People who have suffered from a urinary tract infection before can attest how miserable the situation can be. As the name suggests, UTI is an infection that can affect any part of the urinary system. A simple bladder infection or UTI is not dangerous if treated sooner but can produce a life-threatening infection if left untreated. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of urinary tract infection so that you can seek immediate medical attention should it appear at any point in your life. In this article, we will be discussing the common UTI symptoms and the best way to get rid of them.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
1. Urinary Urgency
One of the common symptoms of UTI is feeling the urge to urinate urgently and more often. This happens if your bladder contracts uncontrollably when it should not, causing a slight leakage of urine to the sphincter muscles. A doctor can diagnose a specific type of UTI and provide treatment options based on your current symptoms. Urgent urination causes discomfort in your bladder making it difficult to delay using the toilet. Other symptoms of urinary urgency could be due to an obstruction, inflammation, or stones in the kidney or bladder.
2. A Burning Sensation during Urination (Dysuria)
When you have a bacterial infection of the urinary tract, it affects your bladder leading to intense pain or a burning sensation when urinating. Inflammation of the bladder, prostate or urethra causes irritation at the passageway during urination. The bladder can be the source of the problem if you feel severe pain once you stop passing urine. In severe cases, you may experience a discharge or blood in urine, which requires immediate medical attention.
3. Foul-smelling Urine
The odor of urine may vary depending on an individual and is sometimes accompanied by a discharge or blood in urine. When you become dehydrated, the urine in your system becomes more concentrated creating a stronger scent of ammonia. As with urinary tract infection, the appearance and smell are affected by the bacteria in urine. The smell can be irritating over time making you uncomfortable every time you go to the washroom.
4. Pain in Your Back or Pressure in Lower Abdomen
Lower back pain and abdominal cramping are also associated with UTIs. The severity of the symptoms may vary depending on whether the infection is in the upper or lower urinary tract. If you have flank pain and fever, there are chances that your kidneys have been affected as well. The infection can spread to the kidney if the UTI is left untreated causing permanent damage to the organ. According to statistics, women tend to experience more UTIs than men. People suffering from diabetes or compromised immune systems are also vulnerable to urinary tract infections that recur frequently.
5. Fever or Chills
This is one of the signs that the infection might have affected your kidneys. The primary role of the kidney is to remove extra water and clean the waste from your blood. If your bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys are affected by bacteria, it causes a serious health condition known as pyelonephritis. This condition requires immediate medical attention to treat the infected kidney.
How to Get Rid of UTI Symptoms
There are several remedies that you can use to relieve yourself from the above symptoms. Some of them include;
- Since you will be feeling the urge to urinate more frequently, you should not resist or hold it as it allows bacteria to multiply in the bladder.
- Drinking more water dilutes your urine making it easier when urinating.
- Your doctor may also recommend some antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection in the bladder.
- Using antibiotics with pain relievers can help reduce the pain in the lower abdomen or when urinating.
Getting the right treatment for your condition is very essential since vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases can sometimes mimic the symptoms of UTIs. If your symptoms last longer or become worse over time, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. People with chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems including pregnant women and the elderly might require more attention because of their current condition. The length of treatment varies depending on your overall health and the drug prescribed by your doctor. Lastly, it is important to take full medication even if you feel better after a few doses.
Taking a UTI dipstick test helps to detect the presence of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine. It is important to know that the test results may vary depending on the medications you are taking. For more information about urine dipsticks, click here.