What Are Urinary Tract Infections? 


An infection of the urinary system is called a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI infection can involve your kidneys, bladder, or urethra. Typically, human urine does not contain bacteria. We all know that urine is a by-product of our body’s filtration system, the kidneys. 


Urine is created when excess water and waste products are removed from blood. This urine moves through the urinary system without getting contaminated. Nonetheless, bacteria can set foot in the urinary system from outside, leading to swelling and infection. This is called urinary tract infection. 


How Common Are UTIs? 

As per the reports, urinary tract infections are very common and can affect 1 in 5 women in their lifetime. Even though urinary tract infections are commonly seen in women, they can also affect men, elderly adults, and children. Every year, eight to ten million doctor visits occur due to UTIs. 


Who Gets UTIs? 

As per the experts in low income clinics, anyone can get a UTI, but they are more commonly seen in women. This is because the urethra in women is shorter and is adjacent to the anus where E.coli bacteria are commonly found. Elderly adults are also at a high risk of developing cystitis, which is an infection of the urinary bladder. Incomplete emptying of the urinary bladder in older adults can increase the risk of infections. Many medical conditions like bladder prolapse and enlarged prostate can be related to this. 


If you get UTIs frequently, visit an affordable health clinic in your area and get yourself tested for other health issues like diabetes or an abnormal urinary system. Low-dose antibiotics are given to people with frequent urinary tract infections to prevent the infection from occurring again. Healthcare experts follow this cautious approach to treat frequent urinary tract infections as our body can develop a resistance to antibiotic medications and you may get other infections due to this. 


Causes Of UTIs 

UTIs are mainly caused by microorganisms, especially bacteria that enter the urethra and urinary bladder. These microorganisms can cause infection and inflammation. Even though urinary tract infections commonly occur in the bladder and urethra, bacteria may also travel up the ureters and reach the kidneys to cause a kidney infection. Almost all urinary bladder infections are caused by E.coli which is a bacterium present in the human intestines. 


Preventing UTIs 

Lifestyle changes can help prevent urinary tract infections. You can drink plenty of water, practice good hygiene, and make changes to your urination habits to prevent urinary tract infections.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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