Do you spend more time at the bathroom than working? Do you find it difficult to urinate once you get there, and when you do, do you experience a burning sensation?
If you answered, “yes" to the above questions, chances are you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), the scourge of women worldwide.
If the problem is confined to the urethra (the tube leading from the urinary bladder to the outside), it is called urethritis. If the bladder (the container that holds urine) is affected, the condition is called cystitis. Whatever part is affected, UTIs are uncomfortable and annoying. Fever, chills, bloody urine, and a painful or heavy abdomen can accompany UTIs.
"Women are more prone to bladder infections because the urethra is much shorter in women than in men. This proximity to the external environment makes your urinary tract more vulnerable. Bacteria, normally present in your rectum and anal area, can easily travel and find a hospitable setting for growth in your urinary tract, " according to the editors of Consumer Guide's “Medical Book of Home Remedies for People Over 40. "
UTIs have many causes. They can be triggered by a *** transmitted disease, a birth control device or an underlying problem in your urinary tract. Sloppy toilet habits, allergies, and delaying urination may also cause UTIs. A decrease in the level of estrogen among postmenopausal women can make them susceptible to UTIs.
"Women who are *** active tend to have more UTIs. *** intercourse can irritate the urethra, allowing germs to more easily travel through the urethra into the bladder. Women who use diaphragms for birth control also may be at higher risk, as are women who use spermicidal agents. After menopause, UTIs may become more common because tissues of the vagina, urethra and the base of the bladder become thinner and more fragile due to loss of estrogen, " said the Mayo Clinic.
"In many cases, a UTI comes from the bacteria on your own body. Though it may not be any consolation to you, most women experience at least one infection during their lifetime, and three out of 10 women are plagued with recurring UTIs, " added Consumer Guide.
To prevent UTIs, drink plenty of water, don't postpone your trip to the bathroom, wipe from front to back, practice good personal hygiene, and use the toilet after sex to help flush out troublesome bacteria. Avoid irritating feminine hygiene products like douches and powders.
Antibiotics are the first line of defense against UTIs. The type of drugs prescribed and the length of treatment depends on your condition and the kind of bacteria found in your urine. For uncomplicated cases, a three-day antibiotic treatment will usually suffice. Be sure to take the entire course of antibiotics to prevent re-infection. If you stop your medication the moment you feel better, you give the bacteria in your system a chance to develop resistance.
If the UTI is caused by a fungus, antibiotics won't work. You need different medicines to fight the infection. When fungi spread to the nails and cause them to become thickened, brittle, discolored and dull, the resulting infection is called onychomycosis. This stubborn and painful condition affects more men than women, especially the elderly.
Antifungal creams and topical lotions can't penetrate the nails and are useless. Oral antifungal agents, on the other hand, are very expensive and have a lot of side effects. To be on the safe side, take Somasin AFS, a natural way to put an end to embarrassing nail infections in just 7 days.
Check out http://www.somasin.com for details.
Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine http://www.thearticleinsiders.com