Infections of the urinary system are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria overcoming the body’s defenses. They have the potential to harm the kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that connect them. They are among the most frequent forms of illness, accounting for over 8.1 million doctor visits each year worldwide and high numbers in Australia and the USA.
The urinary tract is divided into two parts: the upper and lower urinary tracts. The kidneys and ureters make up the upper urinary tract, while the bladder and urethra make up the lower urinary tract.
Urinary tract infections in a summary
- Women have a lifetime chance of acquiring a urinary tract infection of more than 50%. (UTI).
- A robust and regular urge to urinate and a painful and burning sensation when urinating are common symptoms.
- A UTI is often diagnosed based on symptoms and urine testing.
- UTIs can be treated in as little as two to three days.
- UTIs are not treated with cranberry extracts, although they may assist in minimizing the risk of recurrence.
The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), commonly found in the digestive system, causes most urinary tract infections (UTIs). The urethra can be infected with Chlamydia and Mycoplasma germs, but not the bladder.
Depending on where they arise, UTIs are given different names. Consider the following scenario and search about it for more knowledge at functional medicine Australia.
- Urinary urethritis is an infection of the urethra.
Factors that are at risk
Over 50 % of women in Australia and worldwide will have at least one Urinary Tract Infection at some point in their life, with 20 to 30% having persistent UTIs.
Pregnant women are not more likely than other women to have a UTI, but it is more likely to go up to the kidneys if one does develop. This is due to changes in the body that impact the urinary tract during pregnancy.
Because a UTI during pregnancy can be detrimental to both the mother and the baby’s health. Most pregnant women are tested for bacteria in their urine, even if they have no symptoms, and are treated with antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading.
A UTI can affect people of any age or gender. Some humans, on the other hand, are more vulnerable than others. The following factors can increase your risk of a urinary tract infection:
- sexual activity, especially if it is more regular, intense, and involves several or new partners
- personal hygiene issues
- difficulty in entirely emptying the bladder
- the use of a urinary catheter
- incontinence of the bowels
- urine flow obstructed
- stones in the kidneys
- various contraceptive methods
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection vary depending on age, gender, whether or not a catheter is present, and which section of the urinary tract is infected.
- Urge to urinate is intense and frequent.
- urine that is opaque, crimson, or has a strong odor.
- You may feel pain or a burning feeling when urinating.
- vomiting and nausea.
- muscular aches and pains in the abdomen.
Acute pyelonephritis is a severe kidney infection that occurs suddenly. Upper back and side pain, a high fever, tremors, chills, weariness, and mental abnormalities are all possible symptoms of this illness. It is considered an emergency and should be assessed by a doctor very far away if it is suspected.
The majority of UTIs are harmless, but some, notably higher UTIs, can cause serious issues. Recurrent or long-term kidney infections can result in irreversible damage, and some abrupt kidney infections can be fatal, especially if germs enter the bloodstream, resulting in septicemia. They can also raise the likelihood of mothers having premature or low-birth-weight babies. UTI’s are commonly treated with antibiotics. An Australian functional Medicine approach will look into underlying factors and use herbal medicine to treat bacteria’s rather than harsh antibiotics.
The presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria in a urine sample is commonly used to diagnose after asking about the symptoms and testing a urine sample. The urine is collected using a technique known as “clean catch.” Before submitting a urine sample mid-flow, a person must wash their genital area. This reduces the chance of bacteria from the vaginal area getting into the sample.