Bladder infection is the most frequently occurring type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that is commonly caused by bacterial infection in the bladder. For people with reduced immunity yeasts can cause bladder infections too.
An infection of the urinary tract (UTI) is an infection everywhere in the urinary tract, such as in the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra.(1)
Most bladder infections are acute, meaning that they suddenly become apparent. Other cases can be chronic, which means they repeat themselves on a long-term basis. Early treatment helps to avoid spreading the infection.
What causes a bladder infection?
Bacteria which enter the urethra and move into the bladder and leads to bladder infections. The body usually flushes out bacteria when urinating.
Bacteria can sometimes bind to the bladder walls and develop rapidly. This affects the body’s ability to kill them, resulting in an infection of the bladder.
As per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), most bladder infections Are the result of Escherichia coli (E coli). This bacterium has a natural presence in the large intestine.(2)
Infection can happen when fecal bacteria reach the skin and penetrate the urethra. In women, the urethra is short and the external opening is very close to the anus, which allows bacteria to move easily from one body system to another.
What are the symptoms of bladder infection?
Symptoms of bladder infection vary according to severity. Immediately observe the changes during urination. Some of the most commonly occurring symptoms include:
- pain and burning during urination.
- cloudy urine
- blood in urination (hematuria)
- urinating more frequently than normal, which is called “frequency”
- foul smelling urine
- a common feeling of having to urinate or wanting to urinate, which is referred to as”urgency”
- cramps or pressure in lower abdominal area or lower back.
When bladder infections become widespread, they can also cause back pain. This pain is a result of a kidney infection. Unlike muscle backache, this pain will persist no matter your position or activity.
Fever, chills, nausea and vomiting are common causes of kidney infection. You’ll feel sick most of the time. Renal infections are more severe than bladder infections and require immediate medical treatment.
Who is at risk for a bladder infection?
Everyone can get infections of the bladder, but women are more likely to get it than men. It’s because women get shorter ureters, As a result, the distance to the bladder is shorter and easier to reach through bacteria.
The urethra of women is also nearer to the rectum than that of men. This means that there is a shorter distance for bacterial travel.
As men get older, their prostate can grow larger. This may cause a blockage of urine flow and increase a man’s chances of developing a UTI. UTIs tend to rise in males as they grow older.
Other factors may increase the risk of urinary tract infections among males and females. These are:
- narrowed urethra
- enlarged prostate
- bowel incontinence
- increased age
- insufficient fluid consumption.
- surgery procedure in the urine tract.
- urinary catheter
- urine obstruction, which is a blocking of the bladder or urethra.
- urinary abnormality, which is due to congenital abnormalities or injuries.
- urine retention, which means having trouble urinating or emptying the bladder completely.
- disorders in the nervous system that affect bladder function, such as multiple sclerosis.
- lower immunity
How is a bladder infection diagnosed?
A doctor may diagnose your urinary tract infection by conducting a urinalysis. This is a test carried out on a urine sample for the presence of:
- white blood cells
- red blood cells
Your doctor may also conduct a urine culture, which is a test for the type of bacteria in the urine that causes the infection. Once the bacterial type is determined, it will be tested for antibiotic susceptibility to know which antibiotic will best cure the infection.
How is a bladder infection treated?
Bladder infections are healed with prescription medicines to kill bacteria, usually antibiotics, and medicines that relieve pain and burns.
Oral antibiotics are given to kill the bacteria responsible for bladder infection.
If you experience pain and burning feelings, your doctor may also prescribe medicines to eliminate these symptoms. The most common medicine to relieve pain and burns associated with bladder infections is called phenazopyridine (Pyridium).
When you have a urinary tract infection, drinking enough liquids may help eliminate bacteria from your bladder. Water is preferable because it does not contain caffeine and artificial sweeteners, which are common bladder irritation.
Concentrated cranberry solutions, juices and extracts can prevent urinary tract infections from E coli. However, they should not be completely dependent on the treatment of an active infection.
In a study that recently appeared in Frontiers in Microbiology, cranberry juice has reduced the number of bacteria in the bladder during an infection, but it has not fully treated the infection.
Can bladder infections be prevented?
Some lifestyle changes can reduce your chances of becoming infected with a bladder infection.
If you have had repeated urinary tract infections, your doctor can recommend prophylactic treatment. It consists of antibiotics administered in small daily doses to prevent or control future urinary tract infections.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that certain of the following lifestyle changes can help reduce or Eliminate bladder infections by:
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, but talk to your doctor about the right amount of fluid depending on your overall health.
- Consume cranberry juice every day.
- Urinate immediately when you feel pressure.
- Wipe from front to rear after urination if you are a woman.
- Do not use showers, feminine hygiene sprays, fragrant soaps or powders.
- Take showers more than baths.
- Use cotton undergarments and loose clothing.
- Do not use diaphragms or spermicides and switch to alternative birth control.
- Use lubricated condoms that have no permicides.
- Urinate before and after intercourse.
Preventive antibiotic treatment
If you are a female with recurring urinary tract infections, your doctor may regularly prescribe antibiotics for preventing infections or to be taken when you experience symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
They can also tell you to take only one dose of an antibiotic after sex.
Most bladder infections decrease within 48 hours of receiving the proper antibiotic. It is important to keep taking all the antibiotics prescribed, even if you feel better.
Certain bladder infections may worsen and spread to the kidneys as a result of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, delayed or improper treatment, or other medical conditions.
Chronic bladder infections require a combination of therapy and more aggressive preventative measures. Long-lasting daily antibiotics can sometimes be essential.
Previous involvement with bladder infections can help reduce the risk of infection and the pain and possible complications that have occurred. The sooner you start treating, The fewer chances the infection spreads, the sooner you’ll feel better.