Urinary tract infections: Common causes and treatment options
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are extremely common. In fact, UTIs account for approximately 8.1 million doctor visits each year. The majority of UTIs are caused by one specific bacteria: Escherichia coli, or E. coli. This bacteria is usually found in the digestive system and can enter the urethra and travel up to the bladder, causing an infection. It’s important to seek treatment if you experience UTI symptoms.
Symptoms to watch for:While UTI symptoms may vary from person to person, some common symptoms may include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Fever or chills
- Strong-smelling urine
- Dark or cloudy urine
- Pain in lower abdomen
If a UTI is left untreated, not only can it cause severe pain, but it can also spread and infect the kidneys. So when a UTI is diagnosed, doctors usually recommend a round of antibiotics to fight the infection. Medications can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the person's current health condition.
Anyone diagnosed with a UTI should drink a lot of fluids to help flush out the bacteria. If someone waits too long because they think their infection will go away on its own, they could risk the infection spreading and becoming more serious. But fortunately, most UTI symptoms will go away a few days after starting antibiotics.
If you or someone you know suspects a UTI, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible. UTIs are nothing to be ashamed of, and visiting a medical care clinic can help provide the diagnosis and treatment needed to clear the infection quickly.