The urinary tract filters blood and carries waste out of the body. It starts with the kidneys. These twin organs check blood levels and remove unwanted substances. They also make hormones for good blood pressure and other bodily functions. The filtered waste goes through the ureters to the bladder. It leaves the body as urine through a short tube called the urethra.
Bacteria can sometimes travel from outside the body through the urethra and into the bladder. Once there, it can multiply and cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). Common symptoms include:
- Pain with urination
- Frequent or urgent urination
- Lower abdominal pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention. Most UTIs start as a bladder infection. If untreated, it can spread to the ureters and kidneys, causing severe pain and illness. Sometimes an infection can spread from the kidneys to the bloodstream, a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
Urinary tract infections are common. Over 8 million doctor visits per year are UTI related. Approximately 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime. Most patients with a UTI diagnosis receive antibiotics and recover soon after taking the last dose.
Common ways to prevent UTIs
Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of fluids causes you to urinate more frequently giving your body a chance to remove the bacteria from your urinary tract.
Increase Vitamin C. Taking a vitamin C supplement or adding fruits and vegetables such as oranges, peppers, grapefruit and kiwi to your diet can help may your urine more acidic. This increase in acid levels helps to kill off bacteria.
Drink unsweetened Cranberry juice. Cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract and thus prevent infection.
At Family Care Research, we are conducting a clinical trial for women suffering from UTIs