Chronic Urinary Tract Infection – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by

A common type of infection, a chronic urinary tract infection (also known as a UTI or cystitis) is often caused by bacteria, such as E. coli, that travels up the urethra to the bladder.

Cystitis refers to a bladder infection and it is considered a lower urinary tract infection. Meanwhile, the condition is called pyelonephritis if the bacterial infection spreads to the kidneys and ureters. Pyelonephritis is an upper urinary tract infection and it is a more serious condition.

Known side effects of chronic urinary tract infection

The known side effects of chronic UTI often depends on the infected part of the urinary tract. Lower tract UTIs affect the urethra and bladder. Side effects of a lower tract UTI include:

  • Burning pain when urinating
  • Bloody urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Increased frequency of urination without passing much urine
  • Increased urgency of urination
  • Pelvic pain in women
  • Rectal pain in men
  • Urine that looks like cola or tea
  • Urine that has a strong odor

Upper tract UTIs affect the kidneys, and they may be life-threatening “if bacteria move from the infected kidney into the blood.” This condition is called urosepsis, and it can cause dangerously low blood pressure, shock, and death.

Side effects of an upper tract UTI include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
  • Vomiting

Causes and risk factors of a UTI include any condition that “reduces your bladder emptying or irritates the urinary tract.” Other factors that can increase your risk of getting a UTI include:

  • Abnormally developed urinary structures from birth
  • Age
  • Diabetes (especially if poorly controlled)
  • Kidney stones
  • A previous UTI
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged use of urinary catheters
  • Reduced mobility post-surgery/prolonged bed rest
  • Urinary tract obstructions or blockages (e.g. an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and certain forms of cancer)
  • A weakened immune system

Body systems harmed by chronic urinary tract infection

The side effects of an upper tract urinary infection in men are similar to those in women. For lower tract urinary infection in men, side effects may include rectal pain along with the common symptoms shared by both men and women.

Women with a lower tract urinary infection can sometimes experience pelvic pain along with the other common symptoms.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent chronic urinary tract infection

These food items and nutrients can help prevent chronic UTI:

  1. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) — Apple cider vinegar is full of enzymes, potassium, and other useful minerals that can prevent the bacteria that cause UTIs from multiplying or growing. Use ACV as a natural antibiotic to treat chronic UTI.
  2. Blueberries — Blueberries have bacteria-inhibiting properties that can help treat UTIs. They also contain antioxidants which are good for the immune system and can prevent the growth of bacteria that cause UTIs.
  3. Cranberry juice — Cranberries contain certain compounds like proanthocyanidins, and these can help prevent bacteria from reaching the walls of the urethra and causing UTIs. Unsweetened cranberry juice also has a very mild antibiotic effect. Do not drink cranberry juice if you have a history of kidney stones.
  4. Indian gooseberry/Amla — Indian gooseberry is full of vitamin C, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. You can also eat more fruits like lemons, oranges, bananas, guava, kiwi, melon, raspberries, tomatoes, and papaya that are rich in vitamin C.
  5. Pineapple — Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce UTI symptoms.

Treatments, management plans for chronic urinary tract infection

Treatment and management plans for UTIs depend on the cause. A healthcare professional can help determine which organism is causing the infection based on the test results used to confirm the diagnosis. Bacteria often causes UTIs, and infections caused by bacteria are treated with antibiotics.

Sometimes, viruses or fungi cause UTIs. Viral UTIs are treated with medications called antivirals. The antiviral cidofovir is often used to treat viral UTIs. Fungal UTIs are treated with antifungals.

The form of antibiotic used to treat a bacterial UTI often depends on what part of the tract is involved. Lower tract UTIs are treated with oral antibiotics, while upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics which are put directly into the veins.

If bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics, results from a urine culture can help healthcare professionals determine an antibiotic treatment that will work best against the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Treatments other than antibiotics for bacterial UTIs are currently being studied. In the future, UTI treatment without antibiotics may be an option for bacterial UTIs “by using cell chemistry to change the interaction between the body and the bacteria.”

Where to learn more

Summary

A common type of infection, a chronic urinary tract infection (also known as a UTI or cystitis) is often caused by bacteria, such as E. coli, that travels up the urethra to the bladder.

The known side effects of chronic UTI often depends on the part of the urinary tract that is infected.

The side effects of an upper tract urinary infection in men are similar to those in women. For lower tract urinary infection in men, side effects may include rectal pain along with the common symptoms shared by both men and women. Women with a lower tract urinary infection can sometimes experience pelvic pain along with the other common symptoms.

These foods can help prevent UTI: apple cider vinegar, blueberries, cranberry juice, Indian gooseberry, pineapples.

UTIs are often treated with antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals.

Sources include

UMM.edu

Healthline.com

Top10HomeRemedies.com



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