy and comfortable. Avoid synthetic fabrics and thongs at all costs.
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