March 22 2017
Do you ever have a feeling like you need to pee, and then suddenly nothing happens? Maybe fifteen minutes later that feeling comes back, and still nothing happens! This happens all day and it gets really annoying, even painful, well what you have is actually a urinary tract infection or UTI for short. The two main types of UTI’s are bladder infections (cystitis) or kidney infections (pyelonephritis) and both are most commonly found in sexually active women. UTI’s are one of the main reasons why women are told to wipe front to back when they go to the bathroom, due to the fact that bacteria from the large intestine (E.coli) can travel up to the urethra this way and cause an infection. From there, the infection can travel up to the bladder, and if lack of treatment continues, it can spread up to the kidneys. Not going to the bathroom within an hour after sexual intercourse can do the same. Some symptoms of a urinary tract infection would be:
- Burning sensation when you urinate.
- Frequent urge to urinate even when your bladder is empty.
- Cloudy, dark or strange smelling urine.
- Small drops of blood in urine.
- Fatigue and possible shakiness.
- Feeling feverish such as back pain, nausea or vomiting (this in particular could mean that the infection has reached the kidneys).
A urinary tract infection is not something you should ignore, if it travels up to your kidneys, they could get damaged or in the worst case scenario, you could die. There are many ways to treat a urinary tract infection so it does not have to get to that point so long as you take notice and treat it as soon as you notice the beginning signs. It is important to drink plenty of water so you can flush out the infection. Avoid processed sugar when you are infected, the bad bacteria that is causing the UTI will feed off of it and become much more difficult to get rid of. Same goes for caffeine which can increase your heart rate and increase the circulation of bacteria in your urethra. It is typically recommended to drink cranberry juice (the natural sugarless kind, not cranberry cocktail) or cranberry supplements can be useful because it actually makes the urine a bit more acidic which is damaging to E.coli in the urinary tract and it contains a certain type of sugar called D-mannose which is very powerful in fighting against UTI’s. Probiotics are also important to take if you get recurring UTI’s. Good bacteria found in probiotics can help to populate good bacteria which can help to stave off infections. It is also a good idea to clean all of your underwear to prevent any dirt or leftover bacteria to further irritate your infection and to opt for breathable fabrics like cotton. Urinary tract infections can be really difficult to deal with; they can be described as invasive at best, at the end of the day, it is just important to take a bit of extra caution as soon as you may notice one and to get rid of it as soon as possible.