When any part of the Urinary system gets infected, it causes Urinary Tract Infections. To understand it better one should know the Urinary System.
Urinary System- In a human body, the Urinary System (also known as the Renal System) comprises of two kidneys, two Ureters, the Bladder and the Urethra. The female Urinary System differs from the main Urinary system only on one aspect and that is the female Urinary system has a shorter Urethra.
a) Kidneys: The main function of the two Kidneys is to receive and filter the waste products from the blood that are soluble in water. Electrolytes like Calcium, Sodium and Potassium are excreted and reabsorbed by the Kidneys. The kidneys regulate electrolytes and concentrate urine.
b) Ureters: The urine is transported from the kidney to the Bladder through two tubes. These two tubes are called “Ureters”.
c) Bladder: The Bladder acts like a storage tank that holds the Urine until it is excreted.
d) Urethra: It is a tube that carries the excreted Urine from the Bladder outside the body.
If any one of the above four (a, b, c and d) getting infected, it would result in Urinary Tract Infection. Harmful micro-organisms present in the stool and in the large intestine travel up through the Urethra into the Bladder and with time into the Ureters and finally into the two kidneys, causing Urinary Tract Infection. Urinary Tract Infections are more common in females, as they have a shorter Urethra. As the germs have a shorter distance to travel due to a shorter Urethra, the female Urinary Tract is more vulnerable to Urinary Tract Infections. Since the Urethra and the Bladder are nearest to the outside, these two get infected the most. Thus the lower Urinary Tract that comprises of the Urethra and the Bladder, is more vulnerable to infections. The upper Urinary Tract comprises of the two Ureters and the two Kidneys.
Bladder Infections: Women are more prone to Bladder infections. Bladder infection is found to be very rare in men. As women have a shorter Urethra (½ inch long approximately), it is easier for the germs to enter the bladder and infect. The medical terminology for Bladder infection is” Cystitis”. Bladder infections usually result in the inflammation of the Bladder. If treated early, it is not serious. If neglected and ignored for a long time, it may cause Kidney infections, which may be complex in nature and ultimately may cause death.
SYMPTOMS OF URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS:
1) Burning sensation inside the genitals while urinating or even after the Urination.
2) Urge to Urinate often.
3) Foul smelling Urine.
4) Pain under ribs on one side of the back (Placement of Kidneys).
5) Nausea, Vomiting
6) Chills and fever.
CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: If not treated and ignored for a long time there may be Complete Renal Failure, Kidney Damage, etc.. When ignored for a long time, the infections spread and reaches the kidney from the Urethra through the Ureters and then through the Bladder and can cause permanent damage to the kidneys resulting in death.
RECOMMENDATIONS: To keep oneself away and safe from Urinary Tract Infection, please follow the following:
1) Drink 2-3 liters of pure/mineral water daily.
2) Don’t hold back Urine. Whenever you get the urge to Urinate, pass urine.
3) Females should urinate after having an intercourse.
4) If there is any annoyance or feeling of discomfort while urinating, visit a good physician and in the case of females, a competent gynecologist.