Painful urination, cloudy or discolored urine, and an unusual urinary smell indicate a lower urinary tract infection (UTI). The expert medical team at PrimeMD, which has locations in North Columbus, Newark, Lancaster, Westerville, Kenton, Marion, Wilmington, Dublin, and New Albany, Ohio, provides quick diagnoses and exceptional care for urinary tract infections. Call the nearest office to schedule your appointment or book your visit online today.
Urinary tract infections or UTIs are infections in the urinary system, which can occur in the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. They happen when bacteria or other microbes from outside the body enter your urinary tract, usually through the urethra.
Although anyone can get a urinary tract infection, women are much more likely to get them than men because of their shorter urethra and its proximity to the anus, where bacteria commonly reside.
If you have a urinary tract infection in the urethra or bladder, it’s called a lower urinary tract infection. Upper UTIs affect the ureters or kidneys and are much more dangerous. While lower UTIs tend to be mild and are more common, upper UTIs can become life-threatening if the infection moves from the kidneys into the bloodstream.
Urinary tract infection symptoms vary based on the location of the infection within the urinary system. Possible UTI symptoms include:
Upper UTIs cause additional symptoms, like back or side pain, fever, and nausea. If the infection gets into your bloodstream, it can cause a condition called urosepsis which requires immediate medical attention.
The team at PrimeMD goes over your symptoms and medical history before performing a brief physical exam. They use urinalysis, a diagnostic test, to see if there are bacteria or blood cells in the urine. They can also use a urine culture to find out if your infection is bacterial, viral, or fungal.
Since a wide majority of urinary tract infections are bacterial, you can treat them with prescription antibiotics. While much more rare, viral UTIs require prescription antiviral medications and fungal UTIs require prescription antifungal medications.
If you have a lower UTI, you can take your antibiotics by mouth. You should be sure to finish the entire course of antibiotics even if your symptoms go away early. Upper UTIs need intravenous antibiotics that go directly into your bloodstream to fight the infection.
Home remedies can’t cure a UTI, but some can help you clear the infection with the aid of antibiotics. For example, you should drink lots of water to help the infection exit your body. You can also eat cranberries or drink real cranberry juice since a chemical in the berries may prevent certain types of bacteria from getting stuck in your bladder.
To receive a conclusive diagnosis and professional care for your urinary tract infection, call PrimeMD or book an appointment online today.