The signs and symptoms a patient experiences after a urinary tract infection varies from patients to patient based on their physical health and on the site of where infection has taken place. It is important to also note that patients may be totally asymptomatic whilst with the infection and may only be diagnosed on a urine dipstick. Common symptom amongst patients is that they may experience dysuria, which is simply pain when they pass urine and also may notice increased frequency of urination. The urine they pass may be foul smelling, cloudy in appearance and contain blood which may not always be visible with the naked eye. The patient may complain of pain which is around the suprapubic and loin region of their abdomen . The patients may also have pyrexia due to the immune system becoming active in order to fight off the infection. Within the elderly population it is important to know that urinary tract infection may cause them to suffer from acute confusional state and can be the cause of them falling over and injuring themselves.
Treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections
Lower urinary tract infections can be treated using a three to seven day course of antibiotics. Trimethoprim is often the antibiotic of choice in such cases. Side effects of Trimethoprim is uncommon but some patients to experience nausea, vomiting, skin rash and itchy skin. Patients who experience symptoms such as abdominal pain may wish take over the counter painkillers such as Ibruprofen. Patients who have been diagnosed with an upper urinary tract infection will normally be prescribed Co-amoxiclav or Ciprofloxacin for seven to fourteen day. However, it should be noted that pregnant women should not be given either of these two and should be given Cefalexin which is safe during pregnancy. These antibiotics can drowsiness and the patients should be informed to avoid driving or using complex or heavy machinery. Patients wishing to take over the counter medication to relieve themselves of pain who are suffering from an upper urinary tract infection should avoid Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin and Ibruprofen because they can causes the development kidney complications and should therefore seek an alternative such as Paracetamol.
Patients who experience urinary tract infections should be advised to drink plenty of water in order to relieve any fever and prevent them from becoming dehydrated. There is also some evidence which shows that cranberry juice may help treat urinary tract infections and may even prevent infections from occurring in the first place. Women who are experiencing regular infection may be warned of some of the risk factors associated with urinary traction infections, these include, new sexual partners, frequent sexual intercourse and the use of spermicide.