One of the most common infections faced by adults across the country is probably less talked about than it should be. Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, are prevalent, accounting for 8.1 million visits to healthcare providers each year, according to urologyhealth.org. This infection, fortunately, is easy to diagnose, with a urinalysis, which means Integrity Urgent Care can help provide you with relief and care, right away.
What is it?
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria is contracted into the urine and travels through the urethra into the bladder. While the body is designed to prevent this from occurring, as much as possible, bacteria finds a way into much of our bodies. When you have a UTI, you may experience pain in your back or lower abdomen and feel an increased urgency to urinate. Pain, especially a burning sensation, is very common when urination takes place and urine may be cloudy or unusual smelling. If you are also experiencing a fever, nausea, or vomiting, or notice blood in urine, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
Women are much more likely to have a Urinary tract infection than men. Where 12% of men contract one in their lifetime, 60% of women have had one or more. Some forms of birth control will increase the likelihood of developing an infection. Those with diabetes also tend to develop UTIs because of their bodies inability to fight off infections. Additionally, some people are simply genetically predisposed to having multiple UTIs in their lifetime.
Drinking plenty of fluids is key to almost every part of your health. Additionally, by using the restroom as needed and fully relieving the bladder without rushing can help your bladder and urinary tract stay in shape. Some patients, particularly women, will need to speak to their doctor about the sexual lifestyle and anatomy to help reduce the chances of getting numerous UTIs. Changing undergarments and clothes after working out, teaching proper cleaning during showers and when using the restroom to children, and general health practices will help reduce your chances of developing a UTI as well.
Antibiotics will help provide relief almost immediately in many cases of UTIs. A full course of this medicine, along with plenty of fluids, can help the body fight the infection and come to a full recovery. In more complicated cases, IV antibiotics are sometimes needed, but with early prevention, that shouldn’t be most people’s experience.
Prevalence in the Elderly
Not only does the elderly population have an increased chance of developing UTIs as the immune system becomes less efficient, but there are a number of factors that contribute to UTIs in older generations. Incontinence, both urinary and bowel, along with an enlarged prostate in men, means a UTI is more likely to occur. Because of hygiene matters and an increased need for incontinence products, regular changing, by themselves or by their caretaker, is vital to overall health. For adults who may have memory issues, setting a timer to use the restroom on a regular basis can be helpful as relieving the bladder fully is important. Cranberry juice can help some while limiting caffeine and alcohol intake can help others, see your medical professional for advice.
If you suspect a UTI and need our assistance, come see us at one of our many locations today. Our staff can provide the care you need for relief and advice on how to stay healthy going forward. Online appointments are available, but we accept walk-ins from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.