Affecting millions of people each year, the urinary tract infections are more frequent in women, but they can affect men as well, and can cause a serious condition. It is known that the urinary system contains the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys, which are a pair of purplish-brown organs situated below the ribs toward the middle of the back have the role to remove excess liquid and wastes from the blood, to form the urine, to produce a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells and to keep a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood. The ureters have the role to carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, and here, the urine is stored and then the urine exits the body through the urethra. |
Normally, the urine is sterile, but there can appear infections when bacteria, from the digestive tract usually, cling to the opening of the urethra and start multiplying. Usually, the bacteria type Escherichia coli is responsible for these infections. If the infection is limited to the urethra, we are dealing with urethritis. If bacteria traveled to the bladder and multiplied, we have a cystitis. It is very important that infection to be treated as quickly as possible, because the kidneys can become infected, causing pyelonephritis. Some microorganism, called Chlamydia and Mycoplasma can be sexually transmitted, and they can cause urinary tract infections. These infections usually are limited to the urethra and reproductive system and treatment is required for both partners.
There are some persons more predisposed to develop a urinary tract infection. For example an abnormality of the urinary tract that obstructs the flow of urine, or an enlarged prostate gland can lead to an increased risk of infection. Also, it is known that catheters, or tubes, placed in the urethra and bladder are a common source of infection, and people with diabetes or any other disorder that suppresses the immune system have an increased risk to develop a urinary tract infection.
It was seen that urinary tract infections may occur in infants born with abnormalities of the urinary tract and sometimes surgery is needed. The scientists do not know for sure why women develop more often then men urinary tract infections, but it is believed this happens because woman's urethra is shorter, and so, bacteria will travel a shorter distance to the bladder, and also because woman's urethral opening is near sources of bacteria from the anus and vagina. For many women, it is possible that sexual intercourse to trigger an infection as well. It was also seen that women who use a diaphragm for birth control are more predisposed into getting a urinary tract infection.
Researchers say that a factor that determines the recurrence of the urinary tract infections may be the ability of bacteria to attach to cells lining the urinary tract. It was made a recent study, and it was discovered that bacteria formed a protective film on the inner lining of the bladder in mice. This is a step forward, because if this process can be demonstrated in humans too, there can appear new treatments to prevent the recurrent urinary tract infections. Other studies suggest that women who are non-secretors of certain blood group antigens are more predisposed to recurrent urinary tract infections. The scientists explain this happens because the cells lining the vagina and urethra may allow bacteria to attach more easily.
Seems that pregnant women who develop a urinary tract infection have a greater risk for the infection to affect the kidneys. It is believed this happens because hormonal changes and shifts in the position of the urinary tract during pregnancy make it easier for the bacteria to travel to the kidneys. That’s why period testing of urine during pregnancy is recommended.
Although not all the patients with urinary tract infections have symptoms, there usually appears a frequent urge to urinate, a painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination, women can experience an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone and men a fullness in the rectum. If there appears fever too, it is possible that the infection has reached the kidneys. The symptoms of a kidney infection also include symptoms like pain in the back or side below the ribs, nausea and vomiting. Usually, in a urinary tract infection, the urine may look milky or cloudy, and if blood is present, it will look reddish. It is important to know that children with urinary tract infections may have fever as the only symptom, that is why very often, the symptom of a urinary tract infection can be attributed to another disorder.
For more resources about kidney infection or especially about please review signs of kidney infection please review http://www.kidney-infection-center.com/signs-of-kidney-infection.htm
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