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Urinary Tract Infection: Symptoms and Causes

Published on Oct 16, 2021


By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience

Urinary Tract Infection: Symptoms and Causes

If you experience a burning pain when you pee, you may have contracted a urinary tract infection or UTI. These common bacterial infections affect as many as 150 million people around the world every year.

For those who are suffering from UTIs, this blog is the right place to know urine infection causes and symptoms.

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What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?

What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system- kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The bladder and urethra are involved more frequently though it can affect kidneys and ureters as well. Urine infection is a significant cause of suffering in infant boys, older men, and females of all ages.

What Are the Causes Of UTI?

The main urine infection reason is the bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra. After reaching the bladder, these bacteria start multiplying. The urinary system has an in-built defence system to counter these types of invasions. But when it falls short, bacteria take control, and you get those discomforting urinary tract infections.

Infection of the bacterium Escherichia coli is the most common among urinary infection causes. It is usually found in the digestive system. Some other bacteria like Enterococcus spp., K. pneumonia, and certain fungi like Candida spp are also known to cause UTI infection.

Risk Factors For UTI

Urine infection can affect people of any age and sex. But certain factors increase the risk of catching urinary infection and incidences of its recurrence.

Here are a few common risk factors of urinary infection:

  1. Female gender:
    Urine infection in female is more common than that in males. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of all women experience at least one UTI during their lifetime, 20 to 30 percent battle with recurrent UTIs.
  2. High-risk sexual behaviour:
    More frequent, intense sexual intercourse, especially with multiple or new partner increase the risk of urine infection.
  3. Old age:
    Risks of urinary tract infection in men increases as they age. It is higher after the age of 50 years. In men, enlargement of the prostate gland obstructs normal urine flow and leads to incomplete bladder emptying. This can increase the chances of urine infection.
  4. Menopause:
    After stopping menstruation level of oestrogen decreases. This leads to changes in the urinary tract that can make you more vulnerable to urine infection.
  5. Diabetes:
    Uncontrol blood sugar is known to increase the risk of several infections like a urine infection. You can take certain ayurvedic medicines to control your blood sugar levels.
  6. Prolonged catheterization:
    This is one of the most common causes of urinary tract infection acquired by patients in health care facilities.
  7. Immune system suppression:
    Long-term illnesses and the use of certain medicines like steroids can weaken the body’s immune system and defence against bacteria. This makes you vulnerable to a UTI. You can make use of ayurvedic products for immunity.

What Are the Symptoms Of UTI?

Even if you get an infection, you may not experience a symptom of urine infection symptoms. On another occasion, you may experience these common symptoms of the urinary tract in the following:

  • Strong and frequent feeling to urinate
  • A burning sensation or pain when urinating
  • Passing small amounts of urine frequently
  • Passing of cloudy, strong-smelling urine
  • Passing of red, bright pink, or cola-coloured urine that indicates blood in the urine
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area, more common in women
  • Nausea and vomiting

There may be variation in the urine infection symptom due to age, gender, and the location of infection. If you encounter these symptoms, you can use ayurvedic medicines for urinary problems to tackle them safely. You can consult your physician to know more about this.

Kidney Infection Symptom

Kidney Infection Symptom

Bacteria entering the urethra travel up to the kidney. Sometimes they reach the kidneys through the bloodstream from other infected parts of the body. Kidney infection or pyelonephritis can occur in only one kidney or may involve both kidneys.

Symptoms Of a Kidney Infection Include:

  • Upper back pain or side (flank) pain
  • High fever with chills and shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue or malaise
  • Mental changes

Symptoms Of Bladder Infection or Cystitis:

  • Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen 
  • Frequent, painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • If the urethra is infected, you can get symptoms like a burning sensation while urinating and discharge.

Complications Of Urinary Tract Infection

Many treatment options are available for treating urinary tract infections. So, chances of complications are minimal when you act immediately and take proper treatment. But if not treated on time, urine infection, particularly affecting kidneys, can lead to serious problems.

Complications Of UTIs:

  • Permanent kidney damage: Untreated sudden or long-term kidney infection (pyelonephritis) can lead to severe damage to kidneys and decreasing their functions. 
  • Sepsis: If bacteria enter the bloodstream from an unattended urine infection, a condition known as septicaemia, they can cause a life-threatening situation. 
  • Pregnancy outcome: Urinary tract infections in pregnant women increase the risk of delivering low birth weight or premature babies.
  • Urethral stricture: Frequent or untreated urinary tract infections can cause narrowing in men.

Final Words on Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are amongst the most common causes that require a visit to a doctor. Burning sensation while peeing is a tell-tale symptom of urine infection. Though it can affect a person of any age, its occurrences are more frequent in women across all age groups. Many treatment options are available that can help you battle urinary tract infections effectively.

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  1. Stamm, W. E. & Norrby, S. R. Urinary tract infections: disease panorama and challenges. J. Infect. Dis. 183 (Suppl. 1), S1–S4 (2001).
  2. Medina M, Castillo-Pino E. An introduction to the epidemiology and burden of urinary tract infections. Ther Adv Urol. 2019; 11:1756287219832172.
  3. Tan CW, Chlebicki MP. Urinary tract infections in adults. Singapore Med J. 2016;57(9):485-490.  
  4. Rowe TA, Juthani-Mehta M. Urinary tract infection in older adults. Aging health. 2013;9(5):10.2217/ahe.13.38.  
  5. Mody L, Juthani-Mehta M. Urinary tract infections in older women: a clinical review. JAMA. 2014;311(8):844-854.  
  6. Latika J Shah, urinary tract infection: bacteriological profile and its antibiotic susceptibility in western India, National Journal of Medical Research, 2015, 5(1): 71-74.
  7. Flores-Mireles AL, Walker JN, Caparon M, Hultgren SJ. Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015;13(5):269-284.  

Dr. Surya Bhagwati
BAMS (Ayurveda), DHA (Hospital Admin), DHHCM (Health Management), DHBTC (Herbal Beauty and Cosmetology)

Dr. Surya Bhagwati is an established, well-known Ayurvedic expert with over 30 years of experience in treating and consulting in the field of Ayurveda. She is known for the timely, efficient, and patient-centred delivery of quality health care. The patients under her care receive a unique holistic treatment comprising not only medicinal treatment but also spiritual empowerment.

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