What is urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infection is an infection caused by bacteria most often from the rectum entering the urethra. If you have a female genitalia, you are particularly vulnerable due to the short anatomical distance. The infection usually causes burning when urinating, redness, tenderness and frequent visits to the toilet.
It can be good to know that if you use immunosuppressive medications daily such as cortisone treatment which is a common treatment for chronic joint disease, infections like this can go unnoticed. This is because the medication suppresses all immune activity in the body. Symptoms such as fever and burning may be absent. Therefore, it is important to be extra vigilant for symptoms such as redness and frequent urination.
Why should I treat urinary tract infection?
If the infection does not go away on its own, it is important to treat it with a course of antibiotics. The urethra naturally leads up to the bladder, and the bladder leads further up to the kidneys. If the bacteria spread to the bladder, the infection can therefore also spread further up to your kidneys. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease and can be extremely painful. Since the kidneys have many vital functions in the body, it is important to try to avoid such a spread.Book an appointment
Causes of urinary tract infection
The reason is, as mentioned above, that bacteria that should not be in the urinary tract end up here. This can be due to many reasons, including:
- Weakened immune system or diabetes
- Impaired normal flora in the abdomen for various reasons, such as dry mucous membranes as you get older
- Go long with damp underwear / swimwear
- Urinary catheter
Symptoms of urinary tract infection
Symptoms of urinary tract infection can include:
- Burning when urinating
- More frequent toilet visits
- Redness, tenderness, swelling and pain around the urethra and mucous membranes
- More serious signs are fever, general malaise, general malaise, nausea, vomiting or pain on one or both sides of the spine, just below the ribs.
How is urinary tract infection treated?
The treatment is quick, effective and simple. You can get a prescription within 2 hours here on drdropin.no by filling out questions in a digital form. You can of course also get a prescription from your GP or other health services that print prescriptions. Remember that it is a good idea to wait a few days before starting an antibiotic regimen if you only have mild symptoms.
Most uncomplicated urinary tract infections go away within 3 to 7 days. For women, the antibiotic regimen is usually a one-day regimen and this helps for many if it does not go away on its own. If you have had a UTI before and recognize the symptoms, you can easily get help through a self-service digital form.Get digital treatment
How to prevent or curb urinary tract infection?
The best advice to avoid urinary tract infection is to drink plenty of water in the first place. This will ensure that any bacteria that have gone astray are flushed out again when going to the toilet. This is also why it is wise to empty the bladder after intercourse.
In addition to this, it is a well-known tip to consume cranberry products such as juice to get rid of urinary tract infection. Whether this works or not is uncertain, but many say they feel the good effect of this. It can be good to know that if you are in the group that has a higher risk of blood clots and therefore go on blood-thinning medications, you should exercise caution with cranberry juice. Talk to your doctor about this, as cranberries can affect the effect of your medication.
Elderly and urinary tract infection
Elderly people have impaired function in the sphincter muscles of the urinary bladder. They may also have a weaker immune system and are a group that is particularly prone to urinary tract infections. In infections like this, they are also particularly prone to the spread of the infection because they can have both reduced sensitivity in pain fibers and reduced fever function in the body. They can have it no matter how healthy and active they are otherwise. Therefore, they can have a urinary tract infection without feeling particularly bad until later in the course of the disease.
Due to the impaired immune response, urinary tract infection can often be the cause of not only pelvic inflammatory disease, but also a more general weakened immune response throughout the body. In good Norwegian this is called blood poisoning, while medically it is called sepsis. This can be very dangerous and is very important to treat. Be especially careful if the elderly in your circle of friends have a urinary tract infection and at the same time, for example, have an increased tendency to fall, become duller, forget more than usual or the like.
Contact healthcare professionals at 113 for guidance if in doubt. Note that such a development is very rare for young, healthy people. It is the elderly who are particularly vulnerable.
Author: Dr. Anne Marte Ladim
Last updated: 22.06.2022