URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS
Urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting for about 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year.
If you think you have a urinary tract infection, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. Women have a 50 percent chance of getting one in their lifetime, and more than 1.5 million men are reported to get a UTI every year— so you’re not alone.
Although children aren’t affected as often, there are still 480,000 pediatric UTI cases each year.
The Relief You Need— Right Away.
Urinary tract infections can cause you a lot of back and abdominal pain, especially during urination. If over-the-counter medicines aren’t working or you aren’t sure a UTI is the issue, you should see a doctor right away. While most urgent care clinics in Tyler and Longview have limited hours of operation, Hospitality Health ER’s emergency rooms are open any day, any time to provide the care you need immediately.
Our doctors will determine if you have a urinary tract infection by assessing your symptoms and collecting a urine sample to perform a urinalysis. The sample should reveal signs of infection. If we suspect that it may be a bladder or kidney infection, we will run a urine culture to confirm our diagnosis. And you can rest assured that with pediatric-trained doctors and nurses on staff, we know how to handle kids of all ages and put them at ease.
- An intense urge to pee
- Cannot hold urine in
- Bad smelling urine
- Fever and vomiting in more severe cases
It’s harder to tell if a baby or young child has a UTI, but read here to learn how to monitor your child for an infection.
- If you experience pain when passing urine or have other associated symptoms of UTI such as nausea, chills, fever, vomiting or a pain in the flank which is felt right below the ribcage and just above the waist on either or both sides of the lower belly or back.
- If you had a history of experiencing UTI symptoms and have them all over again.
- If the symptoms of UTI don’t go away within 1-2 days.
- If there’s blood in your urine.
- If you are diabetic and you are experiencing symptoms of UTI.
- If your symptoms don’t alleviate with the use of prescribed antibiotics or if they recur after temporary improvement.
If you have a fever, bad back pain, or difficulty holding back from urinating, you need to be seen by a doctor for antibiotics.
If you think you or your child may have a urinary tract infection, make sure you or your child drink lots of fluids to help wash out the bacteria. Some UTIs will go away on their own, so while you wait to see, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter medications that help with the pain, burning and urgency. UTI medicines made with phenazopyridine hydrochloride specifically target urinary discomfort and provide relief pretty quickly. If your UTI doesn’t go away within 1 to 2 days, see a doctor. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria, so your doctor will likely prescribe a bacteria-fighting medication (antibiotics or antimicrobials). When a UTI occurs in a healthy person with a normal, unobstructed urinary tract, the antibiotics typically work after 2 or 3 days of treatment. Longer treatment may be needed if the first antibiotic given is not effective or for more severe or chronic cases.
Many people have heard cranberry juice should help ease the symptoms of a UTI, but that isn’t so true with how cranberry juices are made today. Cranberry juice, especially the juice concentrates you find at the grocery store, does not contain enough of the active ingredient to fight off UTI-causing bacteria: A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs). This ingredient is found only in cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice.
Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that live in the bowel. The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is also responsible for cases of food poisoning, causes the majority of UTIs. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that’s already in the bladder, but a UTI can happen when outside bacteria gets pushed into the urethra by wiping (bacteria can get on tissue and unknowingly get transferred into the vaginal area), through intercourse, douching or any other external actions that would position bacteria to enter the urethra.
One study found that taking cranberry capsules reduced the risk of urinary tract infections in women by 50 percent. Here are some other things you can do to help prevent UTIs from happening.
- Make it a habit to drink fluids regularly to prevent a stagnant environment for an infection to develop. This is the same reason why you should empty your bladder as frequently as possible.
- Empty your bladder after intercourse.
- Wipe from front to back (not back to front) so you reduce the likelihood of transferring bacteria from your backside to your vaginal area.
- Avoid douching— the vinegar in douche kills the good bacteria that fights off the bacteria that causes UTIs.
- Take showers instead of baths.
- Change out of wet clothes right away.
Although complications of UTIs are uncommon, serious complications can lead to life threatening conditions including permanent kidney damage and widespread infection, also known as sepsis. The risk is greater if you let the infection go untreated or if the infection is resistant to antibiotics.
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