Urinary Tract Infection Treatments

Description and Symptoms

How to treat urinary tract infectionUrinary tract infections may involve the bladder, kidneys, or both. Bladder infection (bacterial cystitis) is a common disease. The main symptoms are pain during urination, a frequent urge to urinate, and lower abdominal pain. Cloudiness in the urine, or a particularly unpleasant smell, may be noticed. The symptoms of the disease can be quite mild or very painful. The disease sometimes clears up without treatment.

Urinary tract infections are, after the respiratory tract, the most frequent in daily clinical practice. They mainly affect young women, being Escherichia coli the microorganism most frequently involved in this type of infections.

The aim of the treatment will be to remove the symptoms and eliminate the bacteria of the urinary tract. In this work a review will be made about the anatomy of the urinary tract, as well as the infections provoked in the different structures to be able to approach and advise the patient.

The symptoms of kidney infections include pain in the sides or back, and nausea and vomiting. Kidney disease can lead to severe complications during pregnancy.

Both very young children and elderly people suffering from dementia may have undiagnosed UTIs, since the symptoms may not be apparent.

Causes

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by various types of bacteria, often those found in the digestive tract. Women are more likely to get UTIs than men, because the tube leading from the bladder to the exterior (the urethra) is shorter. Some women tend to get UTIs after sexual intercourse.

Kidney infections are rarer than bladder infections. The disease may reach the kidney from the bladder, or bacteria in the blood can infect the kidneys.

Urine infection is caused by the invasion of microorganisms in the urinary tract. It can occur in two different ways: the lower end of the urinary tract (opening at the tip of the penis or the urethra, depending on whether it is a man or a woman), which is the most frequent case; Or through the bloodstream, in which case the infection directly affects the kidneys.

The most common infections of the urinary tract are those produced by bacteria, although they can also occur due to viruses, fungi or parasites. Many of them are responsible for the bacteria called Escherichia coli, which normally lives in the intestine. Urinary or urinary tract infections are expressions that involve different infectious diseases (produced by a microorganism or germ) and that affect any part of the urinary system (kidney, ureters, urinary bladder or urethra).

The most common cause in men, from recurrent infections, is a persistent bacterial infection of the prostate. Women often contract bladder infections after sexual intercourse, probably because the urethra has been bruised during intercourse. In very particular cases, repeated infections of the bladder in women are caused by an abnormal connection between the bladder and the vagina.

Symptoms.

The clinical picture of cystitis may vary depending on the area in which the infection occurs. These are the most common symptoms of urinary tract infection:

Urgent and frequent need to urinate.
Itching or burning in the urethra when urinating.
Redness of the vulva and vaginal itching (in women).
Pain when urinating and during sexual intercourse.
Color cloudy, milky (thick) or abnormal urine.
Appearance of blood in the urine.
Fever and chills (fever may mean infection has reached the kidneys).
Vomiting and nausea.
Pain in the side or back (indicates infection in the kidneys).
Women often feel a slight pressure above the pubic bone and many men feel a dilatation of the rectum.
Be more irritable than normal.

Childhood symptoms, on the other hand, may be confused with other disorders; In addition, children are faced with the difficulty of not being able to express what happens to them. However, if a child has a urinary tract infection, he or she may manifest the following signs:

Be more irritable than normal.
Do not eat as you normally do.
Having a fever for no apparent reason that also does not just disappear.
Not being able to hold your urine.
To suffer alterations in its development.
Be more irritable than normal.
Do not eat as you normally do.
Having a fever for no apparent reason that also does not just disappear.
Not being able to hold your urine.
To suffer alterations in its development.

Treatments

Antibiotics are the main treatment for UTIs. Various antibiotics can be used, including nitrofurantoin, amoxicillin / clavulanic acid, trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, and norfloxacin. Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem in the treatment of UTIs. If one antibiotic doesn’t work, a physician will try another. It’s important to always finish a course of antibiotics, otherwise the infection can return.

Methenamine is a drug used to treat bladder infections. When the urine in the bladder is acidic, methenamine decomposes in the bladder to give formaldehyde, which kills the bacteria. Resistance doesn’t occur with this treatment. However, not everybody has acidic urine, so the drug doesn’t work in every case.

Painkillers can ease the pain of infection, but won’t kill the bacteria causing the disease. Aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (paracetamol) can be used.

Cranberry juice has been used for many years to treat bladder infections. However, a recent Cochrane review (an overall review of scientific studies) concluded that any real benefits from the juice were slight. It does seem to make infections somewhat less likely to reoccur if drunk regularly, but again the effects are small.

Apple Cider Vinegar is another traditional remedy for bladder infections. It is usually taken with plenty of water. There does not seem to be any scientific evidence that proves that it works.

D-Mannose has been proposed as a treatment for bladder infections, and there is some preliminary evidence that it might have some effect. It’s found in cranberries and many other fruit. Tablets are commercially available. Further scientific studies need to be carried out to assess its effectiveness.

Sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, or potassium citrate all ease the pain on urination, but don’t kill the bacteria causing the disease. These chemicals should not be used by those being treated with either methenamine or nitrofurantoin.

Topical Vaginal Estrogen Creams or Gels may be given to post-menopausal women in order to prevent bladder infections. The creams prevent harmful bacteria colonizing the vagina; such bacteria may go on to infect the bladder.