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UTI (Uninary Tract Infection)

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Define UTI ( Urinary Tract Infection)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men are. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys. Antibiotics are the typical treatment for a UTI. But you can take steps to reduce your chance of getting a UTI in the first place. Symptoms

The symptoms of a bladder infection include:
Cloudy or bloody urine, which may have a foul or strong odor Low fever (not everyone will have a fever)
Pain or burning with urination
Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen (usually middle) or back Strong need to urinate often, even right after the bladder has been emptied If the infection spreads to your kidneys, symptoms may include: Chills and shaking or night sweats

Fatigue and a general ill feeling
Fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit
Flank (side), back, or groin pain
Flushed, warm, or reddened skin
Mental changes or confusion (in the elderly, these symptoms often are the only signs of a UTI) Nausea and vomiting
Severe abdominal pain (sometimes)

Main causes of UTI

The following also increase your chances of developing a UTI: Diabetes
Advanced age (especially people with illnesses common in older adults, such as Alzheimer’s disease and delirium) Problems emptying your bladder completely (urinary retention) A tube called a urinary catheter inserted into your urinary tract Bowel incontinence

Enlarged prostate, narrowed urethra, or anything that blocks the flow of urine Kidney stones
Staying still (immobile) for a long period of time (for example, while you are recovering from a hip fracture) Pregnancy
Surgery or other procedure involving the urinary tract

Dangers/ Risks of UTI
Why your UTI risks are increasing?
Nowadays, doctors are concerned that urinary tract infections have joined the long list of bacterial infections growing resistant to antibiotics. The more frequently that bacteria are exposed to certain antibiotic, the greater the chance resistant strains will develop. Scientists worry about staying ahead of the bugs — and they’re also concerned there are not enough new antibiotics being developed.

Premature Babies
A urinary tract infection during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child. From weeks 6 to 24, pregnant women are at higher risk of developing a UTI. This is because as the uterus grows, it places increased pressure on the bladder. This pressure can prevent the bladder from emptying completely, increasing the chance of infection. Pregnant women who develop UTIs have a higher than normal chance of delivering prematurely or delivering a low-birth-weight baby. Fortunately, UTIs can be treated safely with antibiotics during a pregnancy. Early treatment can ensure a healthy and safe delivery.

Kidney Infection
An untreated UTI can develop into pyelonephritis, a kidney infection. This is a serious condition and requires immediate treatment. A kidney infection may require hospitalization as well as weeks of daily antibiotics. An untreated kidney infection can lead to organ damage or even complete organ failure. An individual who experiences recurring UTIs should monitor his condition with urine sticks that change color when an infection is present.

Rarely, a UTI may spread bacteria to the bloodstream, a potentially life-threatening condition called sepsis. Once the infection has entered the bloodstream, it can easily spread to other parts of the body. Sepsis can lead to shock, low blood pressure and organ failure. A blood test can confirm the existence of sepsis, although the illness may be masked if a patient has already been taking antibiotics. Symptoms of sepsis include high or low body temperature, chills, dizziness and rapid heartbeat

Prevention Steps
There are a number of ways to prevent UTIs
After a bowel movement or after urinating, wipe from front to back Wash the skin around the anus and the genital area
Avoid using douches, powder, and deodorant sprays
Drink plenty of fluids( including water) to flush bacteria out of your urinary system Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge or about every 2-3 hours Try to empty your bladder before and after sex

Wear underwear with a cotton crotch.
Unsweetened cranberry juice and cranberry pills may decrease the risk of getting a UTI.The exact amount of juice or pills needed and how long you need to take them to prevent infection are being studied. Treament with an estrogen cream or pills is being studied as a way to prevent UTIs in women past menopause

Litwin MS, Saigal CS, editors. Urologic Diseases in America. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 2007 Conway PH, Cnaan A, Zaoutis T, Henry BV, Grundmeier RW, Keren R. Recurrent urinary tract infections in children: risk factors and association with prophylactic antimicrobials. JAMA. 2007 Jul Colgan R, Nicolle LE, McGlone A, Hooton TM. Asymptomatic bacteriuria in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Sep 15;74 Pohl A. Modes of administration of antibiotics for symptomatic severe urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct 17 “Practical Healthcare Epidemiology: Third Edition”; Ebbing Lautenbach; April 2010 ( University of Maryland Medical Center: UTI Risk Factors)

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