UTI is short for urinary tract infection, infection that predominantly affects the bladder and then spread to other organs of the urinary tract. The infection is caused by different bacteria. Urine is normally sterile and any presence of these microorganisms allows them to rapidly multiply and initiate infection.
It is estimated that UTI affects women 50 time more than men. As for men, the infection is not so common under the age of 60.
Even though there are many measures which help patients deal with symptoms and signs of UTI, the infection can only be eradicated with adequate antibiotics.
UTI: the Underlying Causes
In healthy individuals urine is sterile. Once the urine gets colonized with bacteria, these start to multiply and induce inflammatory reaction. The infection starts in the urethra or the bladder and may easily spread upwards to the kidneys.
Certain factors may contribute to UTI. The first one is obstruction in the urinary tract. The obstruction can originate from enlarged prostate, narrowing (stricture) of the urethra, tumors etc. Furthermore, UTI frequently affects patients suffering from neurological conditions like spina bifida, multiple sclerosis or is associated with spinal cord injury.
Abnormal urine drainage is another cause of UTI. It occurs in people with horseshoes kidney, those suffering from obstruction caused by kidney/bladder stones as well as people suffering from polycystic kidney disease. Instrumentation, urinary catheters and stents are also contributors to the infection.
Finally, some people are more susceptible to UTI. These are people suffering from diabetes and patients on steroid therapy.
Urine analysis confirms the presence of blood, protein, white blood cells and nitrites. These findings are sufficient enough for a doctor to assume one is suffering from UTI. Along with the symptoms patients complain about, the mentioned laboratory findings are sometimes enough for the treatment to start. However, it is best to isolate the microorganisms from the infected urine and then opt for the most suitable antibiotic according to antibiogram.
Antibiotics for UTI
In many cases UTI patients are prescribed trimethoprim. The drug is efficient in almost 80% of all cases of UTI. Cephalosporins, nitrofurantoin and norfloxacin are the second line antibiotics prescribed only if the person does not respond to trimethoprim. These medications may be also administered immediately but only in people who additionally show signs of upper UTI i.e. kidney infection.
Amoxicillin used to be prescribed a lot but today almost 50% of all patients are resistant to the drug. This is the reason why doctors must pay attention and never overuse powerful antibiotics because it can cause a widespread bacterial resistance.
Apart from antibiotics, patients are due to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.