Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are an infection of the urinary system, most often the lower tract, including the bladder and urethra. UTIs affect both men and women, but because women have a shorter urethra, they are more likely to suffer from UTIs than men are. UTIs are typically caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract.
How can you tell if you have a UTI?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, they may be caused by a urinary tract infection:
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Feel the need to urinate often, but do not have a full bladder
- Pain in your lower belly
- Urine is cloudy, looks pink or red, or has a foul odor
- Pain under your ribs on one side of the back
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
If you think you have an infection and experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away:
- Fever, nausea and vomiting
- Pain under your ribs in one side of the back
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and one of these conditions applies to you, seek medical attention right away:
- You have diabetes or kidney problems
- You have a weak immune system
- You are older than 65
- You are pregnant
Your doctor may also perform a urine test to confirm a urinary tract infection diagnosis. The results of your test can help determine whether or not you have a UTI. While a urine test is a definitive way to determine whether or not you have a UTI, medical evidence has also shown that your doctor can confidently diagnose your condition based on your answers to the questions about symptoms.
What is the best thing to do for a UTI until you see your doctor?
If you have a urinary tract infection, in order to mitigate symptoms, it is important to:
Drink lots of water — Staying hydrated helps keep your urine diluted which makes urinating less painful. Drinking lots of water also helps you urinate more often so that you continue to push out the bacteria in your bladder.
Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages — The caffeine and alcohol in beverages can build up in the urine, which could make it even more painful to urinate while you have a UTI.
Try a heating pad — Although it will not cure a UTI, a low level of heat can help ease any abdominal pain or cramps you feel.
Try over-the-counter pain medications — Some OTC medications can help relieve your symptoms associated with UTIs, although they do not provide a cure.
What are the main causes of UTI?
The most common source of urinary tract infections are bacteria that normally live in the large intestine and are present in feces. When this bacteria comes into contact with the urinary tract, it can cause an infection. Sexual intercourse may also cause bacteria to move into the urinary tract. This happens most often in women. Kidney or bladder infections can sometimes be caused by bacteria traveling through the blood or lymph system.
If you or someone you know has a urinary tract infection, come to Doc-Aid Urgent Care for treatment! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating UTIs and can provide you with relief for your symptoms. For more information on our UTI treatment, call our office or book an appointment today and get in touch with a member of our medical team.