All about Urinary Tract Health

What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. These are the structures that urine passes through before being eliminated from the body.

The vast majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), usually found in the digestive system. Chlamydia and mycoplasma bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder. Any part of this system can become infected. As a rule, the farther up in the urinary tract the infection is located, the more serious it is

The upper urinary tract is composed of the kidneys and ureters. Infection in the upper urinary tract generally affects the kidneys (pyelonephritis), which can cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and other severe symptoms.
The lower urinary tract consists of the bladder and the urethra. Infection in the lower urinary tract can affect the urethra (urethritis) or the bladder (cystitis).

The ureters are very rarely the site of infection

People of any age and sex can develop a UTI. About 60% of women,12% of men, and 1-2% of children suffers from UTI during their lifetime. However, some people are more at risk than others, for example, Urinary tract infections in children are more likely to be serious than those in adults (especially in younger children) Every age group shows a different sign for UTI for example-

  • Newborns: fever or hypothermia (low temperature), poor feeding, jaundice
  • Infants: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, poor feeding, not thriving
  • Children: irritability, eating poorly, unexplained fever that doesn’t go away, loss of bowel control, loose bowels, change in urination pattern, bed wetting
  • Elderly people: fever or hypothermia, poor appetite, lethargy, change in mental status

The following factors can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI:

  • sexual intercourse, especially if more frequent, intense, and with multiple or new partners
  • diabetes
  • poor personal hygiene
  • problems emptying the bladder completely
  • having a urinary catheter
  • bowel incontinence
  • blocked flow of urine
  • kidney stones
  • some forms of contraception
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • procedures involving the urinary tract
  • suppressed immune system. (diabetic, HIV/AIDS, Chemo patient)
  • immobility for a long period
  • use of spermicides and tampons
  • heavy use of antibiotics, which can disrupt the natural flora of the bowel and urinary tract
  • men with an enlarged prostate

SYMPTOMS

  • When you have UTI, the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated just as your throat does when you feel cold.
  • The irritation can cause pain in your lower abdomen pelvic area and even lower back.
  • Many time you feel like urinating but come out only by releasing a few drops
  • It may cause burning or pain while urinating.
  • Sometimes you may lose control and leak urine.
  • You may find your urine smells bad and cloudy.
  • Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pressure or pain
  • Mild fever (less than 101 F), chills, and “just not feeling well” (malaise)
  • These things happen because the bladder is so irritated.

COMPLICATION

Most UTIs are not serious, but some can lead to serious problems, particularly with upper UTIs.

Recurrent or long-lasting kidney infections can cause permanent damage, and some sudden kidney infections can be life-threatening, particularly if bacteria enter the bloodstream in a condition known as septicemia.

They can also increase the risk of women delivering infants that are premature or have a low birth weight.
If the person is seriously ill, they may need to be admitted to a hospital to ensure that they take insufficient fluids and receive the right medication. People may also need to go to the hospital if they are one of the following:

  • pregnant and are otherwise ill
  • older adults
  • people with cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or other medical problems
  • individuals with kidney stones or other changes in their urinary tract
  • recovering from recent urinary tract surgery

Prevention

Share on PinterestTaking showers instead of baths can help prevent UTIs.
There are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing a UTI:

  • Drink lots of water and urinate frequently.
  • Avoid fluids such as alcohol and caffeine that can irritate the bladder.
  • Urinate shortly after sex.
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating and bowel movement.
  • Keep the genital area clean.
  • Showers are preferred to baths and avoid using oils.
  • Sanitary pads or menstrual cups are preferred to tampons. If you want to buy menstrual cups.
  • Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control.
  • Avoid using any perfumed products in the genital area.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing to keep the area around the urethra dry.
  • Individuals are advised to contact a doctor if they develop the symptoms of a UTI, especially if they have developed the symptoms of a potential kidney infection

Treatment

As UTIs are normally caused by bacteria, they are most commonly treated with antibiotics or antimicrobials.
The type of medication and length of treatment will depend on the symptoms and medical history of the individual.

Drinking lots of fluids and frequently urinating are always recommended for people who have UTIs as this helps to flush out the bacteria.

A variety of pain relief medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain. Applying a heating pad to the back or abdomen can also help.

D-Mannose reduces UTI symptoms with active infection and in 2014 study D-Mannose was compared to antibiotic trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for treatment and prevention of frequent UTIs.D-Mannose specifically will get rid of e-coli (the common cause of utis) and the hibiscus adheres to other bacteria and flushes it out as well. It is also a gentle diuretic that allows you to pee more often to get rid of bacteria.

What is D-Mannose & Hibiscus and how this works?

D-mannose is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that is closely related to the glucose found in many fruits, vegetables, and plants. It also occurs naturally in some cells in the human body. D-mannose is rapidly absorbed and reaches organs within 30 minutes, after which it may be excreted via the urinary tract. The human body can’t metabolize or store D-mannose, though it is possible much of it is metabolized by bacteria in the gut. Now when Certain types of E. coli bacteria present in the bladder which are known to bind to the mannosylated glycoprotein that is present in the bladder lining cells. Those D-mannose molecules which were present in the bladder may provide an alternative for E. coli to bind to. when E. coli binds with D-mannose molecules, the combined particles are flushed from the bladder during urination. Thus, the E. coli are prevented from adhering to the bladder wall and causing a urinary tract infection.

Hibiscus sabdariffa- Flavonoid and proanthocyanidins in Hibiscus Sabadariffa exert antimicrobial activity against bacteria like E-coli, preventing them from adhering to that bladder wall.

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