UTI causes a lot of problems in the body. Especially when the person has been experiencing Urinary Tract Infection for several days.
If you are suffering from UTI, you must learn how it affects you, what causes it and then address the situation promptly.
How UTI Causes Infection
Medical practitioners consider urine as sterile. When bacteria starts to grow in the urine, an infection may occur. The infection begins in the urethra. The urethra is where the urine moves in an upward direction towards the urinary tract. It is also where urine yields from the body.
90% of UTI cases are due to the microorganism called E. coli or Escherichia coli
Most of the bacteria can live in the colon (bowel) but some can live around your anus. E. coli can move from the anus to the urethral opening and wall.
Usually, this happens because of sexual intercourse and incorrect wiping.
Most of the time, the bladder flushes out the bacteria from the urethra by urinating. But if there is a lot of bacteria in the urethra, the process of urination may not stop its spread. The bacteria travels up from the urethra to reach the bladder. It is in the bladder that the bacteria grows to cause infection.
Then the infection spreads and further moves from the bladder through the ureters. Once E. coli reaches the kidneys, it will now cause what we call pyelonephritis or kidney infection. Pyelonephritis, if left untreated, will be a serious disorder.
Common UTI Causes
Let’s see what the most common causes of UTI are:
- A blockage in the urinary tract, like kidney stones.
- A medical ailment which causes insufficient emptying of the bladder such as an injury in the spinal cord.
What Causes UTI in Women
- Menopause. A decreased estrogen circulation will make the urinary tract more prone to infections.
- Immunosuppression (women with Diabetes, AIDS/HIV, and patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for their cancer).
- Sexually activity. Sexual intercourse increases the chance of introducing bacteria into the bladder.
- Contraception like IUD and diaphragm.
What Causes UTI in Men
- Prostatitis, epididymitis, orchitis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, urethritis, and urinary catheters. Urethral occlusion or prostatitis leads to incomplete emptying of the bladder. Which increases the vulnerability to infections. This is typically seen in older men and can lead to an enlarged prostate.
However, men are least likely to develop UTI. Anatomically, men have longer urethra.
Who Is at Risk of Having UTIs?
These special groups have higher risk of developing UTI:
- Infants are prone to UTIs. The bacteria enter the urinary tract through the bloodstream. Then it spreads to other parts of the body. This, sometimes, can cause septicemia. Septicemia is an infection in the blood.
- Young kids. Children have problems of wiping themselves. Often, they also do not wash their hands properly after a pottying. The high frequency of urinary tract infections in children links to their poor hand hygiene.
- Another group at risk are the school age children. They are likewise prone to having UTIs. It is also sometimes connected to abnormalities in the urinary tract. Like a partial occlusion. A good example is a vesicoureteral reflux. It is a medical problem where the urine goes back to the ureter from the bladder.
- Patients with catheters. The long periods of catheterization are one of the causes of urinary tract infection.
- Las, patients in hospitals and residents of nursing homes. These individuals undergo catheterization for long durations, which makes them vulnerable to UTI. Catheterization drains the bladder of urine contents. Catheterization is generally applied to patients who have problems in urinating. It is also done to people who cannot tolerate using the toilet.
Important Points to Remember
- UTI is not contagious.
- UTI is highly treatable.
- There are home remedies for UTI that can help alleviate the symptoms of prevent it.
- Recent studies suggest that breastfeeding though decreases the risks of developing urinary tract infections, especially among children.
It is important that we understand the UTI causes firsthand. Only then will we be able to know how to self-manage the medical condition. Additionally, learning the facts will help improve our knowledge about UTI.
Did you learn something important about UTI today?
Have you or your child ever experienced a UTI? What were the UTI causes and how did you got rid of the infection?