Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear
URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI)
UTI is an infection involving any part of the body’s urinary system at kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. UTI are very common in women and the elderly.
Kidneys remove waste and water from the blood to form urine. Ureters carry urine from kidneys to the bladder and stored it until it is ready to be released from the body through the urethra. The urinary system and urine are normally sterile but bacteria can enter the urinary tract through the urethra. UTI are normally caused by the bacteria from intestines and bowel. UTI are not contagious however urethritis (infection in urethra can be caused by microorganisms that are sexually transmitted (eg. Chlamydia)
Signs and Symptoms
– Burning sensation when passing urine
– Frequent urination but only little comes out
– Cloudy, bloody or smelly urine
– Lower abdominal pain or back pain
– Feeling tired
– Fever and chills (sign of infection may have reached your kidneys)
Who is most at risk?
Women– women are more likely to get UTI because the urethra is short. Sexually active women are most at risk because sex can push bacteria into the urethra. Hormonal change may lead to women are more susceptible to UTI during certain times of menstrual cycle, during pregnancy or after menopause.
People with urinary catheter
Diabetes– due to a weaker immune system and bacteria grow more easily in urine with high sugar content
Tests – you will be asked to give a urine sample to test for the UTI causing bacteria. The best urine sample for testing is a mid-stream specimen of urine (pass a small amount of urine into the toilet first then pass a small amount of urine into a specimen jar)
Sometimes UTI can be treated by
1. Drinking plenty of fluids especially water to flush the urinary system
2.Taking a urinary alkaliniser eg. uticare, ural to make the urine less acidic which discourages the bacterial growth, furthermore it helps to reduce the burning and stinging sensation when passing urine ask pharmacist for advice.
3. Avoiding the acidic food and drinks because it will aggravate the burning sensation when you urinate
If the above strategies are not successful, please seek for medical help as you may need to be treated with antibiotic. Doctor will ask for a urine test to identify the bacteria causing infection in order to prescribe an effective antibiotic.
Chronic UTI treatment
If you have 3 or more UTI in a year, a preventive treatment might be benefit,
- Taking low dose of antibiotics prescribed by doctor for a long period
- Drinking cranberry drink containing at least 25% of cranberry juice everyday, ask a pharmacist for adviseself care
- To prevent re-infection of UTI, personal health and hygiene are important
- Drink a lot of water everyday
- Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to pass urine
- Wash your hands well after going to toilet
- Choose shower over bathfor women
- Wipe from front to back (urethra to anus) after urination
- Wash your genitals before sex
- Empty your bladder promptly after sex
- Ensure adequate lubrication during sex
- Wear cotton rather than synthetic underwear
- Treat vaginal infections promptly
- Do not use spermicide products for contraceptionREFERENCES
RACHEL CHAN (PHARMACIST)