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Urinary tract infections: cure and prevention

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections that occur anywhere along the urinary tract, affecting the ureters, kidneys, urethra and bladder. UTIs are more prone to women than men because the urethra is closer to the anus and shorter in women. That said, however, there are factors that increase the risk of UTIs developing in both men and women.

Causes

The common causes of UTIs include advanced age, kidney stones, diabetes, urinary retention problems, enlarged prostate glands in men, infections resulting from sexual activity, a weak immune system and women wiping from back to front after using the bathroom.

Treatment and cure

Your body’s immune system will usually get rid of UTIs on its own. However, sometimes your immune system is unable to fight off UTIs. In the latter case, your doctor will diagnose the infection by examining your symptoms, including frequency of urination, pain and white blood cells.

Lower urinary tract infections are often treated by taking oral antibiotics for a few days. Upper urinary tract infections are treated either at home or in the hospital, depending on the severity of the condition. Treatment for upper urinary tract involves taking antibiotics for at least a week.

Your doctor may also prescribe painkillers to treat associated symptoms like back and stomach pains.

Prevention

Some things you can do to prevent or lower the risk of UTIs developing include:

· Drinking plenty or liquids, including water and cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is said to have a remedial effect on UTIs

· Avoid liquids that irritate the bladder, such as caffeine and alcohol

· Try not to hold off from going to the bathroom too long

· Urinate regularly and completely, particularly before and after sexual intercourse

· Wash your genitals regularly

· Wipe from front to back after visiting the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anus entering the urethra

· Trying to maintain optimum blood sugar levels.

If you regularly experience UTIs, you may want to consult with your doctor or healthcare specialist. UTIs are uncomfortable, but urinary tract infections: cure and prevention are usually successful, particularly if you adopt healthy lifestyle changes.

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