Bladder Infections: An Overview of Causes, Indications, and Treatment Strategies
Bladder infections are a serious infection that can be painful and inconvenient for the patient. The most common symptom is feeling pain while urinating. If not treated, the infection can spread to other organs. Ignoring the problem will not solve it, so it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek medical help in time.
Bladder infections can manifest in different ways, many times starting with the urinary tract and then spreading to the rest of the urinary system. Doctors distinguish two types depending on the location, namely the lower and upper divisions.
Normally there are a lot of bacteria on the skin and in the intestines of a person, which does not cause harm in this state. But an infection will develop if these bacteria enter the bladder. If the infection is not stopped in time, then some bacteria may spread to the kidneys and cause more serious complications.
In addition, doctors distinguish cases where the path of the infection is in the reverse, namely, when an infection in the blood penetrates into the kidneys and then descends into the bladder.
Factors predisposing the development of infection
No one is immune from a bladder infection, so it is important to observe all hygiene standards. But there are some groups of people who are more predisposed to getting an infection.
- Anyone, especially children, with a congenital disorder of the urinary system.
- The anatomy of girls and women contributes to the development of urinary and bladder infections because of a shorter perineum.
- Pregnancy can cause a woman’s body to experience stress, increasing the risk of infection.
- If urine is not excreted from the body in a timely manner, then bacteria can multiply and cause infection. Complications such as adenomas or cancer can increase this risk.
- Many diseases, including diabetes mellitus, lead to a decrease in immunity, which as a result, increases the risk of infection.
- Taking medications or additional complications from existing disorders may reduce the performance of the immune system, leading to a higher risk of infection.
- Constipation or diarrhea can lead to the development of infection.
Bladder infections can develop in different ways, but the symptoms are usually the same. Because of the variety of symptoms, your doctor may have difficulty in diagnosing the infection and may need to look at your full medical history. The following are typical symptoms:
- A frequent urge to urinate.
- A painful or burning sensation during urination.
- Stabbing pains in the lower abdomen.
- Hematuria, or the appearance of blood in the urine.
- General symptoms of intoxication.
- Lower back pain near the kidneys.
- Febrile fever.
- Pyelonephritis, or a kidney infection.
The doctor will prescribe a treatment plan after considering all the symptoms, so it is important to share all the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. In addition, the doctor may order tests.
The doctor, studying the patient’s medical history and symptoms, will typically prescribe antibiotics. Remember that such infections do not go away by themselves; competent treatment is required. The choice of medication depends on how advanced the infection is. If the bladder infection is at an early stage, then most doctors prescribe the following medications:
- Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Bactrim DS)
- Fosfomycin (Monurol)
- Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid, Furadantin)
These prescribed medications, though efficient, may carry a variety of side effects, thus requiring careful administration. If any of these drugs have been recommended by your medical practitioner, they can be found at Trust pharmacy, a digital service that presents cost-effective options compared to conventional offline pharmacies. Doctors do not recommend using fluoroquinolones unless the patient has symptoms of a more complex infection. This group of antibiotics includes ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin. The doctor may decide to prescribe these medications in cases with complications or if there is no alternative type of treatment.
Do not stop taking the prescribed drug even if you notice the symptoms have gone away. Take the entire course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. A typical course of antibiotics should be taken for a week or more as prescribed. Only a doctor should make the decision to stop taking the medication mid-course. If you experience pain during urination, it is reasonable to ask the doctor for a painkiller prescription. But typically, the pain of a bladder infection goes away after the start of antibiotics.
Antibacterial treatment is usually necessary for a complete recovery. Typically, during the diagnosis process, the sensitivity of microflora to antibiotics is determined. With an uncomplicated course, the course of therapy is five to seven days. A control urine test is usually required. If there are signs of inflammation (leukocytes or bacteria in the urine), the antibacterial treatment may be adjusted. In severe renal pathology with pronounced symptoms of intoxication and hematuria, the patient is often hospitalized for intravenous injections of antibiotics and detoxification therapy. In addition to medication, a gentle regime, change in diet, abundant intake of fluids, and careful personal hygiene are recommended.
Many patients try to avoid seeing a doctor and may decide to use home remedies for treating the infection. This is not always effective and can sometimes be dangerous. If left untreated, a bladder infection can cause further complications, which will make treatment even more difficult. At the first sign of symptoms, go to your doctor. This is the only way to be properly treated.
It is important to follow preventive measures to prevent the infection from developing again:
- Practice timely emptying of the bladder.
- Practice good personal hygiene, including proper washing and wiping of the perineum (from the genitals to the anus.)
- Provide sufficient fluid intake.
- Avoid hypothermia.
It is much more difficult to treat the infection than to follow standard preventive measures. Take care of your health!