Urinary tract infections may exacerbate with irrational antibiotic use

10:58 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

Any soreness or irritation while passing urine should be checked

New Delhi, 13 April 2019: Only one-third of patients who go to the emergency department with suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) actually have evidence of this infection. However, almost all patients were treated with antibiotics, without no use, contributing to the development of (AMR). Although a non-infectious cause is established for many of these cases, antibiotics are often continued unnecessarily, which drives the emergence of AMR.

UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system – kidneys, ureters, bladders and urethra. Most infections attack the lower urinary tract, which is the bladder and urethra. UTIs are caused due to microbes such as bacteria which take over the body’s defences in the urinary tract.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Antibiotic misuse is turning several bacterial infections such as UTI fatal. In addition, about 636 million households in India lack toilets, which is another major contributor to UTI and renal ailments especially among women. There are two kinds of UTIs: cystitis and urethritis. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder. Urethritis is an infection of the urethra. If left untreated, either of these can spread and cause a kidney infection. Bacteria that live in the vagina, genital, and anal areas may enter the urethra, travel to the bladder, and cause an infection.”

Symptoms of UTI include pain or burning; bad-smelling or cloudy urine; blood or pus in your urine; and soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, the symptoms include pain in the mid-back; fever; chills; nausea; vomiting; and tiredness.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Antibiotics usually are the first line treatment for urinary tract infections. Which drugs are prescribed and for how long depend on your health condition and the type of bacteria found in your urine. However, antibiotics must be prescribed rationally and only when required.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Drink cranberry juice. Although studies are not conclusive that cranberry juice prevents UTIs, it is likely not harmful.
  • Wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.

·       Change your birth control method. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.

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