What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (“UTIs”) are infections that affect either the bladder or the kidneys:
- Bladder infections are more common than kidney infections. They happen when bacteria get into the urethra and travel up into the bladder.
- Kidney infections happen when the bacteria travel even higher, up into the kidneys. The medical term for kidney infection is “pyelonephritis.” This is more serious than a bladder infection, and can lead to other serious problems if it is not treated properly.
Both bladder and kidney infections are more common in females than males. The risk of UTIs is also higher in people who have a urinary catheter. A catheter is a thin, flexible tube that drains urine from the bladder. It might be used in people who are in the hospital and cannot urinate the normal way.
What are the symptoms of a Bladder Infection?
- Pain or a burning feeling when you urinate
- The need to urinate often
- The need to urinate suddenly or in a hurry
- Blood in the urine
What are the symptoms of a Kidney infection?
Symptoms of a kidney infection can include the same urinary symptoms that happen with a bladder infection. In addition, kidney infections can cause:
- Back pain
- Nausea or vomiting
How is a UTI diagnosed and treated?
If you think that you might have a UTI, call your healthcare provider who might do a simple urine test. If they think that you might have a kidney infection or are unsure what is causing your symptoms, they might also do a more involved urine test to check for bacteria. Most UTIs are treated with antibiotic pills.
- If you have a bladder infection, you will probably need to take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days.
- If you have a kidney infection, you will probably need to take antibiotics for longer, maybe for up to 10 days, and it’s also possible that you may need hospitalization.
Your symptoms should begin to improve within a day of starting antibiotics. But you should finish all of the antibiotic pills. Otherwise, the infection might come back. Also, maintain good intake of oral fluids. If you need to be seen, please make an appointment at www.atlantapuc.com or call 18332567311.
Do natural supplements help? People often wonder about “natural” products that claim to help prevent bladder infections. These include cranberry juice and other cranberry products, probiotics, vitamin C, and D-mannose. There is not good evidence that these things work. However, there is also no clear evidence that they are harmful.