5 Signs You May Be Suffering From a UTI

UTI

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common of all bacterial infections worldwide, affecting as many as 150 million people each year. Although they’re more common among women and girls, UTIs can occur in anyone at any age. And without prompt medical attention, the infection can spread, causing kidney damage and other serious complications.

Even though they’re common, it’s easy to miss the symptoms of a UTI, especially in the early stages. Of course, getting treatment at OPES Health Channelside as soon as possible means a faster recovery as well as a lower risk of complications. Learning to recognize the most common symptoms of UTIs means you can get the care you need before the infection has a chance to spread.

What causes UTIs?

Although most all UTIs are caused by bacteria, a few may be caused by other types of germs. No matter what type of germ is involved, UTIs all occur in the same way: Germs make their way to the inside of your urinary tract (specifically, the bladder or the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body) and multiply, overwhelming your body’s natural defenses and causing infection.

Many UTIs are caused by bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Often, these bacteria enter the urethra from the anus, usually as a result of improper wiping or fecal incontinence. While anyone can get a UTI, some risk factors make infection more likely, including:

Women are also much more likely to develop a UTI, most likely because the urethra opening is very close to the anus, making it a lot easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract.

UTI signs and symptoms

The symptoms of a UTI can vary, becoming far more noticeable as the infection spreads and bacterial growth increases. The most common UTI symptoms include:

As the disease spreads, it can cause symptoms like:

Since a UTI can quickly spread to your kidneys, it's extremely important to schedule an office visit at the very first sign of even minor symptoms.

Treating a UTI

Most UTIs can be diagnosed based on your symptoms, but in some cases, you may need to provide a urine sample for analysis. In the lab, your urine will be evaluated for the presence of white blood cells, a sign of infection. Once a UTI is diagnosed, you'll receive antibiotics to help destroy the germs causing the infection. Unless you have a kidney problem, you should also drink plenty of water to help your body flush out the germs. It's very important to take all your medication, even if the symptoms have already gone away. If you take only a partial dose, some of the bacteria may survive and cause another infection. 

Some people have frequent or recurrent UTIs. If that's the case, imaging studies might be ordered to examine your urinary tract and look for any possible blockages. You'll also be asked about your general health and your lifestyle so your doctor can provide you with guidance that can help you prevent infections in the future.

Think you have a UTI? Don't delay treatment

Your urinary tract and kidneys are interconnected, which makes it very easy for germs to spread from one area to another. Getting early treatment is the best way to prevent serious infections that could cause kidney damage. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a UTI — even very mild ones — don’t put off your treatment. Book an appointment online today and make sure you get the treatment you need to stay healthy.

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