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 urine production. 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.
Infection usually occurs when bacteria inside the intestine find their way into the urinary tract through the urethra.
What are these bacteria in the urine?
Escherichia coli, or E. coli, is a bacteria usually found in the intestines of humans and animals. It is responsible for more than 85 percent of all urinary tract infections.
There is 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 some types of E. coli are entirely 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 pretty hard to forget. Most likely, the bacterium Escherichia Coli caused that infection.
Surely you already know that bacteria, we often worry about it regarding 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 mainly on the type of E. coli and what kind 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, and 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 are not cleaned after the depositions) is easy to pick up the bacteria.
All this is reduced to washing hands after using the bathroom, touching animals, or being near crowds (especially in 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 the drinking water.
Much of our exposure to E. Coli comes from food handling. Problems can arise when we do not adequately clean the products, eat food that was not stored at the right temperature, cook the meat at the right temperature, and use utensils or dishes that have not been cleaned properly.
In conclusion, we must handle the food with care, ensure that the meat is well cooked, and take the time to wash the products and cooking surfaces.
How are these bacteria lodged in the urine?
People and animals usually have E. coli in their intestines, but some strains cause infection.
The bacteria that cause the infection can enter our body in many 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 thoroughly before preparing or eating food.
- Using utensils, cutting boards, or serving food on dishes that are not clean causes contamination.
- Dairy consumption of food that has been left out too long.
- Consumption of foods that have not been stored at the correct temperature.
- Consumption of foods 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.
The connection between 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 essential to understand why E. Coli is the “king of urinary tract infections,” so to speak.
Often we will have E. Coli in our bodies. So in one way or another, E. Coli reaches our urethra.
This often happens (in the case of women) when they are cleaned from back to front. However, 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 mainly 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, proximity leads to bacteria contamination.
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. The oral serum is recommended.
Drink as much water as you can because this will help dilute the urine and 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 helpful for other types of E. Coli, such as Enterotoxigenic E. Coli, which causes traveler’s diarrhea.
Some doctors believe that antidiarrheal medications are acceptable in the absence of severe symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea or severe abdominal pain.
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 to 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 finding E. coli in the urine culture.
Drinking cranberry juice is one of the many things you can do to relieve pain. The liquid has properties to fight infections. There are chances that cranberry juice will not work for you, but there is no secondary damage if it does.
However, you should avoid taking cranberry juice if you are already taking anticoagulant medications like 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 after a sexual encounter; this is usually when your urinary infection is related to sexual activity.
A severe 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 standard option.
Although certain E. coli can be pretty severe, urinary tract infections are generally relatively harmless, although annoying and painful.
What happens if 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 widely prescribed. About 80% of people who come to the doctor with sinus problems will receive a round of antibiotics. However, it may be a virus and not a bacterial infection.
We are also increasing our exposure to the foods we eat. Antibiotics are also prescribed firmly to animals (often in their nutrition). Then we eat those animals.
One study showed that the prevalence of E. coli resistant to antibiotics in broilers is relatively 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 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.