UTI or Urinary Tract Infection is a common microbial infection usually caused by E. coli bacteria. The infection can occur in any part of the urinary tract like kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. Upper urinary tract involves kidneys and ureters (pyelonephritis) and the lower urinary tract involves bladder (urethritis) and urethra (cystitis). Upper urinary tract infection is rare but more severe than lower urinary tract infection.
Common symptoms of UTI are:
1. Burning sensation
2. Increased frequency and urgency of urination
3. Cloudy or bloody urine with strong odor
4. Rectal pain in men or pelvic pain in women
5. Chills and nausea
6. Vomiting and fever
7. Pain and tenderness in the back and sides
Bacteria enter through urethra since sometimes our self defence system fails to keep microbes away. They start to multiply in the bladder which may cause a full-blown infection. Women are more prone than man because they have a different anatomy and a short urethra causing bacteria to easily reach the bladder and cause further infection.
An untreated UTI can spread and become more severe. If an upper urinary tract infection is left untreated it can spread into the blood and cause sepsis. Certain risk factors are: poor personal hygiene, diabetes, sexual activities, using contraceptives, weak immune system, menopause, patient with urinary catheters, kidney stones, pregnancy etc.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking 3-4 litres of water
- Empty your bladder, don’t hold the urine
- Reduce the alcohol and caffeine
- Increase Vitamin C and probiotics in your diet
- Use natural supplements instead of chemical medicines to eliminate the infection
- Don’t wear tight clothes
- Avoid poor hygiene practices and shower everyday