Symptoms of Bladder Infection

Symptoms of bladder infection are easily detected. Urinating is part of our daily lives and if there is an infection in one’s bladder, the symptoms can be very obvious. One of the common symptoms includes mild to moderate and sometimes severe pain while urinating. A bladder infection, or more widely known as urinary tract infection, is very curable and if detected at the early stage, oral antibiotics could treat bladder infection within days. However, if the condition is left untreated, the symptoms would become severe and would pose a great risk to one’s health. It is essential to know and distinguish the symptoms of bladder infection so that when they present themselves, an individual could immediately take actions for treatment and prevent complications.

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Causes and Types of Bladder Infection

Bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) is usually caused by the bacteria found on the area of the rectum which have spread into the urethra. Women are more prone to UTI than men. The most common cause bladder infection is Escherichia coli bacterium. But other species of bacteria can also bring about this illness, including Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Enterobacter and Klebsiella species.

There are two types of bladder infection. They are categorized according to the location of the bladder infection:

Lower tract infection – Lower tract infection occurs when the bacteria have invaded parts of the urethra and the bladder. This is a type of bladder infection or UTI that could easily be treated with oral antibiotics.

Upper tract infection – Upper tract infection happens when the bacteria have reached and infected the upper part of the urinary tract. The bacteria have now made their way to the kidneys via the bloodstream or via the ureters. Bacteria in the kidneys are medically termed as pylonephritis and this is considered a serious medical disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Infection

Knowing the signs and symptoms of bladder infection is very essential as this would help alert the individual that he/she is indeed suffering from UTI or bladder infection. Upon experiencing the symptoms, an individual must immediately seek medical attention:

Early symptoms of bladder infection

• Early symptoms of bladder infection are typically caused by infection in the lower part of the urinary tract. This is the type of UTI or bladder infection that can be treated with oral antibiotics.

o Urgent desire to urinate frequently even if he/she has already urinated or even if the bladder is already empty

o A painful, needle-like, or a burning sensation felt during urination

o A cloudy appearance of the urine and a foul smell that accompanies it

o Some may have mild fever during the course of the infection

o Headaches and weakness

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Severe symptoms of bladder infection

• These manifest themselves when the infection has developed in the upper urinary tract or in the kidneys. This poses greater risk to one’s health and the symptoms of this type of bladder infection are more serious and need special medical attention that includes hospitalization.

o High Fever accompanied by chills or shaking

o Nausea or vomiting

o Painful sensation upon urination

o Abdominal pain or cramps

o Frequent urination even if there are no more fluids to eliminate

o Bloody, foul urine output

o Back pain

Treatment of Bladder Infection

You should never self medicate if you’re suffering from the symptoms of bladder infection. Keep in mind that the treatment involves ingesting specific types of antibiotics that only a qualified doctor has knowledge of. The first thing to do upon experiencing the symptoms of bladder infection is to consult with your doctor. The doctor would first ask about the signs and symptoms that you are experiencing. Then he/she would conduct a physical check up on the pelvic area, specifically on the abdomen and the lower back part of the waist. The doctor would then order diagnostic tests such as urinalysis, or for severe cases, an ultrasound of the kidney.

• If the individual’s case of bladder infection or UTI is only mild to moderate, oral antibiotics will be prescribed to be taken for a certain period of time depending on the condition of the bladder. Some of the most commonly used antibiotics prescribed for bladder infection are cefuroxime, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, and ciprofloxacin among others. Pain medicines could also be prescribed to help relieve the pain felt. NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs could be prescribed such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

• If the individual is in anguish due to severe symptoms of bladder infection, it might mean that the infection has reached the kidneys. This would often require hospitalization as it is necessary for the individual to receive proper and prompt medical services and drugs that could treat the disease. Health care practitioners would closely monitor the progress and reaction of the patient to the treatment and they could immediately assist the patient if the symptoms of bladder infection become worse. The patient would receive the antibiotics intravenously.

Tips on how to Prevent Bladder Infection

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are helpful tips on how to prevent bladder infection from happening:

• Drink plenty of water daily. At least 6-8 large glasses a day would help your body eliminate unwanted organisms from your urinary tract.

• For females, they should wipe from front to back and not the other way around after urination. This would help prevent the bacteria from spreading near one’s urethra.

• Do not hold in urine. If you feel like urinating, then go to the bathroom. Holding in urine would trigger bacteria to multiply inside your urinary tract. Remember that urine is waste that needs to be eliminated.

• The genital areas should be kept clean and dry. If you are sexually active, urinate right after intercourse or within 10 minutes after. Wash the genital area gently to remove possible bacteria present within the area.

• Wear cotton underwear. Nylon underwear such as the material used for swimsuits would cause moisture which is conducive for bacterial growth.

Symptoms of bladder infection can easily be detected; so if you feel them, take action and seek medical attention right away. Do not wait for the symptoms to become worse. Remember that the earlier it is treated, the less risk there will be to your health.

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