The UTI infection occurs when bacteria pass through the opening in urethra and reproduce in the urinary tract. Urinary tract is a group of different organs, kidneys and urethras. The passage of urine through urethra also expels bacteria from the system.
UTI is very common among young children and it can also lead to kidney damage. Rarely, UTI can reveal some hidden problems like abnormality of urinary tract. Youngsters with excretion problems and slight or no fever and without any general symptoms have severe lower tract infection (cystitis). Presence of fever with pyuria and considerable bacteriuria can make it difficult to place the problem.
Some Facts about Urinary Tract Infections
Most of the adults suffer from Urinary Tract Infection due to bacteria called “Escherichia coli”. The bacteria are found in large numbers in the lower large intestine, around anus and genitals. It is from there that they may pass to the opening of the urethra.
In the newborn babies, special care should be taken in maintaining the hygienic conditions, as soiled diapers can allow the E. coli bacteria to pass through the urethra.
To prevent a similar condition, young girls are advised to “wipe from front to back” after excretion.
Women are usually prone to this disease because the location of their urethra is near the accumulation of bacteria, making it easier for the bacteria to reach the urinary tract.
Sexual intercourse can initiate UTI in some women and the use of diaphragm is said to be one of the causes.
Condoms with spermicidal foam might start the growth of E. coli in the vagina, which may enter the urethra.
In some gravely sick patients, urine is removed from the bladder by insertion of a small tube through the urethra; this often transfers the bacteria to the bladder and eventually leads to UTI.
Kidney damage due to prolonged UTI conditions, especially in young women used to be very common. However, now it is diminishing in the industrialized nations, probably as a result of better health conditions.
Dangers and Risks of UTI
Hypertension, impaired renal function, and ESRD end-stage renal disease are frequently associated with intrauterine renal damage in infants.
Neonatal studies normally show kidney damage related to bladder outlet blockage or un-obstructive hydronephrosis due to severe VUR.
Patients under these conditions may develop further kidney damage as a result of infection.
The occurrence of UTI is more common in young males than females. But from the age of one year and onwards, initial and recurring UTI is frequent in females. Patients of both sexes infected with chlamydia trachomatis or mycoplasma hominis may pass the bacteria to their sexual partners, causing UTI.
Causes of UTI
The following factors can also cause an infection:
- Blockage of bladder due to kidney stones etc.
- Incomplete or irregular discharge of urine (especially in older patients)
- Inherited birth defects (in urinary tract)
- A weak immune system
- Unclean urethral opening (present in some uncircumcised patients)
- Treatments and Care of Urinary Tract Infections
- Young patients with pyelonephritis usually need oral or parenteral fluids with antipyretics combined with antibiotics. Sometimes, beginning expansion of the extra cellular volume is needed. On the other hand, advanced symptoms need hospitalization.
Patients after hospitalization are provided appropriate amounts of parenteral fluids in combination with required antibiotics. Patients suffering from intense cystitis normally need no extraordinary care, except the required antibiotic treatment. At times, analgesics might be required to treat dysuria or acute bladder problem.
Increased Intake of Liquids
In the case of Urinary Tract Infection, patients are given an increased amount of liquids which helps in the secretion of the bacteria through urine. Keeping the bacteria in the urinary tract may lead to further complications.
In many cases, to relieve the patient from irritations resulting from UTI, sitting in hot water three to four times a day is advised.
Patients suffering from intense irritation in excretion might feel better with appropriate-sized belladonna and opium rectal suppository. But it should not be observed more than 4 times a day and not more than 2 days.
Urinary tract infection was a common occurrence in the past due to unsanitary conditions. However, with a cleaner environment, it is easy to avoid UTI and maintain better health.