UTI, or urinary tract infection, is a common bacterial infection that affects the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTIs are most commonly caused by E. coli, a type of bacteria that is normally found in the intestinal tract.
UTIs can be divided into two main categories: lower UTIs and upper UTIs. Lower UTIs, also known as cystitis, are infections of the bladder and urethra. Upper UTIs, also known as pyelonephritis, are infections of the kidneys and ureters.
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
- Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or back
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Fever or chills (a sign that the infection may have reached the kidneys)
Anyone can get a UTI, but certain groups of people are more at risk. These include:
- Women: The female urethra is shorter than the male urethra, making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.
- Men over the age of 50: As men age, their prostate gland can become enlarged, which can block the flow of urine and increase the risk of infection.
- People with diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves in the bladder and urinary tract, making it more difficult to fully empty the bladder.
- People with weakened immune systems: A weakened immune system can make it more difficult for the body to fight off a UTI.
- Drinking plenty of water to help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract
- Urinating after sexual intercourse to help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract
- Wiping from front to back after using the toilet to help prevent bacteria from the anus from spreading to the urinary tract
- Avoiding using harsh soaps or bubble baths, which can irritate the urethra
Treatment of a UTI typically involves antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection but they can cause severe gut issues. D-Mannose is a better option. D-mannose is a type of sugar that is similar to glucose. It is thought to work as a treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs) by sticking to certain types of bacteria, such as E. coli, which are a common cause of UTIs. When the bacteria stick to the D-mannose, they are flushed out of the urinary tract during urination, which helps to reduce the number of bacteria in the urinary tract and reduce the risk of infection. D-mannose may be taken as a supplement in the form of a powder or capsule, and it is typically recommended to be taken at the first sign of a UTI. If the infection progresses and symptoms worsen or persist, it's important to see a medical professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.