Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

UTIs affect millions of people every year. Most are easily treatable, but they can be serious if you are elderly or if the infection has moved to your kidneys.

Let’s send that infection packing.

Serious, But Common

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a serious, but common, health problem that affects millions of people each year. Women are especially prone to urinary tract infections. Though your urine is sterile, an infection can occur when microorganisms like bacteria from the digestive tract cling to the opening of the urethra and begin to multiply.

Most infections arise from Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, which normally live in the colon, and they’re defined by where in your urinary tract they occur. Most UTIs are easily treatable, but they can be serious if the infection has moved to your kidneys or if you are elderly.

Solving the Problem

INTEGRIS Health physicians, urologists and specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating UTIs, and offer the latest advances in antibiotics and other treatments to get you feeling like yourself again.

Understanding Urinary Tract Infections

The following are the most common symptoms for urinary tract infections. However, you may experience symptoms differently – and these symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems, so it’s always best to talk with your doctor. Urinary tract infection symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • A painful, burning feeling during urination
  • Fever
  • Urine appears cloudy or reddish in color (blood may be present in the urine)
  • Feeling pain even when not urinating
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Despite an intense urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
  • Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone

If your doctor thinks you might have a urinary tract infection, exams and tests will be required to reach an accurate diagnosis. This begins with your physician asking questions about your health history, symptoms, risk factors may continue with more in-depth tests:

  • Urinalysis: Laboratory examination of urine for various cells and chemicals, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, infection or excessive protein.
  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): A series of X-rays of your kidney, ureters and bladder with the injection of a contrast dye into the vein to detect tumors, abnormalities, kidney stones, or any obstructions, and to assess renal blood flow.
  • Cystoscopy (also called Cystourethroscopy): An examination in which a flexible tube and viewing device (scope) is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urinary tract for structural abnormalities or obstructions, such as tumors or stones.
  • Renal Ultrasound: A non-invasive test in which a transducer is passed over the kidney producing sound waves which bounce off of the kidney, transmitting a picture of the organ on a video screen. The test is used to determine the size and shape of the kidney, and to detect a mass, kidney stone, cyst or other obstructions or abnormalities.

Specific treatment for a urinary tract infection will be determined by your doctor based on your age, overall health, medical history, the extent of the disease and your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies. Of course, your personal opinions and preferences will also be taken into consideration.

Treatments may include:

  • Antibacterial Medications
  • Other Medications
  • A Heating Pad to relieve pain

If you have frequent UTIs, there are effective preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk of suffering from additional UTIs:

  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C inhibit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
  • Urinate when you feel the need and do not resist the urge to urinate.
  • Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra.
  • Take showers instead of tub baths.
  • Cleanse the genital area before and after sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches.

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