A bladder infection is most often caused by a bacterial infection within the bladder. For people with weakened immune systems, yeast can cause bladder infections as well.
A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI). This refers to an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, such as the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra.
Urinary tract infections don’t always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include;
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
UTI’s may be overlooked or mistaken for other conditions in older adults.
Types of Urinary Tract Infection
Each type of UTI may result in more-specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected.
|Part Of Urinary Tract Affected||Signs and Symptoms|
|Kidneys (Acute Pyelonephritis)||Upper back and side (flank) pain|
Shaking and chills
|Bladder (Cystitis)||Pelvic pressure|
Lower abdomen discomfort
Frequent, painful urination
Blood in urine
|Urethra (Urethritis)||Burning with urination|
Tests and procedures used to diagnose urinary tract infections include;
- Analyzing a urine sample – the doctor may ask for a urine sample for lab analysis to look for white blood cells, red blood cells or bacteria.
- Growing urinary tract bacteria in a lab – Lab analysis of the urine is sometimes followed by a urine culture.
- Creating images of the urinary tract – If the patient is having frequent infections that the doctor thinks may be caused by an abnormality in the urinary tract, the patient may have an ultrasound, a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Performing cystoscopy – If the patient has recurrent UTIs, the doctor may perform a cystoscopy, using a long, thin tube with a lens (cystoscope) to see inside the urethra and bladder.
Bladder infections are treated with prescription medications to kill the bacteria, usually antibiotics, and medications that relieve pain and burning.
Medication – oral antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that are causing the bladder infection.
Home Treatment – when a person has UTI, drinking plenty of fluids can help flush the bacteria out of the bladder. Water is best because it is free of caffeine and artificial sweeteners, which are known bladder irritants.
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