Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): Ways to treat them
Road trips had never been one of her favourite modes of transportation. However, there’s no flight from Calabar and Obudu, so she has to endure the rickety movement of the bus. She was so sure her skinny frame had received double the impact of every porthole and gallop their bus encountered especially on the Ugep road. The thought of seeing her grandma after a semester of strenuous school work was the only consolation she had throughout the journey.
Mika remembered how the driver had angrily pulled over, bringing their bus to halt right at the outskirts of town after series of pleas and some tongue lashing exchange from the passengers. All the passengers heaved a sigh of relief as they alighted in search of where to ease themselves.
It’s been a week after she squatted to pee on the grass and she’s not felt as comfortable as she used to down there anymore. Mika suspected she must have contracted an infection due to the discolouration of her urine, frequent itching and pain that came with the urge to pee. Just one more day, she’ll be back to the city where she could consult a gynaecologist about her vaginal health.
Infection describes the presence of microorganisms in large numbers capable of causing a potential threat to the wellbeing of the host. The urinary tract is responsible for the formation, storage, transportation and excretion of urine- one of the waste products of metabolism.
Therefore, Urinary Tract infection (UTI) also known as bladder infection is an alteration in the normal structure and function of the urinary organs due to the invasion and replication of microbes in these sterile organs. The urinary system consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra.
Since the urinary tract is saturated by fluid medium, infection at one part of the tract can spread easily to other sites of the tract. An infection can happen in different parts of the urinary tract and each type has a different name, based on the following:
The upper urinary tract consists of the kidneys and its pelvis, and infections of this organ are termed pyelonephritis. It manifests as fever/ chills, nauseas, vomiting and pain in the anterior or posterior pubic area.
Infection of the lower urinary tract may involving the bladder- is called cystitis, Urethra of both males and females- is called Urethritis.
Uncomplicated UTI is prevalent in young females who are apparently well and having no abnormality with their urinary system. UTI is considered a complicated typeifit occurs in an individual with underlying medical condition such as HIV/AIDS , or functional/structural abnormality of the urinary tract such as gall stone, prostatic enlargement arising from prostatitis etc. Recurrent UTI is that which reappears after appropriate treatment and resolution of an earlier episode.
While infections in infants produce nonspecific symptoms (like vomiting, fever and failure to thrive), the case is not the same for adults. Specific symptoms of urinary tract infections in adults include:
Consult a doctor if you suspect you have a urinary tract infection. You’ll be given a bottle to urinate in, which will serve as the sample to test for bacterial causing UTIs. Here are some of the tests your doctor would carry out before any diagnosis can be made:
The treatment of Urinary Tract Infections is best guided by the knowledge of the causative agent/factor following the results gotten from cultures and tests. Also the immune state of the patient should be considered before treatment can commence because some drugs tend to further weaken the patient thereby prolonging the resolution of the infection.
Uncomplicated UTIs like bladder bacterial infections caused by some staph or strep species are generally self-limiting, but antibiotic treatments significantly shorten the duration of symptoms. With single dose therapy, infections can resolve within 2-3 days of treatment. Broad spectrum antibiotics such as amoxicillin, nitrofurantoin, and fluoroquinolones can be used to treat various resistant bacteria.
Complicated UTIs caused by hospital acquired bacteria (whether from infected catheters or even bed sheets), usually resolve at 14-21 days following treatment with aminoglycosides.
For recurrent UTIs, the antibiotic of choice should be administered at low doses for about 6months especially for men with prostitis.
Some natural remedies like ginger and garlic drink have proven effective against UTIs too. You can read our post on Surprising Health Benefits of Ginger and Garlic.
There is the tendency of contracting another or the same kind of urinary tract infection even after treatment. So to guard against reoccurrence, here are some things you should do:
Medical Disclaimer: KompleteCare™ aims to improve the quality of life for everyone with fact-based content about the nature of diseases, preventive care, behavioural health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.