UTI

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) occurs when germs infect the system that carries urine out of your body — the kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that connect them. Bladder infections are common and usually not serious if treated promptly. But if the infection spreads to the kidneys, it can cause more serious illness. Diabetes or other chronic diseases that affect the immune system may decrease your resistance to infection. Diagnosis is based both on symptoms and a laboratory test.

In Texas, urinary tract infections resulted in 34,037 hospitalizations in 2012 and the average age of adults hospitalized was 65 years. Females accounted for 74.9% of the hospitalizations. The average hospital stay was 4 days and the average charge was $27,141. At discharge, 16.7% of the patients were released to a skilled nursing facility while another 12.3% were released to the care of home health services.

Prevention Steps:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will allow your urine to be less concentrated and cause you to void more frequently.
  • Empty your bladder every 3-4 hours. This is the most important thing that you can do to avoid urinary tract infections.
  • After urinating, a woman should only wipe from front to back to prevent any material that might be from the anal area from being drawn into the vaginal area, which may then eventually get into the bladder.
  • Avoid constipation. Having a soft bowel movement on a daily basis will decrease the bacterial count in your colon. The way to do this is to increase the water and fiber in your diet.
  • Void immediately before and after intercourse. Intercourse causes trauma to your urethra, and emptying your bladder will help decrease your chances of getting an infection. Also showering after intercourse may help decrease chances of infection.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
  • Cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes should be worn, so air can keep the area around the urethra dry.

Symptoms:

  • A frequent and intense urge to urinate a painful, burning feeling in the bladder or urethra during urination
  • Feeling tired, shaky, and weak
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Only small amounts of urine passed, despite a strong urge to urinate
  • Cloudy, dark, or bloody urine or urine that has a foul smell
  • Pain in the back or side below the ribs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever may indicate a kidney or prostate infection.

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