Doctor's Notes on Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract. Infections of the urethra (urethritis) and the bladder (cystitis) are common lower urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are sometimes referred to as UTIs and are most commonly caused by bacteria. Most commonly, the causative bacteria are those that normally live in the human intestines. The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) causes the majority of UTIs.
Signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection include:
- pain and burning with urination (dysuria),
- feeling an urgent need to urinate (urgency),
- frequent urination, and
- blood in the urine.
Other possible associated symptoms may include:
- cloudy urine,
- dark urine,
- foul-smelling urine,
- muscle aches, and
- abdominal pain.
What Is the Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for urinary tract infections. A number of different antibiotics may be used to treat this condition. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if the symptoms have gone away, to prevent recurrent infections. Severe cases of urinary tract infection may require treatment with intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
Urinary Tract Infection QuizQuestion
How much urine does the average adult pass each day?See Answer
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Blood in the urine reasonsBlood in the urine (hematuria) may be associated with many conditions, some of which can be dangerous. Learn about causes, tests, and prognosis.
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Dysuria (Painful Urination)Dysuria is the sensation of pain during urination and may be caused by a std or infection of the bladder, kidney, urethra, or prostate. A urinalysis will be performed to determine the bacteria causing the infection. Infections are treated with antibiotics.
E. coli InfectionEscherichia coli 0157:H7 (E. coli 0157:H7) infections are caused by bacterial. E. coli 0157:H7 is one of the most virulent strains and is passed from person to person via contaminated food and water with infected feces. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Complications can occur in the elderly and in children younger than 6 years of age.
Frequent UrinationHaving to urinate more than eight times a day or waking up to go to the bathroom more than once a night is considered frequent urination. Symptoms include urgency, frequency, hesitancy, dribbling, straining, hematuria, and urinary incontinence. Treatment of frequent urination depends upon the underlying cause.
Urine Test (Urinalysis)Urinalysis (Urine Test UA) is a commonly ordered medical test to analyze urine. It may be used to diagnose, urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones, to screen for kidney diseases, to monitor diabetes, or high blood pressure (hypertension). A urinalysis looks for white and red blood cells, epithelial cells, blood or protein in the urine, crystals, or bacteria, among other things.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.