Symptoms of UTI and when to see a doctor - NL-043
Anyone can get urinary tract infections (UTIs) but women are more prone to developing UTIs. The length of the urethra is shorter in women, which makes it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract and cause trouble. In postmenopausal women, reduced levels of estrogen and many age-associated changes compromise urinary tract functions, increasing their risk of getting a UTI. This infection is also more common in people with weakened immunity and health conditions such as diabetes, kidney stones and enlarged prostate. Most UTIs are caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that is normally found in the gut but can find its way from the rectum to urethra, from where it reaches and multiplies in the bladder. The infection can affect any or all parts of your urinary system, which includes the bladder, ureters, urethra and kidneys. Infections involving the urethra and bladder (lower urinary tract) are generally more common but if left untreated, the infection can quickly spread into the kidneys.
Symptoms of UTIs
- Frequent urge to pee
- Frequent urination but peeing small amounts of urine
- Pain, burning sensation and discomfort while peeing
- Cloudy, foul-smelling urine
- General fatigue and general feeling of being unwell
- Pain in pelvic area
- Feeling as if you are not able to empty the bladder completely
- Pressure in the pelvic
When to see a doctor?
It is best to see your doctor as soon as you start experiencing any or all of the above symptoms. A mild infection might go away on its own but your doctor might prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat your UTI and prevent it from recurring. The sooner you begin antibiotic treatment, the sooner you will get relief from the painful UTI symptoms.
If your symptoms show no signs of improvement after a few days or get worse, it could be a sign of upper urinary tract infection that involves kidneys or ureters. In such cases, there could be additional symptoms such as high fever, chills, shaking, nausea, vomiting, pain in the sides, back pain, and brain fog.
Early treatment makes sure the infection does not reach the kidneys, which can be extremely painful and difficult to treat. The best way to deal with a urinary tract infection is to drink plenty of healthy fluids, as it will help flush out the bacteria. Don't hold your urine for long periods, and avoid foods and drinks that might irritate your bladder. Coffee, tea, alcohol, fruit juices, tomatoes, sodas and spicy foods are some well-known bladder irritants.