Overview of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection is characterized by any kind of microbial infection that affects the urinary tract. It can involve kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. The function of the urinary tract is to remove waste from the body. Number of different microorganism are part of the normal flora of the urinary tract. In case of a UTI, any bacteria or fungi can overcome the defense system of the body and reach and colonize any part of the UTI. Infection of these types are fairly common all over the world. Around 1.8 million people become affected by UTI each year. With proper medical treatment, use of antibiotics and practicing good personal hygiene.
Causes and Risk Factors of Urinary Tract Infection
The primary cause of UTI is infection of Escherichia coli, which is part of normal flora of digestive tract. Other causative agents include Mycoplasma and Chlamydia. Individuals who practice unsafe and frequent sex, with multiple sex partners are at high risk of developing UTI at certain stage in life. Poor personal hygiene, having a catheter and presence of stones in the kidneys also lead to increased chances of developing UTI. Pregnancy, diabetes, use of tampons, spermicides, immunosuppressant and menopause are also considered as other common causes of UTI.
Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
The common symptoms of UTI include nausea, vomiting, muscular pain, abdominal discomfort, frequent urination, irritation while urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, bad smelling urine, and fatigue. Untreated and undiagnosed UTI can lead to spread of infection from ureter or urethra to kidneys and bladder. Acute infection of kidneys, known as acute pyelonephritis can develop because of UTI. Its symptoms include high fever, pain in sides and upper back, shaking, chills and mental changes. It is a medical emergency and require proper medical care. Infection of bladder is termed as cystitis can cause abdominal cramping, pain in lower back and low grade fever.