If there's one thing that nobody likes, it's a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are infections of the kidneys or the bladder. Most often, the bladder is the affected area. If a UTI spreads into the kidneys, it becomes a lot more serious. There are many symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection, and incontinence is one of the most unpleasant ones. Learn more about UTIs by reading on below.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Caused?
Women are much more likely to come down with urinary tract infections than men. This is thought to be due to the fact that women have much shorter urethras than men. Most UTIs are caused when infection gets into the body through the urethra. This usually occurs when bacteria in stool comes into contact with the urethra. Risk factors of urinary tract infections include an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, not getting enough fluids, diabetes and pregnancy.
What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections?
When you come down with a urinary tract infection, you're sure to realise it fairly quickly. Most people notice pain or burning during urination. The frequent urge to urinate - with little or no results - is also a very common symptom. Cloudy, foul-smelling urine often goes along with UTIs, as does a heavy or tender belly. Pain near the site of the kidneys is not uncommon, and other symptoms may include chills, fever, vomiting and nausea. If you only experience a handful of the latter symptoms, you may remain unaware of your UTI.
One of the most troublesome symptoms of a urinary tract infection is incontinence. If you are dealing with a UTI and are experiencing incontinence, you should invest in some incontinence aids until the condition is treated. In some cases, adult diapers may even be in order. The goal is to keep yourself as dry and as clean as possible; otherwise, your UTI can rage on unabated. Be practical and remember that the incontinence caused by a UTI is only temporary. Once the urinary tract infection is gone, the incontinence should be, too.
Preventing and Treating UTIs
Generally, prevention is the best medicine when it comes to UTIs. Cranberry pills or pure cranberry juice can help to keep it at bay. Avoid "holding in" your urine - make sure to go when you need to go. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you do contract a UTI, you should visit your doctor in order to get a prescription. As an infection, a UTI needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Don't delay on your treatment, either; if the UTI is left untreated, it can spread into the kidneys and become much more problematic.