Simplifying UTIs: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Treatment

Having an infection in any part of the body causes problems to the overall health. But, it causes more problems if it occurs in the urinary tract. A urinary tract infection i.e. UTI is a very common type of infection that occurs in the kidney, ureter, urethra, and bladder. The risk of UTI is higher in women than men as per research. Studies show that 1 in every 2 women gets the UTI whereas in the case of men, only 1 in 10 men get the UTI in their lifetime. Many women repeatedly get the infections, even for years. While the risk of infection in men is less. So, let’s start by knowing, what is the urinary tract.

Urinary tract

It is a body’s drainage system that helps to remove toxic substances and extra fluid from the body to the outside environment through urine. The urinary tract is composed of various organs such as

• Pair of kidney

• Pair of ureters

• Bladder

• Urethra

Every organ of the urinary tract has to work together in the correct manner for proper urination. When the infection occurs in any part of the urinary tract due to a certain condition then causes urinary tract infection. Now, learn about Urinary tract infection i.e. UTI broadly.

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

In the above paragraph, we have discussed that UTI is the common infection that arises when the bacteria affect any part of the urinary tract i.e. urethra, ureter, kidney, and bladder. It is one of the most common infections among humans especially in females. The infection generally occurs due to the entering of bacteria through the skin, vagina, or rectum into the urethra. However, the infection can also be caused by fungi but in rare cases, it can cause by viruses as well.

The common bacteria which is responsible for Urinary tract infection are E. coli. All microbes which are responsible for the UTI are too small in size and one cannot see it with the naked eye without a microscope.

Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

The Sign and Symptoms of UTI include

• Frequent urination

• Pain and Burning sensation while urination

• Urgency of urination

• Cloudy urine

• Foul odor of urine

• Blood in the urine

• Lower abdominal pain and pressure

• Incontinence urination

• Fever and chills in case of kidney infection

Causes of UTI

Urinary Tract Infection i.e. UTI usually arises when the bacteria enters the urethra and spread in the bladder. Urethra is the tube that passes the urine from the bladder to the outside environment.

The bacteria E- coli i.e. Escherichia coli, is responsible for the infection in Urinary Tract. It is typically present in the gastrointestinal tract which sometimes gets out from the anus to the urethra. Females are more susceptible to the Urinary Tract infection due to the shorter urethra. It is because the bacteria can get into the bladder easily through the urethra. Although the urinary tract protects our body from bacteria sometimes it fails which causes UTIs.

Risk factors for Urinary Tract Infection

Various risk factors arise from UTIs are:

• Diabetes

• History of UTIs

• Intercourse, whether it’s penetrative or oral sex.

• Weakened immune system

• Kidney stones

• Age ( Elder people are more susceptible to UTIs )

• Pregnancy

• Genetics

• Hormonal changes

• Menopause

• Use of Catheter

• Sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and many more

The above-mentioned factors are a few which we have discussed but the lists are numerous. However, one factor which is usually missed by people while discussing Urinary Tract Infections is the pH of urine.

What is Urine pH?

The pH of urine is measured by the acidic or alkaline nature of the urine. The value of the pH scale range between 0- 14, in which below 7 is considered acidic, above 7 is considered alkaline and 7 is known as neutral.

Urine pH may vary but it is generally acidic with a pH range between 4.5- 7.5. The acidic nature of urine helps to kill the bacteria coming from outside into the urinary tract. This prevents the urinary system from the growth of bacteria and hence prevents UTIs as well.

How does urine pH affect UTIs?

pH of urine is usually acidic but when it becomes too alkaline. It makes a favorable environment for the growth of bacteria that leads to cause UTIs.

At the same time, if the pH of urine is too acidic, it may irritate the lining of the urinary tract which eventually causes infection. So, it is important to have an ideal pH of urine somewhere ranging between 6-7 to avoid infections like Urinary Tract Infections.

As we discussed the pH of urine, one may also experience white discharge in urine. So, let’s know what is this white discharge.

White discharge

Urinary tract infection is one of the most common causes of white discharge. Both men and women may experience white discharge in the urine due to UTIs.

Vaginal white discharge, which is a fluid that has an important function to keep the vagina clean. The fluid is responsible to prevent the vagina from infection. Having a clear to milky white discharge is perfectly normal and healthy. However, the consistency and amount of discharge may vary depending on the time of the menstrual cycle.

For example, one may see an increment in the white discharge at the time of ovulation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or while sexually aroused. These changes are not a matter of concern until unusual changes is occurring in the odor, consistency, and color of the vaginal fluid or if you are experiencing an itching or burning sensation around the vagina.

The infection in the vagina is not usually related to UTIs but can happen if the bacteria from the urinary tract get transferred into the vagina. Due to the entering of bad bacteria in the vagina, it disturbs the vaginal health which leads to altering the color, consistency, and smell of the vaginal fluid. You may see sticky, cloudy, lumpy, and greenish vaginal discharge with a foul or stinky smell. So, it is important to consult a healthcare provider if you see any unusual changes in your vagina.

One may also see white particles in the urine if having kidney stones. High levels of calcium oxalate and uric acid in the body get accumulated in the kidney during filtration. If these compound stays in the kidney for long then develop kidney stones which eventually moves into other parts of the urinary tract. The small size of kidney stones passes from the body to the outside environment through urine. These small kidney stones may look like white particles in the urine.

Another reason for white discharge in the urine may be sexually transmitted infections. Several types of STIs lead to genital discharge in men and women. The STIs like gonorrhea and Chlamydia are some of the diseases which make your urine cloudy or look like pieces of white tissue in it.

It is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible if you find unusual white discharge in your urine. A doctor will advise you best as per your condition.

What are measures to be taken for the treatment of UTIs?

If you see any symptoms of UTIs, consult a doctor right away. They usually take the UTI test to detect the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections. To complete this test, a urine sample is required. In case, you are getting frequent UTIs, your doctor will examine your urinary tract with an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan.

The most common treatment for UTIs is taking antibiotics. Take the medication and dosage as per the doctor’s advice. Do not stop taking the medicine without informing the doctor. Take the full course of antibiotics even after the symptoms are gone as the chances of infection return back is high which becomes even more difficult to treat.

And, if you are getting UTI too frequently then your healthcare professional may tell you to take the antibiotics every day, after sex, at the first sign of symptoms, or every other day.

What are the steps to prevent UTIs?

There are some of the measures which prevent the body from UTIs are

• Choose shower instead of tub bath

• Drink plenty of water every day

• Go for urination after sex

• Do not use feminine hygiene products like sprays or powders

• Clean your genital area every day especially before and after sex

• Avoid douching

• Do not avoid the urge to urinate for longer period

• Wear breathable cotton underwear instead of tight-fitted clothes

• After urinating and bowel movement, wipe your genitals from front to back to avoid bacteria of the anus from entering the urethra

• Use water-based lubricant instead of spermicide creams

• Look for another method of using birth control method rather than using a diaphragm

• Drink cranberry juice

• Include probiotics in the diet

Cranberries for UTIs

The compound present in the cranberries such as flavonoids and phenolic acids helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria in the wall of the urinary tract. However, it may not help once UTIs started but may prevent future UTIs.

Some research shows that cranberry juice may help the body to fight against UTIs. But, it is important to take the juice from natural sources instead of packed ones which are available in the grocery shop. Or else, take cranberry supplements to lower the risk of UTIs.

It comes in various forms such as tablets, capsules, or gummies. But among all, gummies have more acceptance due to the candy form. The fruitful flavor of cranberry gummies makes it more appealing to eat. One may add cranberry gummies for UTI to the diet before it develops.

To get the best cranberry gummies for UTI, one may check out Arechar’s Vitagoli Pre & Probiotic + Algal DHA gummies. With the benefits of Probiotics, it contains cranberry as well which makes the gummies best to treat UTIs. The presence of probiotics and cranberry helps to modulate gut bacteria, reduce inflammation, balance pH, and lower the number of bad bacteria in the bladder as well as the GI tract which leads to UTIs.

So, say Hi to probiotic gummies for UTI in your busy lifestyle to get the best results. As it doesn’t only treats UTIs but various digestive issues too.

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