Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

It’s an infection caused in any of the parts of the urinary system-kidney, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most commonly found in the lower urinary tract-the bladder and the urethra.

Women are more vulnerable to UTIs than men. If infected in the bladder or uterus, it may cause pain and irritation. However, if it spreads to the kidney, it may be consequential. UTI occurs when the bacteria travels into the bladder or the urethra through the urinary tract and multiplies. Usually, the marked connection of the ureters at the bladder prevents urine from flowing back into the kidneys, and the urine that flows through the urethra eliminates bacteria. Under normal conditions, bacteria present in the bladder are instantly flushed out or diluted due to the antibacterial properties of urine and the bladder mucosa.

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Different Kinds of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Depending on which part of your Urinary Tract is infected, specific signs and symptoms show up. UTI commonly occurs in the urethra or bladder. If not treated early, it may spread to the upper urinary tract-ureters and the kidneys. The most common UTI is called Cystitis in the bladder. Urethritis UTI occurs in the urethra. Pyelonephritis (infection in the kidney) should be treated immediately, else it may lead to reduced kidney function and be fatal if untreated. 

Causes of UTI

Sexual Activity-UTI

Because of its proximity to the anus, the female urethra particularly is vulnerable to the deposition of colonic gram-negative bacilli. During sexual intercourse, the bacteria may get deposited in the bladder and maybe the initial onset of cystitis; hence it is important in the pathogenesis of UTIs in women. Eliminating bacteria after intercourse, urinating before intercourse, or washing genitals with warm water before intercourse reduces the risk of infection.

Pregnancy

Due to hormonal changes in the urinary tract, pregnant ladies are more likely to get infections. 

Obstruction

Any hindrance to the flow of urine like the tumor, stricture, stone, or prostatic hypertrophy causes frequent urination. Infections caused due to urinary tract obstruction may lead to renal tissue damage. It’s important to detect, treat and repair the obstructions at the earliest.

Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction – UTI

Nerves and muscles have to function normally for the bladder to hold and release urine when required. Nerve messages are sent to the brain and the muscles that control urination. If the nerves are damaged due to injury, the muscles do not function normally and do not tighten or relax when required.
 
In the case of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, spinal cord injury, tabes dorsalis, and other nerve diseases, the nerves and muscles do not function regularly and may not end up emptying the urine correctly. Sometimes, nerves are overactive and release urine more often even before the bladder is full. The catheters may cause infection for bladder drainage and cause prolonged stasis of urine in the bladder. immobilization causes demineralization due to which hypercalciuria, calculus formation, and obstructive uropathy.
 

Vesicoureteral Reflux:

Usually, urine flows one way. It flows down from the kidneys, then into the tubes called the ureters, and settles in the bladder. In Vesicoureteral, the urine flows back from the bladder into the tubes, uterus. It’s commonly detected in infants and children. The reflux disappears with the growth of children. This disorder leads to renal infections and if untreated will damage the kidneys.
 

Bacterial Virulence Factors – UTI

Bacterial adhesion onto mucosal or urothelial cells determines bacterial virulence. UTIs are the most common extraintestinal E-Coli infections.

Genetic Factors-UTI

Genetic factors influence susceptibility to UTI.

Diagnosis of UTI

To detect UTI, our physician will test urine sample checks for the presence of any puss and bacteria. A midstream sample has to be collected in a sterile container. (collecting urine in a sterile bottle will prevent surrounding bacteria from entering into the sample.)

The urine is tested for white WBC (white blood cells), RBC(red blood cells), and bacteria. The urine is cultured and tested against different antibiotics discernment to find which drug best destroys the bacteria.

If the infection reoccurs frequently, our doctor will advise you to take an ultrasound which gives a better picture of the echo patterns of the internal organs.

Cystoscopy is advised, where an instrument made of a hollow tube with several lenses and a light source, allows the doctors to view inside the bladder through the urethra.


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