An infection of the urinary tract is caused by an increased amount of bacteria and could take place in any area of the tract, such as the kidneys, or the bladder. Urinary tract infections are most likely to take place in the bladder and are treated easily, while the infection in the kidneys can lead to serious consequences if not properly dealt with and in a timely fashion. Furthermore, the main adverse agent responsible for the urinary tract infections is Escherichia coli, which will reproduce in large quantities and manifest its presence by causing painful and frequent urination, abdominal pain and gloomy, dark and sometimes bloody urine. A typical urinary tract infection is treated by antibiotics usually prescribed for a period of 2 to 3 weeks, coupled by painkillers, if required.
Treatment for most urinary infections starts and usually ends, with antibiotics of various types. A culture test of the urine is performed to rule out any antibiotics that the bacteria may be resentful towards, but those medications that are based on fluoroquinolone, cephalosporins and the like are in most cases sufficient. A few of the antibiotics often prescribed include amplicillin, Septra, Bactrim and so on. The symptoms disappear within the first couple of days of treatment, but the patient should not, under any circumstances, stop taking the medication before the end of the treatment period as advised by a doctor as it can result in the infection coming back or in the development some of the adverse effects of antibiotics. There are a couple of other factors that a doctor will take into consideration when prescribing antibiotics and those include age, gender, medical history, pregnancy and any possible underlying medical conditions. In some instances, a medical professional might recommend waiting for a few days to see if the body can fight off the infection on its own, as the frequent taking of antibiotics could result in the bacteria becoming resistant. In cases that are not severe and the immune system is capable enough, a urinary tract infection can go away on its own. In addition, there are some mild side effects produced by antibiotics, such as allergies and loss of energy, so if an individual is interested in avoiding those there is a possibility that the infection will stop without medications. In the case of children, antibiotics will most likely be prescribed and the treatment will last for 3 days. In addition, if an individual is prone to recurring urinary tract infections, a doctor will recommend a longer course of treatment with antibiotics and advise further tests be done to ensure there are no mechanical problems in the tract, or in the performance of the kidneys. Further, if the infection is regularly produced after a sexual intercourse a medical care provider will recommend taking a small dosage of antibiotics right after, while for postmenopausal women vaginal estrogen is usually a good solution to stop the infection from coming back. Finally, if a urinary tract infection is so severe that it produces high body temperature, coupled with excruciating pain in the abdomen, and in many cases inability to eliminate urine, the individual is advised to go to the hospital for urgent treatment which will end with a course of antibiotics to be taken from home.
Alternative Treatment Options
There are various treatment options that do not include prescribed medications and are widely available for patients to try. One such remedy includes cranberry products, or juice, tea and dried cranberries. Consuming cranberry products has been shown to decrease the symptoms as well as the frequency with which the urinary tract infection recurs. Cranberry based products have more effect on women than men and children. Also, it should be noted that the effects are individual, and so are the course and the duration of treatment. Anyone who is interested in trying to fight their susceptibility to urinary tract infections with cranberry products has to try and see how long it would take to get any results and how often the cranberry products need to be consumed. In most cases, consuming cranberry based products is safe, but it is always a good idea to consult with a nutritionist or a physician. It should be noted that individuals who are taking medications for blood thinning should stay away from cranberries. Further, there are other everyday activities that individuals prone to urinary tract infections should engage in. It is highly beneficial to drink plenty of water and urinate frequently to get the bacteria out of the system. Drinking alcohol, soft drinks, sodas and coffee produces the opposite effects, as these drinks are too harsh on the bladder and as a result should be avoided. Finally, using a heated pillow or a pad to warm up the midsection will sooth the bladder and decrease the discomfort.