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A Urinary Tract Infection Overview

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A Urinary Tract Infection

The urinary tract is the system in the body where urine formation occurs. When the system gets infected a urinary tract infection or UTI occurs. The infection commonly affects the urinary bladder and when the condition does not receive an immediate medical attention, more serious complications can

potentially occur. An unattended urinary infection may lead to the gradual spread of the infection to the other organs in the body, making a simple urinary tract infection a more complicated condition.

An overview about the urinary system

The urinary system in the body is composed of four vital organs consisting of the bladder, kidney, urethra and the ureters. The part of the urinary system that performs the most crucial role in the urination process is the kidney. The kidneys are two organs that are located right at the middle back portion of the body just below the ribs. Its vital function is to remove the excess liquids from the body and to eliminate wastes and toxins from the blood.

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Just below the lower abdomen are the ureters consisting of long narrow tubes that connect the urinary bladder to the kidney. The bladder holds the urine and once the maximum amount of urine it can retain is reached, the bladder empties the volume of urine it holds through the urethra. These vital components of the urinary system can become infected such as when harmful organisms invade them, causing to a person to experience significant discomfort and symptoms.

UTI is caused by bacterial infection 

 

urinary tract infection

Common symptoms of UTI

 

The major culprit for a urinary tract infection is bacterial. The organism enters through the urethra and gain access to the rest of the urinary tract system. In certain cases, these organisms are already present in the large intestines or in the stools. A bacterial infection of the bladder may result in a condition called a bladder infection or cystitis while a kidney infection results in a pyelonephritis condition. The anatomical structure of the urinary tract system is different in both sexes where the urethra is shorter in females than in males. Owing to this anatomical structure, women tends to become prone to infection and very susceptible to bacterial invasion.

Signs and symptoms of a UTI

Some patient often mistakes the symptoms of a UTI to an upset stomach. The most common symptoms that occur in the early stage of a UTI is the feeling of a burning sensation while urinating. Some patients report that their urine may be cloudy and accompanied with a foul odor. The area where the kidney is located may also feel tender or painful upon palpation. The infection is always accompanied by a fever. Some may feel chills and body malaise or may feel nauseated. The symptoms are more serious in patients with an existing diabetes mellitus condition and those with a weak immune system.

UTI Diagnosis

A UTI is diagnosed through a laboratory test called a urinalysis. A sample of your urine will be collected in a laboratory test. The test can diagnose the presence even an asymptomatic urinary tract infection. The presence of a pus and a high level of white blood cells indicate the presence of an infection. In some cases, a urine culture may be done in order to identify the specific bacterial organism that caused the infection. If the infection is recurrent, your doctor will find the need to use a cystoscope in order to view the condition of your bladder and urethra from the inside.

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UTI Treatment

Doctors always prescribe antibiotics as a first line of treatment for the bacterial infection. The type of antibiotic given usually depends upon the extent of the infection and the health condition of the patient. Most of the time the patient goes through a sensitivity test in order to prevent an adverse reaction from the drugs. Amoxicillin, ampicillin, and levofloxacin are the most common antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of simple UTI. The symptoms usually subsides in just a few days of treatment. In severe UTI however the antibiotic usually needs to be intravenously administered and may require the patient to be hospitalized.

If you suspect that you have a urinary tract disease, make sure to make an appointment with your doctor for early diagnosis now.