Although it’s commonly called a bladder infection, not all urinary tract infections occur in the bladder. In fact, there are five different stages that UTIs can progress through, from a bladder infection to a kidney infection. Each stage presents its own challenge, and certain symptoms can indicate which stage you’re at, so the more familiar you are with these stages, the better prepared you’ll be if you contract a UTI yourself. This article will help you understand the five stages of UTIs as well as what to do if you think you have one or know someone who does.
Stage 1: The Symptoms:
You may havea bladder infection if you have pain while urinating, burning during urination, or unusual and/or strong-smelling urine. In some cases, people will experience nausea and vomiting due to the pain. If symptoms persist for more than two days despite taking treatment, see your physician as soon as possible because it could be much worse. Infections in the bladder are fairly common but if left untreated can move from the bladder into the kidneys, even leading to sepsis (a life-threatening condition) if not treated quickly. Even though infections in other parts of the urinary tract are less common, they are still serious and need medical attention because of how easily they can spread from one part of your body to another.
Stage 2: Diagnosis and Progression:
If your infection has started to affect your kidneys then it can lead to serious health issues, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor will conduct tests, such as a urinalysis or urine culture, in order to diagnose your condition and monitor its progression. Other factors also play an important role in determining how severe the infection is, including any underlying medical conditions or persistent symptoms such as blood in the urine or difficulty with urination. Treatment may range from antibiotics for bladder infections (acute cystitis) or courses for recurrent kidney infections (chronic pyelonephritis).
Stage 3 – Tests For Differential Diagnosis:
Radiological studies, such as x-rays and CAT scans, help physicians look for any irregularities in the urinary tract. These may be signs of tumors or other more serious problems like kidney stones.
Stage 4 – Treatment Options:
Antibiotics are often used as the primary treatment for UTIs, though other treatment options can be prescribed on an individual basis. Your doctor may also suggest taking pain relief medication if symptoms become very uncomfortable or you develop a fever from the infection. The most severe form of stage 4 is a kidney infection, which could require hospitalization and more aggressive treatments than those at earlier stages.
Stage 5 – Prevention Tips:
Drink plenty of fluids, including water, tea, and cranberry juice. Stay away from sodas, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. To avoid triggering stress-induced bladder spasms make sure to empty your bladder before and after sex, every time you cough or sneeze, and every time you stand up. To prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract always wipe from front to back when using the toilet.