What is it?
A UTI is caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, leading to an infection in the bladder, urethra, ureters (urine tubes) or kidneys. If untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney infection, so it’s important to visit your doctor for early management.
What are the symptoms?
Infections of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) are known as lower UTIs. These can cause: * a need to pee more often than usual * pain or discomfort when peeing * sudden urges to pee * feeling as though you’re unable to empty your bladder fully * pain low down in your tummy * urine that’s cloudy, foul-smelling or contains blood * feeling generally unwell, achy and tired Infections of the kidneys or ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder) are known as upper UTIs. These can cause the above symptoms and also: * a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4ºF) or above * pain in your sides or back * shivering and chills * feeling and being sick * confusion * agitation or restlessness Lower UTIs are common and aren’t usually a cause for major concern. Upper UTIs can be serious if left untreated, as they could damage the kidneys or spread to the bloodstream.
- Drinking cranberry juice helps flush out the bacteria present in the urinary tract that may be causing the infection.
- Drink a glass of water with a half-teaspoon of baking soda at the first sign of a UTI.
- Blueberries are thought to help fight off infection and prevent the buildup of bacteria in the urinary tract.
- If symptoms such as lower back pain or burning while urinating are too uncomfortable, try placing a heated pad on the lower abdominal area to provide some relief.
- Try and urinate at frequent intervals during the day.
- Wipe yourself from front to back after a visiting the toilet to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Avoid vaginal douches, feminine hygiene sprays and scented soaps and lotions as these could aggravate the symptoms.
Things to watch out for
GP should be contacted to rule out other possible causes of UTI symptoms by testing a sample of urine and can prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection.