Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common women’s health issues, with over half of women experiencing one sometime in their lives. Men also get UTIs, but women get them up to 30 times more often.
Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the frustrating symptoms that accompany these infections for very long if you know what to look for.
That’s where we come in.
Catharine Nformangum, MSN-FNP and our team at ProHealth Clinic want you to feel fully prepared to identify and respond to any changes in your health. Here’s what you should know about the warning signs of UTIs and the best way to go about treating them.
Look for these signs of a UTI
Some of the telltale signs of a urinary tract infection are quite noticeable and uncomfortable. Here are four of them.
If you’re healthy and hydrated, your urine should be practically colorless. If it starts to take on a yellowish, cloudy hue, consider it a warning sign that you have an infection. You may also notice that your urine smells foul or otherwise unusual if an infection has set in.
A strong, frequent urge to urinate
Do you feel like you have to go more often than normal? You can thank inflammation for that. The swelling puts pressure on the receptors that tell you to urinate, making it feel like you have to go — and fast.
Inflammation also narrows the opening that your urine typically passes through freely. That means only a small amount of urine dribbles out every time you to try to urinate, which can make you feel like you haven’t fully emptied your bladder.
The more inflamed your urinary tract becomes, the more sensitive it becomes. That’s why you may notice an intense burning sensation when you empty your bladder. It’s even possible to feel a burning or tingling sensation before peeing.
Lower abdomen pain
Once again, you can blame inflammation for your UTI symptoms. The same inflammation that the infection causes in your urinary tract can also trigger dull aches or cramps in your lower abdomen.
Warning signs of an emergency
If you start to feel tired or shaky or develop a fever and chills, the infection might have reached your kidneys. If that’s the case, get medical attention immediately.
Your first steps
If you suspect you have a UTI, give us a call. We typically prescribe antibiotics for UTIs. The next step is to drink lots of fluids. Water is the best beverage for controlling inflammation and flushing your urinary system.
You may also consider picking up some 100% cranberry juice (no added sugar). The red berry has a bitter taste but contains a certain tannin that keeps bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder.
Preventing a UTI
While there’s no way to guarantee you’ll never get another UTI, there are a few tricks to lowering your risk. The best place to start is to understand where UTIs come from in the first place.
UTIs develop when bacteria get into your urinary tract. That’s why we so strongly urge women to wipe from the front to back after using the restroom.
You should also be aware if you have any risk factors for UTIs. For instance, if you have diabetes, your immune system might not be strong enough to fight off an infection, making you prone to UTIs. Other factors that contribute to more frequent UTIs include:
- An abnormally shaped urinary tract
- Hormonal changes
- Kidney stones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
Whatever your risk level, stay hydrated, practice good hygiene, and avoid irritating feminine products.
Are you worried that you have a UTI? Don’t spend another moment in pain. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our West Houston, Texas, office today.