God Bless You Esteem Readers.
In my last Post, Series 2, I described the Urinary System, as well as talked about Symptoms and Complications of UTIs.
In today’s Post, I will talk about Risk Factors, and Diagnosis, to help you better protect yourself and your loved ones from this ailment.
These are factors that increase risk of contacting Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), as follows:
Adults are more likely to experience UTIs. A few children and even infants also experience it though.
2. Female Anatomy:
The female Urethra is closer to the Anus and Vagina. Thus bacteria can easily get to the female. Hence women experience the disease, more than men.
Women who are more sexually active, and have different sex partners are more at risk of contacting UTIs.
Pregnant women are at risk of contacting the ailment.
And most women, in their reproductive years, after experiencing flu and common cold, usually experience UTIs.
Women experiencing menopause usually have a decline in estrogen production.
Thus changes occur in the Urinary Tract, that puts them at risk of contacting UTIs.
6. Birth Control:
Women who use Diaphragms, Spermicide-treated Condoms, etc. are at risk of contacting UTIs as these birth control methods can cause growth of bacteria.
Please follow this link for more on birth control
Some babies born with Urinary Tract Abnormalities, causing a partial blockage, can cause UTIs.
For example, a condition that causes urine to move backwards, from the bladder, up the Ureters, known as “Vesicoureteral Reflux.”
8. For Infants:
In the case of infants, bacteria could gain entry to the Urinary Tract, from some other parts of the body, through the blood stream.
9. Poor Hygiene:
Young children who are unable to properly clean themselves up, and wash their hands well after a bowel movement, expose themselves to bacteria, and thus UTIs.
So parents, help your children properly clean up and wash their hands, after every bowel movement.
When they form the habit, as they grow older, they will authomatically do it themselves.
Enlarged Prostate patients, and those with Kidney Stones, usually trap urine in the bladder.
Hence they use Catheter (a tubular medical device for insertion into body cavities to permit urination).
Such patients are at risk of contacting UTIs.
Patients who undergo urinary surgery or examination of their Urinary Tract, are at risk of developing UTIs.
12. Restricted Movements:
Reduced movement of patients, as a result of prolonged bed rest, or surgery, namely, those who have stroke, spinal cord injury, etc. is very likely to cause UTIs.
Diabetic patients have high sugar level in their urine. This makes it easy for bacteria to grow in it.
14. Patients who previously experienced a UTI, are more likely to have Recurrent UTIs or Relapses.
15. Couples having unprotected sex are likely to develop UTIs.
16. Persons who wait for too long before urinating are likely to develop UTIs.
17. Circumcision of Men:
Men who have their Penis Circumcised are more protected from UTIs than men who do not have theirs Circumcised.
18. Heavy Use of Antibiotics:
Heavy use of antibiotics, disturbs natural bowel movement, and thus the Urinary Tract.
19. Those with compromised immune system from HIV/AIDS and Chemotherapy are likely to develop UTIs.
Complications always occur when Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are not promptly treated.
Therefore, please treat promptly to avoid complications.
In diagnosing, the doctor will normally find out from the patient, medical history, and symptoms being experienced.
After going through the patient’s medical history, and medical exam done, the first diagnostic test done is “Urinalysis.”
Urinalysis provides information about the presence of bacteria, red and also white blood cells, and other abnormalities.
If it indicates that “Urine Culture” and other bacterial drug sensitivity tests should be performed, they are also done.
The Urine Culture can help to confirm the cause of the infection, and also best treatment options.
As earlier mentioned, your doctor will need to test your urine for microbes.
Therefore, the patient will be required to wash the genital area, and collect urine sample “Mid-Flow,” that is, allow urine to flow out a little without collecting, and then mid-way, collect urine into a container provided for the purpose, and pass the rest of the urine out, without collecting.
This method of collecting urine is referred to as “Clean Catch.”
When urine is collected “Clean Catch,” it prevents bacteria around the genital area, getting caught in the sample.
Patients With Recurrent UTIs:
Patients with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), may undergo further tests, to determine the exact cause.
The doctor may carry out tests as follows:
There are two forms of Nitrogen, namely, Nitrates and Nitrites. Both are naturally found in some Vegetables, such as Cabbage, Celery, Leafy Greens.
It is said that when you have Nitrates in your Urine, it is normal. But when you have Nitrites in your Urine, it is an indication that you have a bacterial infection.
Some bacteria convert Nitrates into Nitrites, causing infection.
Urinalysis Test is used for diagnosing Nitrites in the Urine.
Urinalysis Test is also used to diagnose for the following reasons:
* Before Surgery
* For a Pregnancy Check-Up
* When admitted in a hospital
* For patients of Diabetes
* To monitor a kidney condition
* During Routine Check-Up
* When having painful Urination
* For blood in the Urine
* For Other Urinary problems
However, the patient should disclose information about Supplements, Vitamins, or Medications taken.
Suffice to know that in a Urinalysis Tests, several steps are taken to analyze urine.
2. An Ultrasound:
Using a device called a transducer passed over the patient’s abdomen, creates an image of the patient’s Urinary Tract Organs, displayed on a monitor.
3. A Cystoscopy:
A small camera is inserted through a long thin tube, and inserted via the Urethra, so that inside the patient’s Bladder and Urethra, can be viewed.
During this test, a small piece of Bladder Tissue could be removed by the Doctor, and tested, to rule out Cancer, or Bladder Inflammation, as a cause of the patient’s symptoms.
4. A Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan:
This will help to get more detailed images of the patient’s Urinary System.
5. An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP):
A dye which is injected into the patient’s body, travels through the Urinary Tract, taking an x-ray of the patient’s abdomen, and the dye highlighting the Urinary Tract, on the x-ray image.
This is used to determine if the Urinary Tract is storing, as well as releasing a patient’s urine.
7. Complete Blood Count (CBC):
In cases of Upper UTIs, in addition to urine test, Complete Blood Count (CBC), and Blood Cultures are done, in order to confirm that the infection has not spread to the blood stream of a patient.
Please follow these links to view Posts on “Prevent And Effectively Treat With Supplements, Urinary Tract Infections (Blog Series 1 and 2).”
In Series 4, I will talk about Treatment of UTIs and Right Foods to Eat.
So watch out for this as you need to know more about remedy for the ailment.
Stay Healthy Always And Remain Blessed. Love You All.