All You Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infection or UTI
What exactly is urinary tract infection and what causes it? Here’s all you need to know about the painful infection.
What is Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection or UTI is an infection caused by bacteria in any part of the urinary system (comprising kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra).
Dr N Subramanian, Senior Consultant - Urology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi, says:
UTIs are among the most common infections in both men and women. The bacteria that causes this infection doesn’t come from outside, it’s already present in the rectum. But it’s important to know the underlying reasons of why the infection develops and whether there are any other infections in the area.Dr N Subramanian
What Causes UTI?
Urinary tract infections are often caused when the bacteria begin to multiply in the urinary bladder after entering the urinary tract.
In cases, when the urinary system isn’t able to destroy this bacteria, it spreads and develops into an infection.
Who All Are At Risk of UTI?
Dr Subramanian says that babies and young children might be at the risk of UTI due to defects in their urinary tracts or when there’s an issue of urine flowing backwards from the bladder to the kidneys.
Young women might be at risk when they become sexually active.
In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection.
Symptoms of UTI
Dr Subramanian says people with urinary tract infection may show certain symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination
- Burning or pain during urination
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue/ tiredness that usually lasts for a longer period of time
In certain cases, there might also be passage of some blood along with urine.
Dr Subramanian says that young women are usually put on antibiotics for 3-4 days, post which the symptoms reduce considerably. For babies and children, more investigation might be needed post the initial treatment to ensure that the infection doesn’t reoccur.
For older patients, the treatment might vary a little. Post the initial round of antibiotics, they will need to be monitored further. They might need to undergo ultrasound tests and be thoroughly checked for any other underlying infections. Urine culture tests and prostrate examination might also be required.Dr N Subramanian
Are There Any Side Effects of The Treatment?
Dr Subramanian says that the side effects, if any, might be due to underlying infections, not the antibiotics.
Certain antibiotics might not suit certain patients and they might develop rashes or suffer from diarrhea. Which is why the doctors usually check for previous known allergies, the health of the kidney or liver, the intensity of the infection and other relevant details before prescribing antibiotics.Dr N Subramanian
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