What is bladder infection?
Bladder infection is an inflammation of bladder known as cystitis or infection of the urinary bladder known as Urinary tract infection (UTI). This is a response to pathogenic activities in the bladder. This kind of infection is most common in women than men.
Bladder infection is not communicable through person to person transmission. Usually, this infection is acquired by individual person through unsanitary practices or anatomical anomaly. Bladder infections are commonly caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli or popularly known as E. coli.
It can be easily treated through a course of antibiotics that shall be religiously followed because if not, this infection can lead to danger. In some cases, the infection tends to occur again. Without intervention, this infection may lead to kidney infection, a more serious and may be fatal. A resulting kidney infection is a different story because it will be very painful that will lead to hospitalization that will be a bigger problem. Early treatment and detection is very important in bladder infections. Also, taking the full course of antibiotics is important. Proper hygiene is important before and most especially after having bladder infection to avoid the occurrence of the infection.
The first sign of infection is difficulty urinating. At the first sign, take necessary actions to prevent further damage. In old people, detecting bladder infections is not easy. They may show non specific symptoms that often associated with aging. Older people who shows bladder incontinence and acts lethargic or confused at times should be checked by a doctor to rule out bladder infection.
Bladder Infection Causes
Bladder infection may be occurring through different ways. It affects men and women though it is usually the women who acquire it. This is because of the anatomical structure of the woman’s reproductive organ. It shows that woman have a shorter urethra that gives the bacteria a shorter pathway to travel thus causing ascending infection. Also anatomically, the woman’s urethra is situated near to the vagina and anal opening which may also cause bacteria from these areas to gain access through the bladder.
The very common cause of bladder infection is the microorganism invasion of the urinary tract. The interference of the normal bacterial flora of vagina and urethral area with adherence of Escherichia coli or E. coli cause cystitis or inflammation of the bladder. E. coli is usually found in human feces.
Doctors associate urinary tract infection with vaginal intercourse. They call it the “honeymoon cystitis” as it occurs usually after intercourse. Vaginal intercourse results to an easy access of the bacteria to the bladder through the urethra. Women who uses diaphragm and those who are pregnant are at more risk to develop UTI. Both cases cause the bladder to decompress thus limiting the bladder to empty.
Bladder infection occurs even to hospital patents. The use of indwelling catheter in the some patients makes the bladder susceptible to bacterial infection. It is known as the ascending infection. The end of the catheter reaches the bladder and the other end is attached to a urine bag where the drained urine is stored. Although the urine bag is emptied hourly, the catheter may be the passageway of bacteria especially when the catheter has stayed there for a long period. It is most common as the catheter goes straight into the bladder.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
The early detection of symptoms is very important on any kind of disease. This means early treatment and good prognosis. Just the same with urinary tract infection symptoms, the earlier they are detected the less dangerous the infection becomes.
Urinary tract infection will usually begin with one or two of the following signs and symptoms:
- The urge for frequent urination – the feeling to urinate again even after emptying the bladder already
- Feeling of pain or burning sensation during urination – having this symptom alone may be just urethritis or inflammation of the urethra
- Pain on the lower abdomen – bloated feeling on the lower abdomen
- Pain in the pelvic area through the back radiating pain that runs through the pelvic area upto the lower back
- Odorous urine – a strong bad smell of the urine
- Cloudy urine – unclear with precipitate urine sometimes contains blood
- Fever – develops low grade fever along with other above mentioned symptoms
In elderly people, they tend to associate the occurrence of these symptoms as part of aging. If you notice confusion and acts of lethargy, it s best to bring the old people to the hospital for further care because it may already be urinary tract infection.
If urinary tract infection leads to a more sever condition, a different set of symptoms may occur.
- Persistence of the above symptoms for a week or more – this may already be showing signs of kidney infection or upper urinary tract infection
- Frequent urination at night
- Fever – from low grade fever to high grade fever that lasts for 2 or more days and having chills
- Flank pain – from radiating pain in the pelvic area to the back to having flank pain that may be kidney problem
- Nausea and vomiting
Bladder Infection Prevention
All kinds of diseases are preventable in so many ways. Prevention is the loudest cry of health practitioners to prevent unnecessary illnesses and instead promote health.
Bladder infection is a simple infection of the urinary bladder that is preventable supposedly with adequate knowledge of the disease.
Here are 10 tips for bladder infection prevention.
- Hydrate. Always drink plenty of water. Water therapy can bring no harm but more benefits. It helps flush the urinary tract.
- Always go for it. When you feel the urge to urinate, go for it. Don’t hold it too long will help the bacteria flourish into an infection. Busy people always prolong the wait to go the bathroom and it is not a good practice.
- Front to back. For women, always wipe the perineal area from front to back. This case, the bacteria from the anus will not enter the vagina or the urethra.
- Shower. Take showers instead of tub bath. Soaking yourself will help the bacteria enter the vagina or urethra.
- Hygiene matters. As many cases of women having UTI occurs after intercourse, proper washing is important. Do perineal care before and after intercourse to prevent transferring of bacteria to the urethra or vaginal area.
- Don’t douche. As popular as it was before, douching now a days is not advisable. It can irritate the urethra and may lead to infection.
- Cranberry juice. Studies shows that drinking cranberry juice can prevent the occurrence of UTI but also other diseases.
- Take Vitamin C. ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin that the body needs to protect it from any form of infection including that of the urinary tract.
- Wear underwear. Wear cotton fabric underwear to allow moisture to escape. Moisture is a potential breeding place for bacteria.
- To those who already had UTI before due to sexual intercourse, try changing position during intercourse. It may reduce friction on the urethra.