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Home Personal Health What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

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what-is-a-urinary-tract-infectionUrinary Infections

All right, just when we were thinking white meat was the way to go, now a latest report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is telling us that eating chicken may very well be the cause of urinary tract infections.  The few of you lucky women have not had to experience the frequent urination, not to mention the burning, sensation and all-out excruciating pain that accompanies that fun little infection "downstairs."  Maybe you don't eat chicken then.  But those of us that fight urinary tract infections or UTI's know the reality of the discomfort and the inconvenience of having to go to the doctor once again, to confirm what we already know.

Bladder Infections

Believe it or not, E coli was the long suspected culprit of urinary tract infections.  We know that sounds unsettling, but E. coli does actually exist in our digestive systems.  According to the CDC, the bacterial samples of E. coli found in urinary infections very closely match the same bacteria found in chicken meat.  And the bacteria did not come from contamination, but the actual meat itself, the chicken.

  • Even more surprising is that the CDC researchers report that strains of E. coli from red meat and pork do not match urinary tract infection bacterial strains as likely as the chicken.

  • The current findings have made treating UTI's more complex.  The new study has revealed there has to be a new way to approach urinary tract infections and researchers are saying treatment has become more complicated as a result.
  • UTI's typically occur as the result of bad  bacteria entering the be body’s urinary tract, which is composed of the urethra, bladder, kidneys and ureters.  Left unchecked it can lead to a kidney infection.
  • It would appear that the Canadians already were on to this discovery, for they previously reported that the E. coli that causes bladder infections originates in food and that chicken is the most likely cause.
  • In this recent study, researchers at the CDC compared bacterial strains from 300+ samples of pork, beef and chicken and pegged them against women that had UTI's. The results implicated chicken as a major cause and consequently new precautionary measures need to be taken to reduce food contamination and transmission risk.

Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection

The symptoms of a urinary tract infection are different according to gender, age and location of the infection.  Some of us lucky ones can fight it off on our own within a few days but most of us do not.  Symptoms include

  • A frequent urge to urinate, along with burning and/or pain when you do urinate.

  • Fever and upset stomach.
  • The urine has a cloudy appearance or even may look dark, due to blood.

  • The urine may have unusual or unpleasant odor.

  • Women have different symptoms than men.  Many report having lower abdominal pain or a bloated feeling, with persistent feelings that their bladder is full.  In addition, if the urethra is infected or they have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), women may report and complain of vaginal discharge.

  • Symptoms in our children (including toddlers) include fever, blood in the urine, vomiting and abdominal pain along with pain while urinating.
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