Urinary tract infections, as the name suggests, are infections that affect the urinary tract system. They can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the urethra. UTIs are very common in America and a lot of people confuse them with sexually transmitted infections which have almost the same symptoms.
Urinary tract infections can be very painful and invasive in life. They however are not as severe as sexually transmitted infections and will more often than not go away on their own. To help differentiate between STIs and UTIs, it is imperative to understand the symptoms, causes and preventive measures of the UTIs and know when to go to the emergency room for the urinary tract infections.
So, what causes urinary tract infections? Are the urinary tract infections transmittable? What are the symptoms of urinary tract infections that one should look out for? When should you go to the emergency room for urinary tract infections? How do emergency rooms treat urinary tract infections? Here is a quick guide on all you need to know about urinary tract infections;
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are caused by a bacteria that attacks the inner lining of the urinary tract. The bacterial infection often starts at the opening of the urethra and slowly advances upwards towards the kidneys. The farther up the urinary tract system that the infection gets, the more serious the infection becomes.
The most common cause of these urinary tract infections is the bacteria Escherichia Coli which is commonly referred to as E. coli. This is a bacteria that resides in the colon and around the anus. During sexual intercourse or owing to improper wiping of the anus, these bacteria can move to the opening of the urethra and attack the urinary tract.
Are urinary tract infections transmittable?
Yes, urinary tract infections can be transmitted from one individual to another during sexual intercourse. During sex, large numbers of the bacteria can be introduced into the bladder by the infected individual and this will mark the start of the infection.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
The symptoms of UTIs very from one individual to another. The severity of the infections depends on a number of things. People with weakened immunities for example, are at a higher risk that individuals with strong immunity. Men with enlarged prostates are at a higher risk as well.
The symptoms will also depend on whether the infection is in the upper or lower urinary tract infection. Here is a look at the most commonly reported symptoms of UTIs;
Upper Urinary Tract
Flank pain is associated with kidney problems. Flank pain is felt on the side of the abdomen close to where the kidneys are located. When the flank pain gets severe, it means that the UTI has affected the kidney and you need to get emergency medical care.
Nausea and vomiting
If the flank pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, then this should be indicative of a full blown urinary tract infection in the upper urinary tract. Vomiting becomes frequent when the kidney is greatly affected and if the infection is not treated, it can lead to kidney failure and possible death.
Lower urinary tract infection
There is an urge to pass urine more often. Even when the urine amounts are very little, you’ll feel an irresistible urge to pass urine. Experts claim that this is the body’s cleaning mechanism and it tries to pass as much urine as possible to flush out the bacteria.
Cloudy and bloody urine
Some people report a cloudy and bloody urine when the UTI becomes a little chronic. Blood stains in blood are as a result of the bacteria attacking the interior lining of the urinary tract.
Dysuria is a burning sensation experienced when passing urine. This sensation is as a result of the interior lining of the urinary tract being attacked by the bacteria.
Chills and fever
There is a general feeling of cold, chills and mild fever.
When to go to the emergency room for urinary tract infections
If you start experiencing flank pains accompanied by constant fevers, it is wise to go to the emergency room and get checked. Although UTIs are relatively harmless, they can affect the urinary system and potentially lead to kidney failure. UTIs also make one uncomfortable and it is only wise to go and get instant medical care from the nearest emergency room.
How do emergency rooms treat UTIs?
Antibiotics treat both the simple and complicated urinary tract infections. The healing period will be determined by the severity of the infection. Some of the most commonly used antibiotics include amoxicillin, Macroboid, Ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim.
If you are in Bellaire and are suspecting that you are suffering from UTIs, give us a call here at Bellaire Emergency Room or head down for proper diagnosis and instant treatment. UTIs can be invasive and can affect the way we go about our daily activities-Don’t let them get in the way of your life, seek medical attention today!