HEALTH CENTER

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Urinary Tract Infections by Christy Hayes

One in 3 adults over the age of 20 has suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI).  It is more common for UTIs to occur in women.  Urinary tract infections may be caused by a bacterial infection and can become bladder infections (cystitis), urethral infections (urethritis), kidney infections, and if not addressed, may lead to sepsis. A third of college-aged women experience recurring UTIs, typically caused by the same organism that was present during the initial infection.

Urgency, burning while urinating, urinating frequently, cloudy urine, and blood in the urine are all signs of an UTI. Fever, chills, nausea, pelvic pressure, may be present as well. If you are experiencing pelvic, back, or side pain, please see a doctor immediately, since your UTI may have spread to the bladder and kidneys.  UTIs require antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection. Take your antibiotics and stay hydrated. Cranberry juice, cranberry pills, and products containing phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Azo is the most common OTC) may help relieve some of the pain of an UTI.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol, because they may cause more pain and will increase your frequency of urination.

Of course the best thing to do is to prevent an UTI before it starts.  Always drink plenty of water. This helps flush out your urinary tract before infections can spread. Wipe from front to back and empty your bladder after intercourse or swimming in a pool or hot tub.

UTIs are common and treatable. If you suspect that you have an UTI, it is best to see a physician to properly treat it before it becomes a much more painful and serious kidney infection.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.