Let’s see how this infection by bacteria occurs.
The main job of the urinary system is to eliminate waste, regulate electrolytes, and maintain water balance in the body.
This process starts with the kidneys that filter the blood and the production of urine. The urine travels through the ureters to reach the bladder, where it is stored.
When urinating, the bladder empties and the urine travels out of the body through the urethra. A urinary tract infection severely affects the kidneys, bladder, ureters, or urethra.
An infection usually occurs when the bacteria that live inside the intestine find their way into the urinary tract through the urethra.
What is this bacteria in the urine?
The Escherichia coli or E. coli , a bacteria normally found in the intestines of humans and animals. It is responsible for more than 85 percent of all urinary tract infections.
Not only is there one type of E. Coli, and there is a wide variety of infections and negative symptoms that can occur when this bacteria becomes a problem. But there are also some types of E. coli that are completely harmless.
Other common bacteria also cause urinary tract infections, including Staphylococcus Saprophyticus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella and the pneumonia virus.
Have you ever had a painful urinary tract infection? They are quite hard to forget. Most likely, the bacterium Escherichia Coli caused that infection.
Surely you already know that bacteria, we often worry about it in regards to our food and our digestive systems.
What are the symptoms of E. coli infection in the urine?
What this bacterium does to your body depends to a large extent on the type of E. coli it has and what type of infection it is causing. It usually presents the following symptoms:
- Urination (urination) that burns.
- Frequent urination urges, even if there is almost no urine.
- The urine is smelly, cloudy or bloody.
- Fever or chills
- Pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men.
- Pain in the lower back, abdomen, hips.
- Bruises and pale skin.
Urinary tract infections are not usually serious, but they can be dangerous if the bacteria make their way into the kidneys.
If left untreated, a kidney infection (considered a UTI – Urinary Tract Infection ) can cause permanent kidney damage and even deadly blood poisoning.
How can we get infected with this bacterium? – Causes
Since E. coli is transported in the stool, not washing your hands after defecating becomes a real problem for everyone around you. As it can get to your hands (invisible, of course), then it can reach everything else.
In the same way, coming into contact with animals (which obviously are not cleaned after the depositions) is an easy way to pick up the bacteria.
All this is reduced to washing hands, after using the bathroom, after touching animals or after being near crowds (especially schools).
Escherichia coli can sometimes be found in water. If an animal (or human) has gone to the bathroom near a water source, it can be found in drinking water.
Much of our exposure to E. Coli comes from food handling. Problems can arise when we do not properly clean the products, we eat food that was not stored at the right temperature, we do not cook the meat at the right temperature and we use utensils or dishes that have not been cleaned properly.
In conclusion we must handle the food with care, ensuring that the meat is well cooked, and take the time to wash the products and cooking surfaces.
How is this bacteria lodged in the urine?
People and animals usually have some E. coli in their intestines, but some strains cause infection.
The bacteria that cause the infection can enter our body in a large number of ways.
Inadequate handling of food.
If the food is prepared at home, in a restaurant or in a grocery store, mishandling and preparation can cause contamination.
The most common causes of food poisoning include:
- Do not wash your hands completely before preparing or eating food.
- The use of utensils, cutting boards, or serving food on dishes that are not clean, causing contamination.
- Dairy consumption or food that has been left out too long.
- Consumption of foods that have not been stored at the correct temperature.
- Consumption of foods that are not cooked at high temperatures, especially meats and poultry.
- Consumption of seafood without cooking.
- Drink milk without pasteurizing.
- Consumption of raw products that have not been washed correctly.
Connection E. Coli and urinary tract
E. Coli causes almost all urinary tract infections, about 85% of them. While other bacteria such as Staphylococcus can also cause these painful infections, it is important to understand why E. Coli is the “king of urinary tract infections”, so to speak.
Often we will have E. Coli in our own body. So in one way or another, E. Coli reaches our urethra.
This happens often (in the case of women) when they are cleaned from back to front. Although sexual intercourse is another common way of producing this spread in both sexes.
Also keep this in mind. Women have many more infections in the urinary tract than men, this is largely due to their urethras.
Not only is a female urethra considerably shorter (which shortens the trip E.Coli has to do to reach the bladder), but it is also very close to the anus.
As much as we do not want to think about it, that proximity leads to the contamination of bacteria.
Is there any treatment?
Treatment for an E. coli intestinal infection involves resting and drinking plenty of water to restore fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting. Oral serum is recommended.
Drink as much water as you can because this will help dilute the urine and also relieve the burning sensation.
Antibiotics are not recommended, as they can triple the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition in which Shiga toxin destroys red blood cells and platelets (which help the blood to clot), finally causing kidney failure.
Antidiarrheal medications may also increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, according to a 2011 article in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases .
However, antibiotics and antispasmodic agents may be useful for other types of E. Coli, such as Enterotoxigenic E. Coli, which causes traveler’s diarrhea.
In the absence of severe symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea or severe abdominal pain, some doctors believe that the use of antidiarrheal medications is acceptable.
Do not drink drinks that can irritate your bladder. You should avoid alcohol, coffee and soft drinks that contain citrus juices.
Applying a heating pad directly on your abdomen will also relieve the pressure and discomfort of the bladder.
You may also consider using alternative medications to treat your urinary tract infection after you have found E. coli in the urine culture.
Drinking cranberry juice is one of the many things you can do to relieve pain. The juice has properties to fight infections. There are chances that cranberry juice will not work for you, but if it does, there is no secondary damage.
However, you should avoid taking cranberry juice if you are already taking anticoagulant medications such as aspirin.
Antibiotics are not recommended, as they can triple the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, a disease in which the Shiga toxin destroys red blood cells and platelets (which help blood clot), ultimately causing renal insufficiency.
However, when the infection is very severe, it is most viable to treat urinary tract infections with rounds of antibiotics.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics in low doses that you should take for six months or longer. You may be prescribed specific antibiotics to take after a sexual encounter, this is usually the case when your urinary infection is related to sexual activity.
A serious urinary tract infection usually requires hospitalization with treatment with intravenous antibiotics.
This can kill the bacteria (which, as we already know, is probably E. Coli). Ciprofloxacin (or Cipro for short) is a common option.
Although certain types of E. coli can be quite severe, urinary tract infections are generally quite harmless, although annoying and painful.
What happens there is resistance to antibiotics?
As time goes by, more and more E. coli bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.
In fact, between 2000 and 2010, scientists discovered that the amount of E. coli resistance to common antibiotics (such as Cipro) “increased substantially.”
This is a real problem. If antibiotics do not work, we may have a real problem when an infection becomes severe.
Why is it happening?
First, antibiotics are being widely prescribed. About 80% of people who come to the doctor with sinus problems will receive a round of antibiotics, although it is entirely possible that it is a virus and not a bacterial infection.
We are also increasing our exposure to the foods we eat. Antibiotics are also prescribed strongly to animals (often in the foods they eat). Then we eat those animals.
One study showed that the prevalence of E. coli resistant to antibiotics in broilers is quite high.
So what else can we do with E. coli bacteria and urinary tract infections?
Is there any hope for treating urinary tract infections when antibiotics are less and less effective?
Absolutely! Here are some natural health boosters that have been scientifically proven to help urinary tract infections:
Take a D-mannose supplement: this natural sugar was observed in a study of more than 300 women. Some received D-mannose, other antibiotics and others no treatment.
In six months, the D-mannose group only had a recurrent urinary infection rate of 14.6%; the group of antibiotics had 20.4%. In addition, the D-mannose group showed fewer side effects.
Try a hibiscus extract supplement: several studies have shown that hibiscus extract is an effective inhibitor of E. Coli.
Prevent spreading: do proactive things to prevent the spread of E. Coli to the urinary tract. This includes cleaning from front to back, washing your hands frequently and using the bathroom immediately after intercourse.
Of course, you should also drink plenty of water, take a probiotic (good bacteria are important here) and make sure your diet is full of foods that improve the immune system.