A bacterial infection affecting one or more parts of the urinary system is known as urinary tract infection (UTI). This article explains the nature and causes of complicated UTI and provides important treatment guidelines.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is more common in adults than kids. Poor hygienic practices, obstruction to the flow of urine due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria, kidney stones, enlarged prostate, spinal injury, etc. are some of the important causes of urinary tract infection. Infection of lower or upper urinary tract caused by anatomic, functional or pharmacological factors is referred to as complicated UTI.
Enlargement of prostate gland creating obstruction to the flow of urine, neurogenic bladder, cystitis or infection of the bladder, severe pyelonephritis, urosepsis with septic shock, calculi or hard lump produced by the accumulation of mineral salts, metabolic or hormonal disorders, renal transplant, complications due to some diseases like diabetes, HIV, etc., UTI in pregnancy, immune system dysfunction, presence of bacteria that are resistant to a number of antibiotics leading to recurring UTI are some of the commonly noticed causes of complicated UTI. An anatomic abnormality or a functional abnormality of the urinary system can lead to accumulation of urine which in turn can cause a serious UTI. Prolonged use of catheter or stent causes bacterial or fungal infections. This is also one of the important causes of complicated UTI.
Treatment for UTI involves use of antibiotics. Home remedies for UTI also help reduce the symptoms fast. The treatment may vary for every patient, depending upon the cause of the infection, severity of the infection and symptoms. Some patients may have fever, some may not have fever. Flank pain, fever and chills usually indicate upper tract infection while pubic pain, increased frequency of urination, dysuria and foul-smelling urine indicate a lower tract infection.
It is comparatively easy to treat metabolic disorders and immune system dysfunction with appropriate medicines. A healthy diet and increased intake of water and fluids promotes fast clearing of the infection. Appropriate doses of antibiotics such as levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin are prescribed to treat a serious UTI. The patients often need hospitalization and intravenous administration of drugs. When prolonged use of catheter causes complicated UTI, intermittent catheterization (if possible) can provide relief. Aseptic insertion of an intermittent or indwelling catheter, maintaining a closed system, continuous monitoring to avoid obstruction or back-flow of urine and removing the catheter as soon as possible help reduce the symptoms of infection. It has been observed that condom catheters are better than indwelling catheters as they are less likely to cause an infection. But such catheters are not suitable for all patients. Structural abnormalities often need urological intervention. Corrective surgery is considered as the last option.
Complicated UTI treatment may be stopped after 3 to 5 days if there is no fever or if the factor causing the infection (catheter or stone) is completely removed. For rapidly improving patients, shorter courses (7 days) of antibiotics are recommended while longer courses (10 to 14 days) are recommended if the patient is not responding as expected. Statistics show that women are more likely to develop urinary tract infections. Maintaining proper hygiene can help avoid the health complications arising out of UTI. Women need to know that it can be asymptomatic as well. UTI during pregnancy can lead to several health hazards. Those who have undergone kidney transplant, need to take extra precaution to prevent complications after UTI. After the treatment for complicated UTI, regular follow-up and urine testing is necessary to check for recurrence. The above information should be considered as guidelines only. For proper treatment, you should consult a doctor who will be the best person to guide you through.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.