Published On: Sun, Jun 9th, 2013

UTI – Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

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When bacteria begin to affect the urinary tract, the resulting condition is known as Urinary Tract Infection or UTI. This article sheds light on Urinary Tract Infection causes, its symptoms and its treatment.

What is UTI? A Brief Look at Urinary Tract Infections

Before we proceed to discussing the different Urinary Tract Infection causes, let us first take a brief look at what the disease really is. Urinary Tract Infection happens when bacteria begins to invade the bladder, the kidneys and both upper and lower urinary tracts. This infection causes pain, fever and changes in urination. Bacteria is one of the primary causes of Urinary Tract Infection, but several factors affect the development of such infections, and these factors will be discussed later on.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Number one in the list of UTI causes is bacteria, specifically the Escherichia coli bacteria. Almost 80 to 85% of UTI cases account for E.coli infection, while other bacteria (such as Staphylococcus saphrophyticus) only account for 5-10%. E. coli infection as one of the causes,  emanate from the fact that the female urethra has a close proximity to the anus. Why such relationship? This is because E.coli is one of the resident bacteria thriving in the colon and/or anus; at times hygiene practices cause contamination of the urethra with this bacteria, and this signals the beginning of a Urinary Tract Infection.

Aside from E.coli infection, other causes of urinary tract infection include Proteus, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas and Staphyloccus infection. UTI from these microorganisms are rare and are usually related to catheter use or blood borne infections.

Other Urinary Tract Infection Causes include the following:

Gender

Another one included in the list of Urinary Tract Infection causes is gender. Females are most commonly affected by UTIs. The primary reason for this is the anatomy of the female urinary tract, it is a lot shorter compared to the male urinary tract which makes bacterial invasion a lot easier. Another factor is the proximity of the female urethra to the anus, where the E.coli bacteria can be found. This proximity causes easier contamination of the bacteria to the female urethra.

Sexual Activity among Women

Another one included in the list of Urinary Tract Infection Causes is sexual activity. This accounts for almost 75-90% of bladder infections. The use of spermicide and the loss of protective vaginal flora among women are the primary factors to why they acquire UTIs in relation to sexual activity.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

Now that we have discussed the different Urinary Tract Infection causes, let us now proceed to knowing the symptoms of urinary tract infection, which include:

  1. burning sensation upon urination
  2. increased urgency or frequency of urination
  3. lower back pain or pain on the pubic area
  4. flank pain
  5. nausea and vomiting
  6. fever
  7. pyuria or pus in the urine or a bloody urine
  8. urinary incontinence for children
  9. fatigue and a change in the mental status for the elderly

Prevention

Prevention is a lot better than cure so having enough knowledge on the different Urinary Tract Infection, it is also helpful to know if you have one early on. You can do so by visiting different diagnostic clinics one such example is http://www.uksmedicaldiagnostics.com/.

This article on urinary tract infection is written by Holly Meyers. Holly is author to numerous articles on common disease conditions, providing information about the diseases, its diagnosis and treatment.

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